The full press packet, along with audio and B-roll video, is included at the bottom of this article.
“A “No vote” on Measure RR tells the BART board to go back and do it right,” Glazer said. Glazer condemned the BART board saying they have essentially “put a gun to our heads” by proposing Measure RR and saying we need to pass the measure “or else.”
“There are eight steps that we think they should take to rebuild the public confidence and trust in BART so that we can invest in this important transportation system,” Sen. Glazer stated, noting that the current measure is an “unacceptable alternative.”
Glazer was joined by BART Board candidates Debora Allen and Jennifer Hosterman and David Kersten, president of the Kersten Institute.
Jennifer Hosterman said she wishes she could support Measure RR but could not in “good conscience” because “this is not the right way to do it.” Hosterman said there is “no certainty” about how much the bond measure will cost taxpayers and concurs with the eight steps outlined by Sen. Glazer.
Debra Allen, who is a CPA and an accomplished financial planner, said she has reviewed the BART budget and projections, as well as Measure RR, and “this measure does not provide proper constraints on how they spend the money.”
Allen said the measure contain loopholes which allow the district to use the money to pay for ongoing labor costs. She wants the BART board to go back and do it again, and said they can start improving the system with the $6.5 billion they say they have already identified to help improve the system.
The BART board needs to draft a measure “with some restraint on how the money is spent,” Allen stated.
David Kersten, with the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy, said that he has studied the BART budget for several years and the BART labor costs are completely unsustainable.
Kersten said BART will never have enough money to pay for system improvements until it gets its financial books in order. Kersten commended Sen. Glazer and the BART candidates for their leadership on an issue which few Bay Area elected officials are taking a stand on.
“The passage of Measure RR would essentially bailout BART management by providing them with a $1.2 billion slush fund to pay for these labor costs,” Kersten stated.
Kersten outlined some facts and figures and provided evidence regarding the unsustainable financial practices at BART.
Here are the facts and figures outlined by Kersten:
--The recent 30% raise granted to BART employees was not based on any type of market analysis or need. In fact, BART management refuses to conduct a credible compensation survey of other major transit districts because everybody already knows that BART workers were the best paid transit workers in the country, even before the recent 30% wages increases.
---According to the district’s own budget calculations BART’s labor and benefit costs are projected to increase by an average of 5% per year from 2016 to 2024. This is a very conservative estimate and does not even include the mounting debt from pension and health care costs. But BART projects that its total financial sources will only increase by an average of 2.5% per year over the same period—roughly half the rate at which labor costs are growing at. (see handout titled “10-Year Financial Projections…”)
--The district has done nothing to control unsustainable benefit costs, particularly with regard to pension and health care costs. According to Stanford University, the market value of BART’s unfunded pension liabilities totaled $3.1 billion in 2013. This is nearly three times the district’s current $1.1 billion in bonded-debt, and has the potential to completely crowd about the district’s ability to fund capital improvements for the decades to come. Nothing is currently being done to control the cost of these growing liabilities, which likely exceed $4 billion as of today—more than the value of the bond requested. (see highlighted line of exhibit titled “Summary of BART Pension Debt”)
“In conclusion, if voters approve Measure RR on November 8, nothing will change at BART, and the district will continue on this unsustainable path which guarantees huge fare increases and tax increases to fund BART in the years to come. The current BART Board has failed us by bringing us Measure RR. They should be forced to go back and do it right by incorporating the issues outlined by State Sen. Glazer and other BART leaders” Kersten said.
For more information please visit: www.noonrr.info
Attention Media: Feel free to use the images, audio and video below please cite "David Kersten Videography" as the source.
Here is a link to the Dropbox Folder with the photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e7x2xgcdqnlft7l/AADRDjGwhDtIGN9_yxX9yxd-a?dl=0
(see photo slideshow below)
Here is a link to the full packet of materials handed out at the press_conference:
(See documents below as well)
See links below for the full press conference audio, a slide show with the pictures, and a You Tube file with the B-Roll from the press conference.
Below: Press Conference Photo Roll
Download Press Packet Materials from Today's Event
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