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Alameda Residents Not Represented on Transportation Commission Watchdog Committee

City of Alameda residents are not represented on a watchdog committee charged with oversight of billions of dollars of transportation funds spending.

Yesterday, the Alameda County Transportation Commission announced its 10th annual Citizen Watchdog Committee report to the public. However, Alameda residents are not represented on the watchdog committee.

The Commission oversees the spending of billions of taxpayer dollars on transportation projects within Alameda County, including funds raised by Measure B, passed in November 2000. That measure implemented, beginning in 2002, a one-half cent local sales tax to fund transportation projects and is currently scheduled to sunset in 2022.

The measure also established a Citizens Watchdog Committee (CWC), the purpose of which, according to the Commission’s website, is “to review, on behalf of the public, all expenditures on projects, programs and administration as well as timely delivery of projects. A major role of the CWC is to keep the public informed about the progress of Measure B-funded programs and projects and the appropriate use of these funds. The CWC reports its findings annually to the public to ensure transparency and accountability.”

This November, Alameda County voters will vote on Measure B1, which will double the half-cent sales tax to a full cent, and extend the tax in perpetuity. The extension is expected to raise $7.7 billion in the first thirty years after approval, beginning in 2013.

However, city of Alameda residents are apparently not represented on the watchdog committee.

The committee was established with several seats, including one for each county supervisory district, and additional seats for each of the five supervisory districts selected by the Alameda County Mayor’s Conference. (Little information is available online regarding the Mayor’s Conference.)

According to the report released yesterday, the watchdog committee has seven vacancies, including a vacant seat reserved for appointment by Wilma Chan, Alameda County Supervisor for District 3, the district for the city of Alameda.

The seats reserved for appointment by representatives for Districts 1 and 3 of the Alameda County Mayor’s Conference are also vacant. The Mayors’ Conference District 3 seat represents Alameda residents.

If Measure B1 is approved by voters in November, this same watchdog committee will continue to have oversight of the use of funds.

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