The Metro Board voted today to send the voters an Up or Down vote in November
On the ballot, you will have the option of voting YES for continuing the General Mobility Program, but making the payments to participating entites fairer, giving 25% of the transit sales tax collected in each jurisdiction to that jurisdiction, and requiring Metro to send another referendum to the voters by 2021.
Or you have the option of voting NO and ending the General Mobility Program and using 100% of our transit sales tax for transit.
The discussion lasted over 3 hours and many good points were made on all sides. There was a general agreement that some of the principles in Board Member Christof Spielers' proposal and some from others should be pursued even though the Board did not put the proposal forward. Spieler will lead a new effort Chairman Garcia launched to build a regional consensus on moving forward. Beginning to distribute the GMP funds in a fair manner was an innovation added during the discussion, and this had been included in several proposals including Spielers'.
Houston Chronicle Story:
Metro chooses yes-or-no vote on road funds
Pro-transit coalition demonstrates at Metro in support of Spieler proposal
Texas Watchdog Story:
Houston-area voters will have option to expand Metro's share of sales tax proceeds in November
Thank you for all for participating in this important civic debate
Five Hundred Thirty Three Houstonians contacted the Metro Board through the Houston Tomorrow campaign system!
About 45 of those were anti-transit views, and we are very happy that all of these citizens were able to easily contact their elected officials through our work.
Although there were some bitter battles and no one feels like their side won, Houston Tomorrow believes that this process conducted by the Metro Board has been an exemplary exercise in transparent public policy, with copious information and meaninful analysis available to the public
, and many opportunities for public input and discussion.
We believe that all of the governments involved in this exercise and other regional transportation agencies should study the transparency process Metro used, including little things like posting the video as soon as possible of every single public meeting in this process
And now, on to November!
Houston Tomorrow is going to take a break for the weekend, but then will start meeting with various pro-transit partners to develop strategies for maximizing the benefits of transit from the coming referendum and the current public attention to the issue.
So stay tuned...