January 29, 2020
Assemblyman Jim Frazier
Chairman, Transportation Committee
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0011
RE: AB 2011 (Holden) –West San Bernardino Rail Construction Authority – Oppose
Dear Chairman Frazier,
This letter is to express Inland Action’s strong opposition to AB 2011 (Holden) which would create a duplicative government entity that is both unnecessary and unwanted. Inland Action, a non-profit, non-partisan organization of business and community leaders dedicated to the economic and community betterment of the Inland Southern California region, is a strong advocate for local control.
The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) is responsible for planning and constructing transportation projects while maintaining fiduciary responsibility for managing the voter approved, local transportation Measure I tax dollars. AB 2011 seeks to create a separate construction authority that would drain precious resources from the region, divert authority from local policy makers, and jeopardize funding for important transportation projects in other parts of the county. In fact, the diversion of resources would only serve to overrule the County Transportation Authority’s prioritization of its transit needs for the benefit of a neighboring county. Furthermore, the taxpayers responsible for the funding would not be the beneficiary of those transportation choices. This is unconscionable.
In recent years, Inland Action members fully engaged with stakeholders from San Bernardino and Riverside County to support the City of Ontario’s effort to gain local control of Ontario International Airport. The achievement was monumental and a huge win for the Inland Empire. The creation of dependable transit/rail access to the airport is imperative to our members as the Inland Empire aspires to facilitate movement in and around Ontario International Airport in the wake of its tremendous growth. A separate construction authority, as proposed in AB 2011, with a singular objective, jeopardizes SBCTA’s ability to serve the greater number of people that it is tasked to represent.
SBCTA’s 29-member Board represents every city and supervisorial district in San Bernardino County. It is very deliberate in its contemplation of major transportation projects, how the projects fit within the countywide transportation goals, the benefits to taxpayers, and most importantly how they are funded.
AB 2011 would bypass the SBCTA Board’s ability to develop a plan that meets the needs of San Bernardino County taxpayers and instead dictates that it fund the administrative overhead of a separate construction authority, as well as the capital cost of a project that is not approved by the full Board of our County’s representatives. This is unacceptable.
Therefore, we vigorously oppose this legislation.
Carole Beswick, CEO
Inland Action Inc.
1601 E. Third St., Suite 138, San Bernardino, CA 92408 | Tel. 909-457-2830 | www.InlandAction.com