This week I wanted to talk briefly about Measure C and the SMART Train.
The SMART Train is supposed to be available in "Late Spring" according to the website as of today. My understanding is that introduction in delayed until the Engines are swapped out or maybe its the Passenger Cars. So, it is pretty clear that over 10 years after we approved the tax increase that we still don't have a train system and we have no real timeline for service. And I don't know about you, but I have met nobody that can effectively use the train for commuting. I am greatly concerned that we are going to end up spending a lot more money in the future to subsidize the operation of the train. I am wondering when we will just call this a failed venture and move on.
Measure C is in place as a Rent Control Measure. I have no idea whether it will pass or not. The thing is that it will not cause more housing to be built. That is the real thing we need. To me, Rent Control is a distraction - a Wag the Dog type thing. Good idea or bad, people are focused on it. The thing that will actually fix things (more housing units available) has no discussion. How are we going to add 10,000 new apartments? That was the last calculation I made. I would love to see pressure put on the local governments to come up with a plan to lower housing occupancy.
I implore you as voters to think critically about issues and hold our elected representatives to deliver solutions. Let me just conflate these 2 issues in an odd way. Imagine if we had taken all the money spent on the SMART Train and spent it instead on building housing. At least 1 issue that we have would not be true today. Remember the decisions you make today in government have a long tail to them. Don't fall for rhetoric or commercials. Think about it and vote.
Have a great day!
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