Following nearly two hours of discussion, the Pasadena City Council last night agreed to consider in closed session Mayor Terry Tornek’s recommendation to hold a special election in November to repeal Measure A, the 2001 measure which placed Pasadena firmly in favor of completing the 710 Freeway extension.
Tornek has said he made the recommendation because he believes repealing Measure A would allow the city to aggressively oppose the construction of the proposed 710 Freeway Tunnel, something he predicts will be a very real possibility if Metro wins the $120 billion in funding voters are expected to approve in the next elections.
While the Council is unanimous in its opposition to the proposed plan to build a 4.5 mile tunnel from Valley Boulevard in Alhambra to the current beginning of the 210 Freeway near California Boulevard, the Council was torn as to the timing and effectiveness of a November vote.
The Mayor had hoped for a vote on the issue Monday evening.
“This is the quiet time,” he said, in explaining the importance and urgency of a vote in November. “I think the circumstances have changed (since 2001). I thought that interest in building the tunnel had waned. But it has definitely not.”
Mayor Tornek added that the Five-City coalition (of which Pasadena is a member) against the 710 Tunnel “still feels that the push is there.”
Tornek told the Council that once the November election has passed, he is convinced the 21 cities in favor of the tunnel project will exert pressure to complete the tunnel.
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