Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,
Last updated 9/27/2007 at Noon
As a San Diego County Supervisor for the last thirteen years, I am concerned for the welfare and safety of San Diego County residents as a result of the newly signed State Budget, which for the fourth consecutive year, diverts critical public transportation funds away from their local government jurisdictions and into State coffers. This year alone, nearly 1.3 billion dollars have been taken away from public transportation for California taxpayers. This is unacceptable at a State level, but it is particularly damaging for local governments who are and have been expected to cope with continual funding shortages.
Increased traffic, safety concerns, and a growing demand for environmentally friendly modes of transportation are causing San Diego County residents to depend upon public transportation services now more than ever before. Public transportation is vital to relieving congestion on our roads and freeways. Our ridership continues to grow throughout San Diego County, yet our funding continues to diminish, creating nightmarish budgeting scenarios for our public transportation service providers. Your cuts have eliminated our ability to expand services and have instead called into question our ability to maintain services we have already committed to providing.
Not only have you continually undercut local government, but you have ignored those who voted to increase their own taxes for the sole purpose of generating funds for public transportation and infrastructure improvement. Voters were promised that funds generated by these taxes would be used for operational costs of public transportation and infrastructure improvements. In simple terms they voted to improve the viability of public transportation in their communities, not to balance the State Budget.
In diverting revenue away from local government jurisdictions and the taxpayers who depend upon these funds, you have contributed to the endangerment of services and the riders themselves who trust our public transportation to safely and efficiently help them arrive at their destinations. It is my hope that next year you will not disappoint us once again by sending our taxpayer dollars elsewhere.
Bill Horn, 5th District Supervisor
County of San Diego
Cc: The Village News