Silicon Valley exec named to powerful state transportation board
A Silicon Valley transportation leader has been named to a powerful state government transportation board, offering the Northern California valley a rare opportunity to influence nearly $2 billion in transportation dollars that lawmakers in Sacramento will divvy up in coming years.
Carl Guardino, 45, chief executive of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, is only the second person from the South Bay ever named to the California Transportation Commission, which allocates construction funds for highway, passenger rail and transit improvements throughout California.
His appointment by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was announced Wednesday. Guardino has spearheaded numerous tax measure campaigns for new roads and rail lines in Santa Clara County. He has served as president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group since 1997, formerly the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group. From 1995 to 1997, he served as government affairs director for Hewlett Packard. Prior to that, he served as vice president for SVMG from 1991 to 1995.
Guardino is a leading advocate of the Bay Area Rapid Transit expansion into San Jose, and he is likely to push efforts to secure millions more in state funds for that project.
The CTC allocated $364 million in January for the BART San Jose extension, the largest infusion of state funds for the project in seven years.
Guardino's appointment will take effect March 1, one day after the state agency is scheduled to vote on how to parcel out the first $4.5 billion in Proposition 1B funds. California voters approved the $19.9 billion Proposition 1B transportation bond measure in November and the funds are set to be allocated throughout the state over the next several years.
About $1.8 billion is available to Northern California, and rural regions are seeking about half that amount.
Five of the nine transport board commissioners are from Southern California and three are from the Bay Area.