Candidates for the District 5 Board of Supervisors of the Sacramento Board of Supervisors this June, April 27, shared their views on a variety of issues, including transportation, potential, county transit tax, and homeless people.
District 5 includes the communities of Elk Grove, Galt, Wilton, Rosemont, Mather, and Rancho Cordova, and the communities of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Candidate comments on local issues were made during a Sacramento Environmental Council-sponsored forum, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Sacramento; 350 Sacramento and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group.
District 5 supervisor Don Nottoli is not running for re-election. Elk Grove City Council member Pat Hume, Cosumnes Community Service District Council President Jaclyn Moreno, former Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly, and Alex Joe, a former school district administrator, are competing for the seat. Elk Grove unified.
On the subject of transportation and reducing carbon emissions, Ly mentioned that he is interested in having a robust transportation system.
Recalling his work at Elk Grove County, Ly spoke about his contributions to establishing a high-speed bus system and building a regional transportation system that includes a proposal to provide a light rail service from south Sacramento County to Sacramento International Airport.
“These are things, no doubt, that would alleviate road congestion and also pollution,” he said.
Ly also urged councils to move towards “electrifying their fleets”.
Moreno, who stressed the need to reduce vehicle mileage, partially criticized a plan to open two train stops in Elk Grove.
“People will still have to drive to those stations, which will ultimately not greatly reduce the miles of vehicles traveled,” he said.
Moreno also headed to the SouthEast Capital Connector, the future 34-mile highway from Interstate 5, south of Elk Grove, to Highway 50 at the new Silva Valley Parkway interchange near El Dorado Hills.
“I’m thrilled that the connector makes it easier for people to move from Elk Grove to El Dorado Hills, but again, it doesn’t solve the problem of reducing the miles of vehicles traveled,” he said. “I think the best thing for our money will be to create a fast bus transportation plan, which will connect our region with clean energy buses.”
Joe also shared his thoughts on transportation, noting that Sacramento has roads that are secondary to major highways that could have tolls and that several corridors could be built in different parts of the county.
Joe also promoted all-electric and hybrid vehicles to reduce carbon emissions.
“I don’t think we need to widen Watt Avenue again, and I think the connections between Rancho Cordova and Fair Oaks should be explored,” he said.
Answering the question about transportation, Hume mentioned that he is focused on “mobility options.”
“It differs if you’re traveling intraregional, interregional, or megaregional,” he said. “We need to have the opportunity for people to make sound decisions about what suits their lives and transportation needs.”
Hume added that while fleet electrification has a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions, it does nothing for congestion.
Regarding heavy rail service in Elk Grove, Hume argued that it would allow people to make better use of their commute time.
He also addressed a separate question on whether he would support a possible election measure this November that would increase the county’s transit tax. The tax is designed to raise funds for the deterioration of roads, bridges and the transit system.
“I don’t know if it’s the right time to put a fiscal measure in front of voters, given what’s going on with the economy and inflation, gas prices and everything else,” he said.
However, Hume said the tax would potentially generate $ 8.5 billion in direct revenue, which could be combined as a local item with state and federal grants, for a combined spending plan of $ 15 million to $ 20 million.
Joe shared his own thoughts on the possible traffic tax.
“I would encourage this when possible, and advocate for it in the face of people who may have doubts about whether or not it is a healthy practice,” he said.
He also stressed that Sacramento could offer clean, efficient toll roads that could “reduce the wear and tear of our vehicles.”
Ly noted that he opposes the potential tax.
“Simply put, the way I approach any kind of tax increase is very simple: can we take it from anywhere else?” he said.
He suggested the council review its budget and “try to look for the money elsewhere.”
“This is the wrong time to increase the burden on families,” he said. “Our economy is recovering. It makes no sense right now. Now, if that’s the case, I wouldn’t oppose it in the future.”
Moreno said there are “immense infrastructure needs” in the county, especially in the rural, unincorporated.
He added that he believes he will establish his opinion on the tax proposal based on the assessment of this initiative in relation to how it fits into the climate action plan of the region, “with the overall goal of reducing the miles traveled.”
Candidates were also asked how they believe the county should address the “climate crisis,” particularly for those who are not housed.
Ly expressed the need to ensure that “the biggest polluters are kept under control.”
As for the homeless population, he stressed the importance of providing more housing, including affordable housing.
“Across the nation, when you look at communities, if you find the home, that addresses the first issue,” Ly said. “And then you can see some of the other problems that come with it, whether it’s mental illness, drug problems, soft skills or hard skills.”
He also stressed the need to be proactive in preventing people from losing their home and consequently living on the street.
Moreno mentioned that climate change is likely to affect different communities in “inequitable ways.”
“As with any equity issue, it is very important to talk to the people who are most affected by the challenges that are going to present with climate change,” he said.
On the homeless, Moreno mentioned the importance of discussing housing and location plans.
“The city of Sacramento is the only jurisdiction that has a location plan so far,” he said. “We need to force other jurisdictions, including Sacramento County, to create session plans and make sure people have a place to go.”
As for climate change, Hume said the problem is being addressed after about 200 years of “misbehavior” and about 40 years of “trying to recognize it.”
“The main thing the county can do is use planning and zoning effectively,” he said. “As I always say, the best way to reduce vehicle mileage and traffic congestion is to put people where they live and where they want to be closer.”
Joe has expressed concern about foreign companies polluting low-cost land and high-poverty areas and devaluing surrounding properties.
He mentioned that other factors include racism and red lines that have created problems for people of color and people who are not rich.
“(They have) a built-in restriction at birth that often eliminates their chance to thrive,” he said.
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