6/21/2015 – Charter Review Public Comment about roadways

Fred Brummer – Charter Review Commission

In the May 14th charter review meeting, Mr. Brummer talked about a sales tax for the purpose of infrastructure.  When I watched the video on Orange TV, I couldn’t help but think about our situation out in East Orange County.  I am sure everyone has heard of our plight and the two developments that are working through the application process right now on the Lake Pickett properties.  East Orange County has been neglected for many years when it comes to infrastructure improvements.  Mr. Brummer, I went to see you in your Commission office the last go around and I was strongly opposed to the developments because there was no plan for traffic.   Now I am strongly in favor of these applications because they will generate between 40-50 million in road improvements plus responsibly develop these properties.  Highway 50 and the roads around it are getting downright dangerous to drive on.

Then you spoke about other districts and the obstacles they face.   District 3 that is fully built out but with a road structure more than 50 years old and district 4 that is being built out and facing its own problems.  You mentioned the deficit of 1.4 billion dollars that is needed in road improvements backed by Mr. Nastasi’ presentation to the BCC a few months ago.  We know that the mayor has secured 200 million in bond funding for infrastructure but that still leaves us a 1.2 billion dollar deficit.

Right now Orange County generates 30 million in gas tax per year that will soon be cut due to the recent MetroPlan vote to allocate 30% of road funding to mass transit away from infrastructure which leaves Orange County 20 million per year.  All of the current 30 million Orange County now gets goes to road repairs, not new roads which means Orange County will have to manage with 20 million for road repairs.  Then a paltry 10 million comes in per year from impact fees which is enough for Orange County to build about 2-3 miles of roadway.  Hardly enough to satisfy the needs of the county.

You said that a penny tax would generate 330 – 380 million dollars a year for infrastructure.  1.2 billion divided by 350 million is about 3 1/2 years so a one penny tax for 4 years would get us back on track.  I agree with what you said.  We are on the edge of cataclysm; the point of desperation.

Have you ever heard someone say the phrase, “it’s only money”.  Whenever I hear that phrase it tells me that person has enough money to pay for what he needs and is not financially burdened.  But if someone is financially burdened, you will never hear them say those words because it is all about the money.  Well, Orange County is financially burdened when it comes to infrastructure repairs and it is all about the money.

And as you said, it takes a vote of the people.  Let us decide if we want this burden in order to fix our roads.  If this commission has the power, please consider finding a way to add this to the next ballot.


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Posted in Charter Review Committee.