Mayor Tornek Announces Immediate Action Must be Taken to Defend Against 710 Tunnel "Ambush"

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Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said Monday night that the city must urgently prepare a measure to repeal the 2001 initiative ordinance which promotes completion of the 710 Freeway while simultaneously readying for an “ambush” in November by forces in favor of building the tunnel extension.

The new repeal measure requires immediate action, said Mayor Tornek, because it will need to be ready in July to qualify for the November ballot.

It would repeal Measure A, the 2001 ordinance that positioned the City as squarely in favor of completing the “missing link” gap in the 710 Freeway connecting its current terminus at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra with the 210 Foothill Freeway in Pasadena.

“It’s my conclusion that soon after the November elections the City is going to get ambushed,” said Tornek, “and we will be confronted with a full court press to build that project. And we have got to be prepared to make a concentrated effort to prevent that from happening.

“So,” he continued, firing a shot across the bow of the 21 cities in favor of the project, “In order for us to be ready when this hits the fan after November, and I am sure it will, we must repeal Measure A … because Measure A restricts our ability to actively oppose the completion of the freeway. And that measure can only be repealed by a vote of the people.”

The final Environmental Impact Report for the project has not yet been released, but said Tornek, “the EIR…is being stalled, so that it doesn’t impede the vote on Measure R.” (Measure R is a new sales tax to fund public transportation.) Any suggestions we have made with Metro, with various boards, transportation officials in general, have generally been dismissed, because they don’t want to engage. We have been trying to get them to kill the project based on the tremendous evidence that has emerged over the course of the EIR and the comments thereto.”

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