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The 8 Local Leaders Set to Vote on How $7 Billion in Transportation Tax Funds Would Be Spent



The Fresno County Transportation Authority is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the Measure C renewal spending plan. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Measure C faces another procedural step on its way to the November ballot. Voters could decide on the future of $7 billion on spending for transportation, including road maintenance and mass transit. Fresno County’s current half-cent sales tax for transportation projects expires in 2027.

The Fresno County Transportation Authority meets Wednesday morning and is scheduled to vote on the spending plan.

Measure C is estimated to raise $6.8 billion for the 30-year renewal (2027-2057). The focus of the previous two versions  — first passed by voters in 1986 — was to build and extend highways across the county. This time around, the largest spending categories are for road maintenance and funding more localized priorities.

Allocation of the proposed Measure C renewal spending. (Paul Marshall/GV Wire)

Where to Spend the Money?

FCTA and the Fresno Council of Governments — a regional agency dedicated to transportation issues — have been formulating spending plans for Measure C’s renewal for the last 18 months.

But, not without speedbumps.

Social justice advocates loudly complained that the renewal process did not involve enough community engagement. Hundreds attended a July 7 Fresno COG meeting voicing complaints.

Supporters of the Measure C renewal want it on the November ballot. One reason, boosters say, is that polling shows strong public support — as high as 80%. Other reasons include taking advantage of construction costs before they increase, and avoiding the 2024 ballot with a presidential race predicted to be “divisive.”

But critics are concerned about funding allocations. Not enough — they say — will go to regional transit and environmental programs.

Wednesday’s meeting of the Fresno County Transportation Authority will take place at 9 a.m. at the County of Fresno Plaza Building Ballroom (2220 Tulare Street, downtown Fresno). It will also be live streamed via Facebook and Zoom. 

The city of Fresno — through its representative Mayor Jerry Dyer — presented an alternate plan at the July 7 meeting. Changes included revising the spending formula dedicated to local projects. The new plan took $187 million from unincorporated parts of the county and redistributed those funds to its 15 incorporated cities.

Nearly 70% of funds will go to “local” projects if the renewal passes (up from 31% in the current version). That means more spending on paving and maintenance of local roads and sidewalks.

Less money (15%, down from 30%) will go toward “regional” projects such as new highway lanes.

Fresno COG passed the Fresno-supported plan. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors also reluctantly approved the plan last week.

FCTA staff has recommended approval, as well.

If the FCTA board, comprised of representatives from across the county, gives its thumbs up, the plan goes back to the supervisors for a vote to place Measure C on the November ballot. That needs to happen by Aug. 12.

Then, the voters will have their say at the Nov. 8 general election. The Measure C renewal would require a two-thirds majority to pass.

Monday, the Clovis City Council discussed the Measure C plan, mostly centered on technical issues such as how they can spend Transit Oriented Development dollars. The body did not take a formal vote of support or opposition.

Who is the FCTA?

When Measure C first passed, it also created the FCTA to manage the tax and expenditures.

The executive board, meeting Wednesday, is made up of nine members. Two are from the Fresno County Board of Supervisors — representing both a rural and urban district.

Two members are from the city of Fresno — the mayor and a member appointed by the city council.

One member represents the city of Clovis.

Two members represent the remaining 13 incorporated cities in the county — one from the west of Highway 99 and one east. The mayors of those cities collectively decide on representation.

The remaining two members are from the public at large. One represents either the cities of Fresno or Clovis, jointly appointed by both city councils. The other is a rural member, appointed by the Board of Supervisors.

FCTA Board Members

Name Agency represented
Buddy Mendes (chair) Fresno County Board of Supervisors, rural seat
Lynne Ashbeck (vice chair) Clovis City Council
Jerry Dyer Fresno Mayor
Esmeralda Soria Fresno City Council
Steve Brandau Fresno County Board of Supervisors, urban seat
Alma Beltran Eastside cities (mayor of Parlier)
Rolando Castro Westside cities (mayor of Mendota)
Paul Shihota Public member, rural (Fresno County Board of Supervisors pick)
Vacant Public member, urban (Fresno/Clovis city council joint pick)

Participate In Person or Online

The FCTA will meet in person, Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the County of Fresno Plaza Building Ballroom (2220 Tulare Street, downtown Fresno).

  • The meeting will also be streamed via Facebook or on Zoom. Links to both are below:

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email