April 6, 2018

Yes on Proposition 68 - Parks, Water, and Natural Resources Ballot Measure

On Tuesday June 5th, Californians will be able to vote on Proposition 68, a $4.1 billion dollar ballot measure that will provide funds toward projects around the state of California. This is a simple majority vote general obligation bond. As a bond, it is paid back through the State's General Fund over a 20-30 year period of time. It is not an assessment or tax on local property.

This measure was put on the ballot by a 2/3 bipartisan vote of the state legislature and not by paid signature gatherers. It has broad public support from across the state,including cities, local park districts, environmental organizations, the CA Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Water District, and many civic organizations.

Many of the categories of funding are directly relevant to our region which makes priority projects eligible for potential funding if this measure passes on June 5th. Most of the funds would be distributed by the State Conservancy's such as the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC), the Wildlife Conservation Board, Fish and Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources, and other agencies.

Over the last 30 years our area has directly benefited from grants from the SMMC, the Coastal Conservancy, and the Wildlife Conservation Board which led to the acquisition of Ahmanson Ranch, Chesebro Meadow, King Gillette Ranch, grants to Agoura Hills, L.A. County and Calabasas, for creek restoration projects,and many other local and regional benefits. 

Notably, Prop. 68 will provide funding for the acquisition of the Triangle Ranch on the southern border of our city. Below are some examples of funding included in Proposition 68 that could benefit our region.

* $100 million for multi-benefit storm water management
* $290 million for regional water supply
*$100 million towards recycling water
* $550 million for flood protection and repair
* $175 million for ocean and coastal protection
* $250 million for clean drinking water and drought preparedness
* $285 million to local parks and open space districts
* $160 million to state conservancies
* $137 million to the Wildlife Conservation Board (regional conservation projects)
* $218 million to repair and improve state parks
* $ 80 million for groundwater clean up
* $200 million for habitat restoration

Other funds are available in the bond for projects for parks in urban communities, protection of the Salton Sea, San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada.

Proceeds from past bond measures are depleted or almost depleted. These categories were closely vetted by relevant agencies and the legislature to be the highest priorities relating to water, parks and open spaces in our state. A prior 2014 Water Bond is providing money for larger water storage, water supply and groundwater related projects.

We believe that Proposition 68 merits the support of Agoura Hills residents. A voter information guide will be in the mail the first week of May along with vote-by-mail ballots. Please read it for yourself, and please vote “yes” on Proposition 68 on June 5.