For months, the opposing forces on either side of the Santa Barbara County transportation debate have threatened to nuke Measure D’s chances of survival at the June ballot box. In a surprise orgy of cooperation, the Board of Supervisors and representatives from each city came together Monday to approve a single three-quarter cent sales tax proposal for the June ballot. The County Association of Governments voted 12-0 in favor of the ballot measure with the 13th member, Solvang Councilmember Edward Skytt, abstaining. The 12-0 slam dunk outcome notwithstanding, Monday’s vote remained uncertain until the last minute, despite a compromise struck between South County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and North County Supe Joe Centeno to appease Santa Maria Councilmember Marty Mariscol, who held out for $10 million for improved intersections. Goleta Mayor Jonny Wallis sparked a late furor of negotiation, saying she would vote against the measure unless Goleta was promised seed money for two new freeway over-crossings; funds were sacrificed from rural highways, bike paths, and bus riders to round up $7 million needed to mollify Goleta. Opposition remained from the Taxpayers’ Association and Cars Are Basic, as well as the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business (COLAB). However, since COLAB’s membership includes the construction companies expected to build the freeway lanes, bike lanes, and commuter rail included in the measure, boardmembers expressed optimism that the business community would ultimately lend support for the reincarnated Measure D. — Martha Sadler
No Doomsday for D
Originally published 12:00 p.m., April 27, 2006
Updated 2:24 p.m., May 25, 2006
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