“Behind me is an example of a big time failure. An $890 million capital project that is two years behind schedule,” said State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa).
“We stand here today in front of a vacant parking lot and an empty station because even in 2016 the project has not been completed…It is cold out here,” Glazer said, noting that Warm Springs was supposed to open in 2014 but is now two years behind schedule.
Glazer said BART’s failure to deliver the Warm Springs station is “at the heart of what is also wrong with Measure RR.”
The current BART board has demonstrated a consistent “failure to deliver capital projects on time with reliability and confidence,” Glazer said, adding that Warm Springs has now become the poster child of the current board’s dysfunction and inability to produce results.
"From fake security cameras, to failure to have spare parts for broken trains, to excessive overtime pay, to broken escalators and elevators, to strikes and pension shortfalls, BART's management failures are legendary. Now BART wants us to give them $3.5 Billion dollars in Measure RR when there is no track record of success or foundation of trust", Glazer concluded.
Glazer said we need a “smarter, more accountable plan, because we don’t want to throw our money down a rat hole,” which is what Measure RR is doing under the current “half-baked” and wholly unaccountable proposal.
Glazer has delivered an eight step plan to restore leadership and fiscal responsibility to BART.
Debora Allen, a candidate for district #1 BART director, said she could not support Measure RR because “we need new leadership prior to giving them more money” and said there is a “need to get BART’s fiscal house in order.”
“You never inject a downward spiraling business with this type of money without major overhauls of its leadership and its business practices. And the same rule should go for BART,” Allen said.
Allen said that BART’s priorities for funding capital projects are highly questionable, with the Warm Springs station being an example. BART spent almost $1 billion on the station infrastructure but the issues with why the station can’t open is due to their failure to replace the train control system which is not compatible with the new technology constructed at Warm Springs, Allen said.
“As a taxpayer I cannot support it,” said Jennifer Holsterman, a candidate for BART Director and former Mayor of Pleasanton.
Hosterman said Measure RR is “not accountable to taxpayers” and does not provide any assurances of what projects will get done, when, or how much it will cost taxpayers. Warm Springs is an example of what is likely to happen if we pass Measure RR with no accountability, opponents agreed.
All the leaders agreed that BART needed additional investment, but done in the right way, with accountability and transparency to taxpayers.
David Kersten, president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy, said he applauded the efforts of State Sen. Glazer and the other BART Board candidates because BART “needs new leadership.”
Most Bay Area politicians have given the BART board a pass on accountability and results, but nothing will change unless we force change, Kersten said.
For more information please visit: www.noonrr.info