Logue pushing Prop 1E
Yuba County Supervisor Dan Logue thinks Proposition 1E will pass on Nov. 7, but he's thought of at least one worst-case scenario:
Voters statewide approve the $4.1 bond measure, which includes funds for levee repairs, but Yuba-Sutter voters don't. The reaction in Sacramento, when it comes time to divide the funds, might just be, “Didn't you guys just tell us to go to hell?”
With that nightmare in mind, Logue's political action committee, Committee to Protect Northern California, is out to raise $500,000 in the 46 days before the election to lobby and advertise for the passage of Proposition 1E. In the past two weeks, $130,000 has been raised, mostly from developers, he said.
The committee's Web site, protectnorcal.com, premiered this week, and TV, radio and newspaper ads, along with yard signs, are planned.
Logue founded the PAC, which has Assemblyman Rick Keene, R-Chico, as Yuba-Sutter co-chairman. Other co-chairmen are Sutter County Supervisor Larry Munger, developer and farmer Al Montna and Yuba County Supervisor Don Schrader.
The committee wants to spend $75,000 on the local campaign, with the rest of the $500,000 going to the statewide Committee To Rebuild California, which is campaigning for Proposition 1E and other public works measures on the ballot, said
Logue calls the battle for Prop 1E “the biggest story in the valley that nobody gets.”
If Proposition 1E fails, Yuba County “will be in a floodplain forever,” and flood insurance rates will quadruple, he said.
“This is the most defining moment ever for Yuba County,” he said. “If Prop 1E passes, we'll have enough money to give Yuba County 200-year flood protection.”
In Sutter County, Proposition 1E has been endorsed by PRO-ACT, a citizens alliance formed in 1998 to campaign for a half-cent sales tax to cover the local share of levee improvement costs. The group was revived this year.
Representatives from Sutter County, Yuba City, Live Oak and Meridian were included in the alliance in 1998. A ballot initiative that needed a two-thirds majority failed by just 200 votes.
In remarks Tuesday to Sutter County supervisors, PRO-ACT spokeswoman Sally Serger called for reforming the alliance “to evaluate the best way to proceed in terms of funding and timing.”
“Had we passed the sales tax initiative in 1998, I would not be standing in front of you tonight. We would have been a self-help county and ready to provide the local matching dollars. Now we need to start all over,” said Serger.
In a Sept. 7 statement, PRO-ACT called flood protection the most serious issue facing Yuba City resident and business owners.
“The governor and Legislature recognize that Northern California is only one heavy Pineapple Express away from a Katrina-scale disaster,” Serger said.
PRO-ACT does not plan pro-Proposition 1E advertisements but has held two community forums on levees and plans more forums in neighborhoods before the election, she said.
NUMBERS FROM PROPOSITION 1E
The $4.1 billion in general obligation bonds for various flood management programs includes:
Total Cost: If the bonds were sold at an average interest rate of 5 percent, the cost would be about $8 billion to pay off both the principal ($4.1 billion) and interest ($3.9 billion). The average payment would be about $266 million per year.
Source: Legislative Analyst's Office
Appeal-Democrat reporter Rob Young can be reached at 749-4710. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.