FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – After six hours of debate inside Fresno City Hall, the 11 members of the Fresno Council of Governments voted “Yes” to move Measure C onto the ballot in November.

As leaders from each of Fresno County’s incorporated cities discuss a plan to renew Measure C, residents from every corner of the county asked them to hold off until 2024.

“In 30 years, we will be living with what you do now. Please! Think of the community,” said one resident.

“To quote Mayor Dyer earlier today, it’s a 30-year tax and we need to get it right. The way to get it right is through robust meaningful community engagement and this has not happened,” another added.

Right now, Measure C ends in 2027. But the members of the Fresno Council of Governments say their polling shows strong support for renewing the half-cent sales tax for transportation projects now.

Since the 1980s, Measure C has been approved in 20-year increments. But now the Fresno Council of Government’s proposal would extend it an extra 10 years until 2056. $6.8 billion are on the line – and it has been meticulously divided up between jurisdictions and various transportation projects.

But just as the first plan was introduced, Fresno’s Mayor Jerry Dyer proposed an alternative – which is what the council did vote yes for.

“We have put together a program that allows for more flexibility in addressing those individual needs within our jurisdictions.”

Dyer says the City of Fresno’s alternative plan would give each jurisdiction more money and more control – while addressing needs like public transit, which he says the original plan doesn’t do enough for.

Other leaders say they were caught off guard by the proposal. Some of those speaking at public comment just want the council to hold off entirely.

“Am I in favor of Measure C? Of course, I’m in favor of Measure C because the cities cannot do without that funding…but like everyone else saying, maybe we need to be patient,” another resident said.

The motion will still need to be passed by the Fresno County Transportation Authority before it can go on the ballot in November.