Mayors from the Tri-Valley have headed to Washington D.C. with the hope of bringing back some pork.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, held Jan. 17 through Jan. 19, is an annual tradition for the mayors from San Ramon, Pleasanton, Danville, Dublin and Livermore, although San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson didn't attend last year since he'd just been elected and he was still getting his bearings.
"For the past several months, mayors of the five Tri-Valley cities have gotten together to come up wit ha list of priority projects that the mayors feel are a priority to not to each city, but the region as a whole," said Assistant to the Town Manager Nat Rojanasathira.
The top priority project Mayor Newell Arnerich will jointly advocate for is the interstate 580/680/84 corridor project, which includes updates to Interstate 580 and the I-580/I-680 interchange, updates to a traffic operating system element and the widening of several portion of State Route 84 in Pleasanton. Arnerich will also push for funds to extend I-680 southbound HOV lanes from Geary Road to Livorna Road in Walnut Creek.
The mayors will also seek funding for the Iron Horse Trail overcrossings project, which will put bicycle and pedestrian crossings at several trail locations throughout the Valley. So far, a feasibility segment has been completed for a bridge over Bollinger Canyon Road -- which is set to cost approximately $1.9 million, Rojanasathira noted. Other potential locations include Crow Canyon and Sycamore Valley roads, Dougherty Road and Dublin Boulevard in Dublin.
Like his predecessor, Arnerich will continue to advocate for the development of iGATE, a state-of-the-art technology center that combines the resources of the Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories with regional business parks, high growth businesses and universities to build a collaborative environment that can create green technologies and jobs.
Finally, the mayors will continue a policy request advocating for the use of fees collected through cable franchises such as Comcast to be used for used for capital improvements and operations costs to run local television access stations.
The Washington trip is a bit unusual this year. For the last few years, the area was represented by Congressman Jerry McNerney. Redistricting sent McNerney to the Stockton area, and the newly created 15th district is now in the hands of a new congressman, Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin).
Former Dublin City Councilman and Alameda County prosecutor Swalwell defeated longtime incumbent Pete Stark, a Fremont Democrat who'd been endorsed by everyone from President Obama to Nancy Pelosi. Although he's new in Congress, Swalwell is familiar with Washington politics. He interned for Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher in 2001 and 2002.
While in Washington, both Arnerich and San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson will attend President Obama's second-term inauguration.