Measure AA proponents claim victory

Thousands of provisional ballots still to be counted for three-county measure

Proponents of Measure AA, the Peninsula's $300 million open-space bond measure, officially claimed victory on Monday, June 9, even with thousands of ballots still to be counted.

The measure needed 66.7 percent of the vote throughout the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District to pass. As of Thursday, June 12, the measure had received 68 percent.

Voter approval of Measure AA authorizes the district to issue bonds to add 200 miles of new trails, increase recreational access and preserve and restore thousands of acres of open spaces, forests, watersheds and farmlands throughout the Midpeninsula district, which stretches 550 square miles from Los Gatos and East Palo Alto to north of Half Moon Bay.

"We want to thank the thousands who shaped the vision plan and supported Measure AA -- those who visit the preserves and use the trails, conservationists, parents, educators, employers and many, many others, who voted for the health of our environment and the health of our community," Steve Abbors, district general manager, said in a press release. "Now it's our turn, we're hitting the ground running, and we look forward to the day in the near future when we come together again to celebrate the completion of the first Measure AA-funded project."

"Peninsula residents have just made an incredible investment in the future, preserving the beautiful open spaces that make this region so special," said Walter Moore, president of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, which, along with the Sempervirens Fund, served as Measure AA's chief sponsor. "It is terrific to live in a place that puts such a high value on protecting our scarce natural areas for future generations, and we're incredibly grateful to this community's strong support."

As of June 12, the "yes" votes totaled 75,403 and the "no" votes, 35,562, according to the registrars of voters in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. The registrar in Santa Clara County reported still having as many as 3,000 ballots to count.

The current vote count by county is:

● San Mateo County: 24,781 yes and 12,606 no.

● Santa Clara County: 50,621 yes and 22,956 no.

● Santa Cruz County: 1 yes and 0 no

In Santa Cruz County, where only a small rural area is in the district, only one vote was cast and it was for the measure.

A complete list of the 25 top open space projects that will benefit from this measure,can be found here.

● Check these links for the latest counts:

(1) San Mateo County results

(2) Santa Clara County results

— Palo Alto Weekly and Almanac staff

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Like this comment
Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 7, 2014 at 9:42 am

As of end of day June 6, total votes so far:

YES 70243 67.8%
NO 33366 32.2%

There were 15000 ballots still to be processed in Santa Clara Co. I couldn't find this info for San Mateo Co.

If there are just 15000 ballots to count, and they all cast votes on Measure AA, 41% of the 15000 would have to be opposed for the measure to fail.

The Weekly should be doing a better job of reporting on this.

Like this comment
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 9, 2014 at 1:29 pm

What's also been poorly reported by all the media, the Weekly included is the number of registered voters in the three counties voting. The following counts came from the web-sites of Santa Clara County (SCC) and San Mateo County (SMC)--

Registered voters

Total: 1,165,000

With only 70,000 yes votes, that means that fewer than 7% of "the voters" have been able to push through this poorly thought out bond--that will affect people living in these areas for decades to come.

Moreover, Prop.13 allows those who have lived here for a very long time (like the most vocal proponents of this measure) to pay virtually nothing--while those who have only recently moved here will have to pay through the teeth.

It's hard to believe that very many people in SF.BayArea are using these "saved" areas--which now come off the property tax rolls, while continuing to demand services of one form or another.

This is another clear example of how badly broken California has become.

Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Here are the top 25 projects to be funded with this bond.

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm

It's too bad the "conservationists" celebrate this "incredible investment
in the future" to preserve our open spaces while the "future" of our urban area, our neighborhoods, our streetscapes, where we spend most of our time,
looks worse and worse each day with congestion, ugliness overtaking our
City, with a mostly silent acceptance by these same people in a massive double standard. It doesn't wash folks. If AA wins, use the money
appropriately, but this is no time to celebrate.

Like this comment
Posted by UC Davis Grad
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm

It never fails -- the minute a ballot proposition passes that *certain* people oppose, the spin starts.

I hate to break it to you folks (and yes, I am looking at you Wayne Martin and "resident"), but guess what? You lost. Live with it.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 9, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Wow. I'm impressed that fewer than 3 percent of the voters opposed this measure.

Thank you for the perspective.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Jun 10, 2014 at 11:18 am


You are comparing apples and oranges. Most of the two counties are not included in the district and not affected by the tax, and therefore not eligible to vote.

On the other hand, if there was major opposition to AA more than 33,000 people would have turned out to vote against it.

I guess your opinion is shared by a very small minority.

Like this comment
Posted by jerry99
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 10, 2014 at 5:09 pm

[Portion removed.]

There are thousands of miles of trails in the Bay area and having hiked them 40 weekends per year for 30 years I can tell you more than 80% are very sparsely used.
Another waste of taxpayer money.

Like this comment
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Anything to help wildlife and preserve open spaces should be a priority. (I realize there are some, alas, who would like to see wild lands paved over and built upon.) I'm happy to see this measure passing.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Agree with Nora Charles about importance of protecting wildlife and open
space, but providing greater access which appears to be the main focus
of AA, may not further either one of those goals, especially the protection of wildlife.

Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of University South
on Jun 10, 2014 at 10:06 pm

This campaign was poorly done.
Too many flyers. Too much emphasis on trails.
The Post's yellow-journalism front-page article about the poor nuns was so negative and misleading.

BUT, I'm thrilled that Measure AA won in spite of all that. Terrific.

Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Long live the Bressler Ranch.

Like this comment
Posted by Elaine
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 10, 2014 at 10:48 pm

What a fine gift we have given ourselves and future generations. I'm reminded of the words of Wallace Stegner, posted on the Stegner bench at Long Ridge Open Space Preserve:

" try and save for everyone, for the hostile and indifferent as well as the committed, some of the health that flows down across the green ridges from the Skyline, and some of the beauty and refreshment of spirit that are still available to any resident of the valley who has a moment, and the wit, to lift up his eyes unto the hills."

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2014 at 10:58 pm

What an excellent gift for the 1%.

Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Many of the proposed new trails are very close to Palo Alto (Stevens Creek, upper Alpine Road, Bay Trail) so local people can walk or bike to them instead of driving to some remote trailhead. These are fix important gaps in our regional trail system. We can't wait for these to get finished. Hopefully the NIMBYs will not try to block the projects.

Like this comment
Posted by Plain dumb
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2014 at 9:06 am

Why not just leave the open space alone and let it return to its natural state. No asphalt bike trails, no parking lots. Best for the animals and plants, costs nothing.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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