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  • Christopher

The Budget And Our Roads

Hey Neighbors,

Last week the Board of Supervisors had the budget hearings, and one of the areas of particular concern was our road repair and maintenance.

As residents of Santa Cruz County, we all rely on a functional network of roads to go about our daily lives. Whether getting to work, transporting goods, accessing services, or getting our kids to school our roads are critical to the functionality of our communities. Yet the proposed county budget for the upcoming year raises alarming concerns about the future state of our road infrastructure.

There are several troubling elements in the draft budget recently reviewed by the Board of Supervisors:

- 88 storm-damaged road sites from the past two years with no identified funding source for repairs

- Halting regular road resurfacing projects to divert Measure D sales tax funds to pay off debt from last year's storm repairs instead

- Severely reducing the county's contingency funds from $7.5 million to just $1.25 million, leaving little for emergency road repairs

- Cuts to vegetation management and mowing along county roads which is a fire hazard unto itself

While preserving county jobs and social services is laudable, this budget fails to treat road maintenance as the critical priority it should be. Incredibly, it allocates $0 of the $82.3 million the county collects annually in property taxes towards fixing our deteriorating roads.

As Supervisor Koenig rightly pointed out, this is unsustainable and unacceptable. We have a right as taxpayers to expect that a portion of our property taxes will go towards up-keeping essential infrastructure like roads. After all, if we can't access a functional road network, how can we get to our jobs to earn the income that funds those very taxes?

This issue impacts all Santa Cruz County residents, but is felt most acutely by those in rural mountain communities like the San Lorenzo Valley, Bonny Doon, Aptos and Watsonville who depend on county-maintained roads. During the March primary, voters made it very clear that road conditions are a top concern.

Our roads are critical infrastructure that enable everything else in our community.

Not investing in a community and its infrastructure has detrimental effects on functionality and the mental health of the people that reside there. The level of stress that comes with not being able to access your home, get to work, get your kids to school or having a tanked property value can not be overstated. The chronic underfunding and neglect must end. We need a budget that treats road maintenance with the priority it deserves, backed by fair allocations from our property taxes.

I encourage you to email the Board of Supervisors at to make your voice heard. Attend the June 4th meeting, either in person at 701 Ocean St. or virtually. If you can't make it, you can still submit written comments.

In community, always.


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1 comentariu

Howard Florio
Howard Florio
01 iun.

Thanks Christopher, it just confirms my theory, if you want to call it that, that the county doesn't want us here. That's why ~900 or so homes have not gotten the OK to rebuild. It costs more in infrastructure to provide services, whether it be road maintenance, bus transportation or even fire prevention. Not to mention healthcare, 1 doctor in the SLV, urgent care in Santa Cruz 18.2 miles away or 37 minutes. It takes 37 minutes for us to get to Los Gatos, and El Camino Hospital, which is a cut above Dominican. During the CZU fire, I heard that the county had a plan to "let the SLV burn", I'm not certain about this as it was hearsay.…

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