The deadline for North County residents to apply for the Measure A Citizens Oversight Committee has been extended to Aug. 19 by the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, an agency spokeswoman said.
The committee oversees the ongoing investment of sales tax funds authorized by Measure A for high-priority transportation projects and programs to meet current and future needs, said Lauren Bianchi Klemann, public information manager for SBCAG.
Approved by 79% of county voters in 2008, Measure A increased the sales tax by one-half percent to raise money for transportation projects over 30 years, and the committee’s goal is to ensure accountability for how the funds are spent, Klemann said.
Each year, the committee submits comments to the SBCAG Board of Directors about whether Measure A provisions, requirements and voter mandates are being properly carried out.
The committee is composed of 11 members — four from North County, four from South County and three “at-large” — and two of the North County seats are up for appointment
Residents of Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Buellton, Solvang and all unincorporated North County areas, including Orcutt, Vandenberg Village, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and New Cuyama, can apply to serve on the committee.
Committee membership is intended to provide a balance of transportation users who represent various geographic, social, cultural and economic interests in the county, Klemann said.
Members are appointed to serve four-year terms and can be reappointed for additional terms at the discretion of the SBCAG Board of Directors.
The committee meets one to three times a year or as needed as determined by the committee.
Measure A is administered by SBCAG and is expected to provide more than $1 billion for transportation improvements by 2040, Klemann said
North County transportation improvement projects already funded by Measure A include widening the Highway 101 Santa Maria River Bridge, installing passing lanes on Highway 246 between Lompoc and Buellton and adding safety improvements on Highway 166.
New freeway interchanges in Santa Maria and Orcutt and circulation improvements in Buellton, Guadalupe and Solvang were also paid for using Measure A revenues.
Funding is also allocated for specialized transit for the elderly and disabled, improved transit service between communities, safe routes to school and bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
For more information about Measure A, visit www.measurea.net.
This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, staff writer for the Santa Maria Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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