Sebastopol council supports $10 vehicle registration fee vote

The Sebastopol City Council on Friday endorsed a proposal to put a $10 vehicle registration fee on the June ballot to raise money for buses, school safety and bike paths.

The council stressed, however, that it wanted assurances that 15 percent would go to Safe Routes to Schools and 12 percent to bike and pedestrian paths.

"It would be critical funding to alternative transportation rather than roads or cars," said Mayor Sarah Gurney.

The council voted 4-0, with Councilwoman Linda Kelley absent, for Vice Mayor Guy Wilson to approve the measure at a meeting Friday afternoon of the Sonoma County Transportation Authority.

The authority is proposing that a $10 fee increase be put on the June ballot, raising $105 million over 20 years.

Under the proposal, 69 percent of the funds would go to Sonoma County's four bus systems to restore some of the service cuts that have been implemented in the past three years as California has withheld and reduced funds.

The authority would keep 4 percent as administrative costs.

The proposal allocates 15 percent to Safe Routes to Schools, a program that educates children and parents about walking and riding to school and advocates for infrastructure changes.

Twelve percent would be for bicycle and pedestrian paths.

Lynn Deedler of Sebastopol told the council that the bike path percentage should be increased and believes it could help the measure pass.

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