Metro chairman Gilbert Garcia told KUHF radio today that “What I’d be looking at is extending [payments to Harris County and 15 cities] to 2030 and then having another referendum at that time to determine where to go from there.” His proposal is to cap payments at 2014 levels, apparently until 2030.
Asked what the public was saying about the issue, Garcia said “The larger response has been ‘we need services now, whether that’s expanded bus service, whether that’s more shelters, and we need more rail, now.’ And so we’ve been receiving several hundred letters through emails and there’s been lots of commentary related to Metro getting back the full 25%. I think that’s having a pretty big influence already, but we’ll just have to see how the board feels as we continue to take more public comment.”
At the Metro board meeting today, Garcia proposed a new schedule for the decision. (See the schedule here.) From now through July 21 there will be community meetings, and on July 26, proposal options will be presented to the board. A decision about which proposal to accept would come on August 3, and the language of the ballot proposition would be approved on August 17, when an election would be called for November 6.
Watch a video of the board meeting here.