Pasadena Mayor Pursues Repeal of 2001 Measure Supporting 710 Extension (link): Hoping to bolster opposition to the 710 Freeway tunnel project, Mayor Terry Tornek is proposing a November ballot measure that would ask voters to repeal a 2001 vote supporting the completion of the freeway through the city.
Although the City Council voted in April 2015 to oppose the 710 Freeway’s completion as a tunnel project, Tornek said during a City Council meeting Monday that Measure A legally prevents the city from fighting the project.
The city attorney and outside counsel agreed in legal opinions provided to the city.
“The measure that voters approved would not allow the City of Pasadena to take affirmative steps opposing the completion of the 710 extension,” said City Attorney Michele Bagneris.
Tornek intends to ask the council to vote on a repeal on June 13. The council needs to finalize the measure’s language before a July deadline to make it on November’s ballot. By repealing the 2001 ordinance, Pasadena can fight against the project without restriction, Tornek said.
“As soon as we launch an effort, all it will take is one citizen to sue us and enjoin us from violating the provisions of Measure A, which can only be overturned by a vote of the people,” Tornek said.
Tornek said he believes the tunnel project has been purposefully stalled to avoid hurting Measure R2, the county’s proposed $120 billion transit tax on November’s ballot.
“Metro and the various transportation authorities are very anxious not to do anything that would rock the boat and jeopardize the adoption of Measure R,” he said.
After the vote in November, Tornek expects the tunnel proposal to come out of hibernation.
“The city is going to get ambushed and we’re going to be confronted with a full court press to build that project,” Tornek said Monday. “We have got to be prepared to make a concentrated effort to prevent that from happening.”
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