Four Speakers Discuss What’s at Stake November 6 For Propositions 6 & 10 and Measure N on the Ballot
Several ballot choices in November will affect the future of Sonoma County like few
have in the past when it comes to deciding funding housing, rent control, road and
bridge repairs, SMART and other major infrastructure and maintenance projects. Four
speakers addressed these measures and propositions including Scott Kincaid, Mike
Ghilotti, Brian Ling and Santa Rosa City Council Member Jack Tibbetts addressed
what’s at stake.
On September 5, Alliance SCAPAC Chair Scott Kincaid gave SCA members an
overview of this committee’s role in interviewing 30 of the 47 city council members in
Sonoma County and other elected officials to see where they stand when it comes to
supporting business, the local infrastructure and environment.
“We devoted several days to these interviews and in some cases endorsed multiple
candidates running for the same city council seats,” Kincaid said. “While the Alliance
typically does not weigh in on state initiatives, this year Proposition 6 — the proposed
repeal of SB1 providing $5.4 billion per year in funds for infrastructure each year for a
decade — and Proposition 10 — the repeal of Costa Hawkins that would reinstate rent
control — are too important to be ignored and would have a tremendous impact on the
North Bay. In addition, we also want members to know the Alliance is firmly behind
Measure N (the housing bond) that would provide $124 million in funds to be spent
exclusively on new housing.”
Mike Ghilotti, president of Ghilotti Bros., also spoke to the need to vote NO on Prop. 6.
“I’m tired of driving over the same potholes every day. Sometimes people look at me
funny as I zigzag on the highway. I tell them I’m not drunk, I’m just trying to drive around
these holes. I’ve thought about developing a bumper sticker saying our area has Third
Ghilotti said this is one of the most important votes in over a generation. “Without Prop.
6, we will not see an opportunity to improve our infrastructure for perhaps 20 more
years, while losing 68,000 jobs and $183 billion in economic investments as
construction projects are halted. This includes critical Highway 101 HOV lane funding
and a loss of $148 million in local road and street repairs and upgrades. In addition, $53
billion is needed to make up for deferred maintenance with a 20-year backlog. I’ve seen
reports that say 80% of our roads and 1,600 bridges are in poor condition and at risk.”
He said while the average cost to do major repairs on a car is about $736, while SB1
will cost us less than $10 a month. Ghilotti pointed out that there hasn’t been an
increase in the gas tax since 1984, with revenue going for road improvements. Gas tax
collections have also been impacted by the rise in all-electric and hybrid vehicles that
use less fossil fuel.
“With Prop. 69 in place, ensuring that funds intended for a specific purpose are spent for
that purpose, we have assurance that SB1 money will not go into the general fund and
is exclusively for permanent infrastructure funding.”
Ghilotti encourage SCA members to reach out to employers, business owners, as well
as friends and family members to encourage them to vote NO on Prop. 6. He said the
California Alliance for Jobs has already raised $28 million toward a goal of $50 million to
support NO on 6.
SCA Executive Director Brian Ling said voting NO on Proposition 10 (to repeal Costa
Hawkins rent control) is in the best interests of those seeking more affordable housing,
and that, if passed, would limit investment in new housing unit construction.
“If Prop. 10 is approved, local government will be able to set rents on single family
homes and apply rent control to new building projects – all rents could be controlled
without limits. He said passage of Prop. 10 would trigger a sell off of rental units, and
the price of homes would decline.
Santa Rosa City Council Member Jack Tibbetts described the need to pass Measure N
on November 6, the Housing Recovery Bond. He said,” this is an affordable housing
initiative that will generate $124 million to support the construction of affordable
housing, help moderate income earners become homeowners, and also help fire
survivors obtain low/no interest loans to support the rebuilding efforts of fire survivors.”
Prior to the fires, Santa Rosa needed to construct 5,000 new homes to support ongoing
exponential growth and to close the gap on the city’s housing shortage in the post-fire
era that saw the loss of 5,200 housing units in the County and 4,000 in the City of Santa
Councilman Tibbetts said new housing also supports the workforce, by improving
business attraction efforts, reducing turnover, and strengthen hiring efforts and making
positions more competitive – leading to better employees. He said it would also benefit
low- and moderate-income residents, including teachers, first responders, nurses and
healthcare workers and multi-generational families as well as young people.
Furthermore, according to Tibbetts, this measure will help the city house its large
homeless population with permanent supportive housing and also provide housing for
“Measure N will provide the city with a mission-critical ‘local match’ tool. The bond’s
$124 million will be leveraged with state and federal housing pools, resulting in an
additional $500 to $700 million to support Santa Rosa’s affordable housing needs –
through mechanisms such as low-income housing tax credits, cap and trade, No Place
Like Home support and Proposition 1.”
On July 1, 2016, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation enacting the No Place
Like Home program to dedicate up to $2 billion in bond proceeds to invest in the
development of permanent supportive housing for persons who are in need of mental
health services and are experiencing homelessness, chronic homelessness, or who are
at risk of chronic homelessness. The bonds are repaid by funding from the Mental
Health Services Act (MHSA).
California Proposition 1, the Housing Programs and Veterans' Loans Bond, is on the
ballot in California as a legislatively referred bond act on November 6, 2018 . A “YES”
vote supports this measure to authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds for
housing-related programs, loans, grants as well as projects and housing loans for
He said 80% of the $124 million will support construction of affordable rental housing
and permanent supportive housing, while 20% would support first-time homebuyers (the
silent second program), and fire survivors by helping to close insurance gaps through
low/no interest financing options.
Tibbetts said the guidelines and priorities of the city council include respecting the
integrity of urban growth boundaries and community separators; creating a strong
Oversight Committee to audio and administer the Housing Bond funds; prioritizing
developments in downtown and near transit hubs; requiring prevailing wages and local
hiring practices to remain in place, and also requiring funds be use, or lost, after five
He mentioned that a California State Statute requires that 97% of the housing funds
pays for “sticks-in-the-ground housing, with only three percent to fund program
administration. Tibbetts also said these application and administration goals support
the city’s downtown development efforts and strengthens the city’s Housing Trust that
serves predominately as a revolving loan fund.
Reviewing similar housing bond measures approved over the past two years in eight
California cities, Tibbetts said this approach is a proven strategy for solving the housing
shortage. In 2016, Alameda County ($480M), Oakland ($80M), Santa Clara ($960M),
San Mateo and Los Angeles passed housing bonds. In 2018, three Northern California
cities did the same: Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa.
For example, through local match processes, Alameda administered $79 million,
resulting in an additional $675 million from state, federal and private sources – a return
on investment of $8.50 for every $1 put forward, resulting in the planned construction of
over 1,000 new affordable homes.
Tibbetts said the current emphasis on local housing in Santa Rosa includes a two-fold
approach to regulatory reform. Permit streamlining has seen a Design Review Board
overhaul/DRB bypass in PDAs (Priority Development Area plans), and an increase in
PED (Planning and Economic Development) staff. It also includes fee reductions, such
as for water and sewer connections, removal of SADIF and SWADIF (Southeast and
Southwest Area Development Impact Fees) and a proposed reduction in park fees.