STOP THE TUNNELS ON NOVEMBER 8 – YES ON PROP.53
Anyone reading this will need no elaboration on how the proposed water diversion tunnels project will adversely affect our quality of life in Discovery Bay. If we are agreed it shouldn’t happen, let’s look at how we can stop it with a stoke of the pen on November 8.
Both the tunnels project and the highspeed rail boondoggle are being funded with Revenue Bonds which require no public vote under our current constitution. Unlike General Obligation Bonds which require a vote because taxpayers are liable for repayment, Revenue Bonds look to the individual projects to pay off the amount borrowed to build them. The Bay Bridge is a good example with the expectation that tolls will service the bonds that were issued. That one makes sense. Funding the tunnels with Revenue Bonds does not.
Proposition 53 simply states that Revenue Bonds for projects costing in excess of $2 billion should be voted upon by the taxpayers. Isn’t that reasonable? According to the Legislative Analyst, it only impacts two projects in California – the tunnels and high speed rail. Politicians hate it because it takes the power to spend out of their hands. At the time of writing, Governor Brown has personally diverted $4.1 million of his campaign funds to crush the opposition to Prop 53. Those constant TV ads with the fireman speaking about loss of local control and disasters that cannot be fixed – just not true!
We have a remarkable opportunity to bring transparency and accountability to bond issuance in California. Please, vote for Prop 53 because there is no downside and it forces Governor Brown to come back to us, the taxpayers, before issuing more bonds to build the tunnels. Yes, it is our one best shot at killing the tunnels project once and for all.
Bruce Hall, Discovery Bay
(Bruce is a retired financial executive and Vice Commodore of Discovery Bay Yacht Club)