COMMENTARY: Measure P Is A Critical Fork In The Road

The half-cent sales tax to improve and repair local roads is essential for San Benito County

The late Yogi Berra, 15-time Major League Baseball All-Star, once famously said; “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!”  We have come to the fork and local roads are the issue.

Measure P is a proposal for a half-cent, countywide, sales tax to repair deteriorating city and county roads and, eventually, make major highway improvements.

The alternative is to cross our fingers, put up with more bone-jarring rides, absorb the extra cost of deferred repairs, take more safety risks and suffer ever-increasing traffic jams along Highway 25.

About half of San Benito County’s working population commutes and local roads are our economic lifeline; that alone makes Measure P worthwhile. Throw in the commitment to repair city streets and county roads, so many of which are in poor condition, and it becomes indispensable.

Now be honest, when you drive to Gilroy to shop (I saw you) you never once thought about their sales tax rate, did you? Remember, if you live in San Benito County you do not have a word to say about how Gilroy spends their revenue.   

If we approve Measure P we will have voted on exactly how that extra half-cent will be spent – all of it on local roads and transportation improvements for our needs. Do you want evidence that local funding priorities work? Ok, try to imagine the traffic in Hollister without the Highway 25 bypass – it would be brutal.  That bypass was funded by local funds from a similar tax. 

It takes a 67 percent yes vote to pass Measure P and it’s going to be an uphill battle. We need your vote and those of your neighbors to help ourselves over the next 30 years and helping ourselves is the best way to spend tax money.  No one cares as much about our communities and residents than we do.

Vote yes on Measure P.

Marty Richman

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Marty (Martin G.) spent his teen years in northern New Jersey. He served more than 22 years on active military duty, mostly in Europe, and is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4, Nuclear Weapons Technical Officer. Marty then worked 25 years in various engineering and management positions in the electronics and energetic materials industries supporting the communications, computer, aerospace, defense and automotive sectors. He is a graduate, summa cum laude, from The College of Hard Knocks, among his numerous awards and accomplishments. He was a regular weekly Op/Ed columnist and feature writer for The Hollister Free Lance for seven years and a member of its editorial board for five years. Marty is a frequent commentator and contributor to BenitoLink on a wide variety of local, state, national and international subjects.   Marty was elected to represent the City of Hollister District 4 on the City Council in November, 2018. Marty and his wife, Joyce, have been residents of Hollister since 1996.