MEASURE FF ALAMEDA AND CONTRA COSTA COUNTIES
2/3rds votes required for approval
Wildfire Protection, Safe Parks/Trails, Public Access, Natural Habitat
Without increasing tax rates, to protect against wildfires; enhance public safety; preserve water quality, shorelines, urban creeks; protect redwoods and parklands in a changing climate; and restore natural areas, shall East Bay Regional Park District be authorized to extend an existing parcel tax of $1 monthly ($12/year) per single-family parcel and 69 cents monthly ($8.28/year) for multi-family units, raising approximately $3.3 million annually, to expire in 20 years.
In 2004 local voters overwhelmingly approved Measure CC to maintain our local parks and has been effectively monitored since that date. However, a new normal and critical
needs within the East Bay emerged. 2018 has become the worst year on record California wildfires which has underscored the belief another wildfire in the East Bay like the1992 Oakland-Berkeley Hills Fires cannot be risked. This meant that continuing the park district’s approved Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan work was determined critical to reducing the risk of wildfires. In addition it was noted that there are 22 parks within East Bay that were established over 80 years ago. The natural and built infrastructure in these parks average over 60 years old, and continue to need more proactive investments. These older parks in the District include Alameda Point, Anthony Chabot, Crown Beach/Crab Cove,
Gateway, Kennedy Grove, Lake Chabot, Leona Canyon, Martin Luther King, Jr., McLaughlin Eastshore, Miller-Knox, Point Isabel, Point Molate, Point Pinole, Redwood, Roberts, Sibley/Huckleberry/ Claremont Canyon, Sobrante Ridge, Temescal, Tilden, and Wildcat Canyon. The Park District conducted public and stakeholder outreach to engage the community about local park and open space needs in the Measure CC area that included three
community meetings, four public board meetings/hearings. They engaged key, long-time stakeholders, including the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, and Save the Redwoods League, among others. The resulting proposed list of services and projects to be funded by Measure FF were posted on the District’s website and available to the public for six months before the Board voted to place an extension measure on the ballot. On June 5, 2018, the East Bay Park District Board of Directors voted unanimously to place Measure FF on the November 2018 ballot.
THE PROPOSAL – protects from wildfire and increase public safety
Measure FF is an extension of Measure CC, continuing existing voter-approved funding for Regional Parks in western Alameda and Contra Costa Counties without raising taxes. The proposal is to extend critically needed investments to protect from wildfires and increase public safety, as well as protect natural resources and enrich the natural habitat, enhance public access and enhance and maintain visitor use facilities. Measure FF provides a detailed plan to protect against wildfire and continue sustainable forest management practices in the East Bay Hills. This means enhancing and maintain natural habitats/stewardship/forest restoration efforts, continuing to reduce fire hazards in wildland-urban interface, and the creation of a sustainable redwood forest management plan.
THE PROPOSAL – habitat restoration
Plans for Habitat Restoration center on restoring natural environments in parklands from Alameda to Richmond, which includes expanding water quality improvements efforts, reducing and repairing shoreline erosion and restoring urban creeks. Public Access Improvements proposed include providing regional green transportation and regional trails to expand urban access to parks. Visitor Facility Enhancements involve Environmental education projects as well as completing 50 new projects that includes addressing older parks and facilities that need improvements. projects include converting parkland from industrial to natural landscape at Gateway Regional Shoreline, redeveloping former GSA property at Crown Memorial State Beach, enhancing historic facilities at Tilden Regional Park, improving water quality at Temescal Regional Recreation Area, improving natural Habitat at McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, renovating Keller Beach and im0roving natural habitat at Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline and Repairing and upgrade marina at Lake Chabot Regional Park, to name a few of stewardship projects.
THE PROPOSAL – visitor center enhancements
Enhancements involve completing 50 new projects that includes addressing older parks and facilities that need improvements. For example, the projects include converting parkland from industrial to natural landscape at Gateway Regional Shoreline, redeveloping former GSA property at Crown Memorial State Beach, enhancing historic facilities at Tilden Regional Park, improving water quality at Temescal Regional Recreation Area, improving natural Habitat at McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, renovating Keller Beach and improving natural habitat at Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline and Repairing and upgrade marina at Lake Chabot Regional Park, to name a few of stewardship projects. There are also a variety of Environmental education projects that will help communities to experience nature nearby that include providing interpretive and recreational staff at regional shoreline facilities, Redwood interpretation, and continuing the year-round operations at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda.
The threat of wildfires is real and potentially devastating to living trees, including precious redwood trees, wildlife residential areas, and generations of parkgoers. East Bay Regional Park District has led the way taking steps to prevent the risk of wildfires in our parks. Measure FF will continue that effort and extend critically needed park protections while keeping the current tax rate flat.
Without Measure FF, we risk cutbacks to the protections currently maintaining and safeguarding our parks.
Measure FF will increase public safety across all parks, preserve water
quality, protect natural habitats, improve public access to parks and trails, maintain and increase environmental education programs and upgrade erosion and control and nature- based flood protection.
Measure FF has carefully monitored, built-in taxpayer safeguards. All FF funds stay local, dedicated our local East Bay Regional Parks. Because of the prudent steps take to protect taxpayers, the Alameda County Taxpayers Association has endorsed Measure FF.
Supporters include: the Sierra Club, Save the Redwoods League, Golden Gate Audobon Society, Save the Bay, League of Women Voters of Bay Area, Alameda County Fire, Contra Costa Central Labor Council, Citizens for East Shore Parks, Oakland Chamber of Commerce, public safety officers, as well as neighborhood, civic and Labor leaders, environmentalists, and more.
* Opponents believe that the fire control methods within Measure FF to control invasive species are nothing but an attempt to clear cutting trees and they believe that some invasive species are more drought resistant than native species and thus the elimination of invasive species is misguided. They believe that construction near parks should be built with ignition-resistant materials rather than by tree removal.
* Some believe that those who support removing these trees are misleading the community with false promises that cleared areas will be replanted with different vegetation, but they say that there are no such plans.
* Opponents to Measure FF say it includes the destruction of trees by chemical applications for “native plant restoration” and misguided fire hazard mitigation policies that actually cause greater fire danger.
* The use of pesticides to solve ecological imbalance is shortsighted. Pesticides harm anyone or anything in its pathway. Herbicides persists in the environment for decades, are endocrine disrupters, carcinogens, neurotoxic, cause chronic illness and ecological harm, including threatening endangered species. Opponents include: Forest Action Brigade, East Bay Pesticide Alert,
Save East Bay Hills, San Francisco Alliance, Fire and Cancer Survivors, Environmentalists, and park lovers.
Fiscal Effect: Measure FF is an extension of Measure CC (2004), and extends an existing parcel tax of $1 monthly ($12/year) per single-family parcel and 69 cents monthly ($8.28/year) for multi-family units. This measure would raise approximately $3.3 million annually, to expire in 20 years. The District’s voters previously authorized Measure CC, which is a special parcel tax assessment at the same rates that will expire on June 30, 2020. Passage of Measure FF will
allow the continued collection of the amounts currently collected by Measure CC when Measure CC expires, without raising taxes. Measure FF has built- in taxpayer safeguards that includes the same effective fiscal accountability and transparency requirements included in Measure CC and regularly practiced by the Park District and monitored by their Budget and Finance Committees Measure FF will appear on ballots in both Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the communities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Kensington, Oakland, Piedmont, Richmond, and San Pablo. If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure vote for approval, the proceeds of the tax will be used for specific purposes and
projects solely within western Alameda and Contra Costa counties, dedicated to East Bay Regional Parks.