ATBD: Is it beneficial for taxpayers?

In 2012 the City of Auburn asked voters to approve a Road Improvement District. A public that may not have trusted our city government to use tax-generated funds wisely defeated the measure.

Without a vote of the people, our City Council later approved a Transportation Benefit District, which does not need voter approval to fritter away our tax dollars. The Auburn Transportation Benefit District (ATBD) is now considering the addition of a $20 fee to our vehicle licenses.

The Auburn Transportation Benefit District does not have regular meetings. On Dec. 14, I received an agenda for its Dec. 13, 2016 meeting in the mail. The meeting was at 2 p.m. The district has only met twice in 2016: on Feb. 12 and Dec. 13. It appears the only way to know what the TBD is up to is by going online every day to keep close tabs on an entity that most people in Auburn don’t know exists.

At a council study session our City Council got a lengthy report about how to redesign our roads in Auburn to make them safer. Plans can include landscape enhancements. With no money for redesign, our planning department will have to apply for grant funding, which, if we get, may only pay for the engineering. Think Transportation Benefit District.

In addition, be it known to all: all of our council members are on the board of directors of the Transportation Benefit District.

I only hope that people who are living in their cars in Auburn can afford the extra 20 bucks a year it will cost to license the old beater they call home.

– Virginia Haugen