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Sonoma County Roads get another chance for funding


Sonoma County Roads get another chance for funding 


The Sonoma County board of supervisors will consider funding additional road repairs in mid-October.

During the Measure A campaign no one disputed the dire condition of Sonoma County’s roads. Afterwards each supervisor stated that fixing county roads remains a priority and that he or she will focus on finding additional revenue.

In the last three budgets the supervisors have increased general fund spending to about $16 million, approximately where it was in 1990 adjusted for inflation.

The supervisors are being pressured by special interest groups for new spending to address such issues as housing for the homeless, immigration lawyers for undocumented residents, expansion of preschool, and county employee pay increases.

Each of these has an expensive price tag. For example, a 1% payroll increase would cost $4.6 million or $23 million over the next 5 years. Those funds could instead chip seal 100 miles of county roads over five years.

Sonoma County’s road problems were caused by decades of neglect. No supervisor in 1995, 2000 or 2010 said “I don’t care if our road system deteriorates to gravel. What they did was to neglect roads by spending general funds on other initiatives."

Some supervisors want to spend limited county revenue to solve every problem in our society. These sentiments spring from good intentions but are ultimately responsible for creating our current road system from hell.

Supervisor's Own Words on Fixing Roads as a Priority

These statements were made during the discussion at the board of supervisors meeting concerning the Dept. of Transportation and Public Works budget on June 15, 2015. The video can be seen at:

Susan Gorin “we need let our community know that we have heard from them loudly and clearly that roads are a priority and we are going to focus on them in the near term.”

David Rabbitt (“we need to make sure that we look under every rock and assign dollars to the pavement preservation program so that we can maximize the pavement out there.” ... “now’s not the time to slack off.”

Shirlee Zane “we all want to fund as many miles as we can.”

Efren Carrillo “With 39% of the county road network and 540 miles [roads are] certainly a priority."

James Gore “I’m not gonna kick the can down the road on this issue because it will go into a pot hole.”


State Legislation for Highway/Road Funding

Governor Brown recently proposed a $3.6 billion bill to fund maintenance and repairs to state highways and city and county roads. It was to be funded by new gas and diesel taxes, car registration fees and some cost cutting measures.

The proposal was cut back to $1 billion with lower tax increases and fees to get Republican support for bill but failed to gain the necessary support.

The Governor has now called for a “Conference Committee” to be formed to continue work on transportation issues beyond the legislature’s adjournment as it was no longer feasible to achieve resolution by the end of the regular legislative session on September 11.

This Committee will be composed of both Republicans and Democrats from the Senate and Assembly and would not be hindered by any of the regular legislature deadlines since they will be operating in Special Session.

Governor Brown's transportation proposal.

Moving Forward 2040: Sonoma County’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan

The Sonoma County Transportation Authority is updating the Comprehensive Transportation Plan in 2015 and we need your input! Got a transportation question? Want to share your bright idea? You can take the online survey or attend a public meeting in Santa Rosa on 9/9 or in Petaluma on 9/17.

Santa Rosa public meeting:  

Petaluma public meeting:   

Please contact your supervisor to make sure they know where you stand on this issue.

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
575 Administration Drive, Rm 100A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Telephone: 707-565-2241
Fax: 707-565-3778

1st District:
Susan Gorin

2nd District:
David Rabbitt
3rd District:
Shirlee Zane
4th District:
James Gore
5th District:
Efren Carrillo

Please send a copy of your letter to

Copyright © 2015, All rights reserved.

PO Box 266
PenngroveCA 94951