Remember when it seemed as if SMART service to northern Sonoma County might become the defining issue for supervisorial candidates Mike McGuire and Debora Fudge?
McGuire unloaded on Fudge almost daily, beginning in late January, after the SMART board said it might not be able to start commuter rail service north of Petaluma until after 2014. The board subsequently disowned its plan to seek federal new-start dollars and SMART is still millions short due to declining sales tax revenue, but McGuire has eased up considerably on the issue.
We met with both candidates this week for endorsement interviews, and they both confirmed rumors that a truce was brokered about a month ago.
McGuire insisted he wanted to talk about jobs and the economy all along and added that he thinks SMART should start in Sonoma County and extend into Marin when funds are available.
Fudge said voters aren’t asking many questions about SMART. She also said the rail agency is talking with regional transportation officials about potential funding sources and acknowledged there have been discussions – but didn’t take a position – about postponing construction of the SMART bike path to free up money to help get rail service started in 2014 as promised.
— Jim Sweeney