VTA Seeks to Divert Funds from Measure B’s Promised Street Repairs and Traffic Relief

By Robert Haugh

We got an interesting alert via an email from San Jose City Councilman Johnny Khamis. It’s a warning that the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is trying to divert funds from street repairs and traffic relief.  

Yes, that would be the VTA,  the worst transportation agency in the nation.

Yes, that would be the funds that voters approved in 2016 in Measure B.

Khamis and three of his San Jose City Council colleagues co-signed a memo urging their council to oppose the move. The other signers are Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, Councilwomen Dev Davis and Pam Foley

Here’s what they wrote:

Based on recent discussions during Public Comment at the December 5th VTA Board of Directors meeting, it became apparent that members of the community have a desire to change direction in the pursuit of transportation solutions, namely through the reprogramming of funding dedicated for highways towards other transit categories. 

We think that means take money from what voters want and put it into salaries and pensions which are really, really high. That’s one of the things the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury body slammed VTA for in their report a few months ago. 

The memo signers gave us more details:

Per the ballot text of Measure B, which voters passed on November 8, 2016 with 71.74% of the countywide vote, commitments to “repair streets, fix potholes [and] … relieve traffic on all 9 expressways and key highway interchanges … ” were made. Funding at stake, per the current Measure B spending plan, is as follows: $1.2 billion for local streets and roads; $750 million for highway interchanges; $750 million for County Expressways; and $350 million for State Route 85 Corridor improvements. 


San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo supports the VTA move, according to San Jose City Hall sources.  But he wants to delay the vote this week to try and work out a compromise.

For the sake of commuters everywhere, let’s hope Khamis and his colleagues win and Liccardo loses.

Or if Liccardo comes up with a deal, let’s hope it looks like one like he negotiated last year. 

That’s when Santa Clara beat San Jose in 2 lawsuits and got $6.2 million for transportation improvements

A Liccardo repeat in 2020 would be nice. We could always use more transportation dollars in the Mission City.


  1. The shuttle idea sounds nice until you ask who cleans them and when. Imagine a load of drunk fraternity guys vomiting in one, then being the next passenger. I wish I could trust everyone to be respectful, but that seems unrealistic.

  2. Do you ever wonder why school tax measures (that are paid off mostly by increasing your property tax) appear on almost every ballot and say funds will be used for fixing leaky roofs heat or cool classrooms etc.? Politicians almost always divert the money to other pet projects. And put the same school measure on the next ballot while classrooms are still in a state of disrepair.

    • CSEA mismangament is really the reason. Sonny Bautista, CSEA IT Director, admitted in a meeting last week, that they keep throwing good money after bad. Last year 30K on Net Components they couldn’t use. A new “Neanderthal” process, developed by CSEA in-house IT employees (2018-2019) to handle AB119 law.
      “Neanderthal” was Sonny’s Bautista’s words, not this writer’s. So bad, they hire 1 to 2 full time temps
      (no benefits) to continuelly fix the data, instead of fixing new in-ept programs. Those Temps will be needed for the loooong unforeseen future as AB119 is not going away. Other plans; buy expensive wiz-bang packages with hefty license fees to replace all of their major systems. (Their staff cannot even grasp the technology they have had for the last 25 years or so.)
      For instance; free new features available to technologies, they already pay for, go unutilized! These free tools
      could handle most of the broken AB119 work. I asked around. No one knew about them. Honestly they have been around for years and can do most of what they are purchasing fancy stuff to do. Their main technology is still “Client-Server” architecture not WEB! (Like Andrew Yang is preaching… 25 hears behind the times!). This Client-Server technology soon will no longer be supported by it’s Vendor. However, again you can convert most of that into WEB with free conversion tools. This way they don’t have to throw all their good (but old) programs out!”. I suggested this; everyone looked at me blankly, and Bautista continued to draw charts of his grandious and costly future plans to convert to over-kill software packges and hire new API and Integration developers. This future conversion work will in itself cost taxpayers huge amounts. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. If I were only 65 and could opt out of the most recent Cupertino “Temporary” School assesment tax just levied. Somebody really needs to do oversight on CSEA. It really is so depressing.

  3. How many times do we have to pay to have our roads actually repaired? Hopefully greaseball Sam Licardo we fail stealing our tax dollars. We voted to pay an extra tax for our roads after it wasn’t done the first time, NOT for Licardo to balance one of his drained budgets.

  4. Nice article, Robert. Thanks.
    Liccardo is like all the other swamp creatures. Never saw a tax dollar he didn’t want to pocket or control. These people still haven’t given up on the idea of forcing us onto their antique buses. The transpo solution won’t be buses. It will look more like autonomous electric shuttles that take you where you want to g,o when you want to go, at a reasonable cost. Not force you to adjust your life to their schedule. This is just more BS and YOU people need to quit electing big govt control freaks.
    JMHO, you understand.

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