SAMCEDA, the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, recently dropped its opposition to Measure T and promised to lobby for tunnel funding if Measure T passes. SAMCEDA was one of the first, largest (and only) public supporters of the No on T campaign. The Board of Directors sent this letter to their membership:
SAMCEDA Drops Opposition to Tunnel

October 24, 1996

To: SAMCEDA Members
From: Max Keech, Chairman of the Board
Re: Withdrawal of Opposition to Measure T -- Tunnel Initiative

The SAMCEDA Board of Directors has re-considered the position taken in June in opposition to San Mateo County Measure T - the tunnel initiative at their regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting October 24, 1996.

In February, 1996, SAMCEDA added its voice to those lobbying the Board of Supervisors to complete an independent study to complete an analysis of the feasibility of a tunnel alternative and focus not only on engineering and geological feasibility but also consider the costs associated with the construction of a tunnel. In June 1996, SAMCEDA took a position opposing the initiative because the study had not been completed and we did not believe th the voters would have the necessary information to make an educated choice in the election. The study has been completed and released and demonstrates feasibility of a tunnel, however, it does not indicate necessary funding strategies. After lengthy discussion regarding the pro's and con's of this initiative, the Board of Directors voted to withdraw its previous opposition t the measure and remain neutral.

Though the Board continues to hold a strong philosophy that the best land-use planning is left to elected officials to determine, our initiative process allows such planning to be brought to the voters.

Of significant importance to the Board of Directors and the membership at large is the capability of our county's workforce to get to and from their employment sites and the need for reliable and safe roads. The Board of Directors knows that the voters of San Mateo County will ultimately make the decision regarding the kind of road that connects the coastal communities and that a series of actions will need to be taken immediately following th election regardless of the outcome.

The SAMCEDA Board of Directors has committed to taking the following actions,

  1. If Measure T passes, SAMCEDA will be the lead business organization to lobby CalTrans, MTC, our Congressional delegation, and other involved agencies to appropriate adequate funding for a tunnel solution.

  2. If Measure T passes, SAMCEDA will lead the business community and join forces with established coalitions to expedite the environmental review and permit process for the development and construction of a tunnel.

  3. If Measure T fails, SAMCEDA will be the lead business organization that requests the Board of Supervisors amend the Local Coastal Plan to allow for the development, approval and construction of either a tunnel or a bypass so that a safe and reliable solution can be made.

  4. If Measure T fails, and a Local Coastal Plan amendment allows the development of a tunnel, SAMCEDA will build new or join established coalitions to lobby appropriate officials and organizations so that a reasonable and feasible solution will be the priority of the Board of Supervisors.

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