Attachment C CWC Annual Report Press Release by AttFarrell


									  Attachment C:
CWC Annual Report
  Press Release

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DRAFT01 – July XX, 2009
Contact: Tess Lengyel
Programs and Public Affairs Manager
T: 510.267.6111

Watchdog Committee’s 7th Annual Report Highlights Accountability on Behalf of

Alameda County – California. On insert date the Alameda County Transportation
Improvement Authority’s (ACTIA) Citizen’s Watchdog Committee (CWC) released its
Seventh Annual Report to the Public. The report notes prospects and concerns for the
future and the effect of the economy on delivery of projects and programs. The report
also notes that audited income and expenditures were in compliance with specific caps
and that no accounting concerns were identified. Measure B, Alameda County’s voter-
approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, received $127.4 million in
revenue for the 2007/2008 fiscal year, the focus of the Watchdog’s report. Of this
amount, $111.2 million was allocated to local jurisdictions, capital projects and

Measure B funds transportation projects and programs. The Watchdog Committee was
created in the language of Measure B on the 2000 ballot, through which voters
reauthorized the local sales tax – originally created in 1986 – through 2022. Part of the
committee’s responsibility is to issue an annual report to voters and taxpayers reporting
on how the sales tax funds are being spent. Robert Raburn, Citizen’s Watchdog
Committee Chair noted, “One reason the ACTIA ballot measure achieved overwhelming
support was the promise to entrust an independent Citizen’s Watchdog Committee to
review all expenditures. Our watch has positively increased public access to these local
dollars and informs the public of any issues and concerns.”

The CWC report notes that due to the economic downturn, the result of lower than
anticipated revenues will be a cumulative loss of more than $839 million during the life
of the Measure, or the equivalent of approximately four years of revenues.

The amount of Measure B revenues collected reflects the state of the County’s economy.
ACTIA capital projects and programs alike are affected by the downturn. The economic
impact on ACTIA capital projects is lessened by the ability to issue bonds to fulfill
funding commitments. In addition, ACTIA and its partners are seeing significantly lower

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construction bid amounts.

Unfortunately, in the case of programs, which rely on monthly allocations to all
jurisdictions and transit operators in the County, any economic downturn can have a
direct effect on essential services funded by these revenues. Regular transit service as
well as senior and disabled transportation services may be cut, fewer bicycle and
pedestrian safety projects may be funded, and repairs to local streets and roads may be

 Since its inception in 2002, the CWC has affected change at ACTIA in a number of ways
due to its watchful activities. These include ensuring language in the audit that makes it
accessible to the full public; requesting and reviewing separate independent audits on
ACTIA’s administrative caps; requesting that all audits from ACTIA and the local
jurisdictions funds be placed on ACTIA’s website for full accessibility by the public; and
requesting public and stakeholder involvement on specific projects or on any projects if
they become infeasible.

The Watchdog report noted that Measure B projects depend on a variety of funds and all
projects are required to meet environmental clearance and full funding timelines (by
2007), with any extensions requiring ACTIA Board approval. Of the 27 projects, the
number of requests made and granted for extensions has decreased this year to a total of
five. Of these five projects, four were to obtain environmental clearance, one to secure
full funding and one to obtain both. The sponsors of these projects are optimistic that the
environmental clearance will ultimately be received and that funding will become
available. The CWC is keeping watch on these projects (see Table 1, ), and over the past year, kept watch on all projects, programs
and administrative costs, focusing special attention on the following:
    • BART to Warm Springs Project (to ensure compliance with the full funding
        requirements of the Expenditure Plan);
    • Oakland Airport Connector Project (regarding funding and timely project
    • I-880 Broadway/Jackson Interchange (to address community interest in seeing
        additional design options and ensuring that the project conforms with the
        Expenditure Plan description);
    • I-80 Integrated Corridor Mobility Project which received $1.5 million from
        ACTIA’s Congestion Relief Emergency Fund (to ensure compliance with the
        Expenditure Plan);
    • AC Transit (regarding a short-term loan it received from ACTIA to discuss its
        repayment capability due to the economic downturn); and
    • Contracting processes at ACTIA (to ensure that they are accessible and open to

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          businesses in Alameda County).

Overall the report indicates that ACTIA spent $111.2 million during the year that ended
on June 30, 2008, as follows:

      •    $40.5 million for public transit, including operations, capital investments and
           special transportation for seniors and disabled,
      •    $33.9 million for cities and the County to spend on local transportation
           including local streets and roads, and bike and pedestrian projects,
      •    $31.5 million for highway and street projects,
      •    $5.4 million was for administration, and
      •    $16.1 million funds are dedicated for future expenditures.

A fund balance of $127.1 million remains, including $111.0 million from previous years,
which is designated for future capital and program expenditures.

The CWC Annual Report is available on the ACTIA web site, Copies are also available, as are copies of the Expenditure
Plan and audits for each agency, both on the web and at the Authority’s offices at 1333
Broadway, Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612, telephone 510.893.3347. Information on
Measure B-funded program expenditures can also be found on the web site of each

ACTIA administers Measure B, the half-cent transportation sales tax in Alameda County,
which was approved by 81.5% of the voters. ACTIA delivers transportation
improvements and services to keep Alameda County moving, including mass transit
projects and programs, transit villages, bicycle and pedestrian corridors, and key highway
projects to eliminate bottlenecks and improve local connectivity.

For more information visit:


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