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Big Money Behind Greenway's Effort to Block Passenger Rail in Santa Cruz County
by Santa Cruz News Group
Monday Nov 1st, 2021 6:18 PM
The 'Yes Greenway' campaign took $56,876.47 in contributions between July 26 and September 30, according to financial documents filed today, November 1 with the County of Santa Cruz (see attached PDF file). The 'Yes Greenway' campaign committee has been collecting signatures, and officially soliciting donations, since July of this year to put an initiative on the 2022 ballot that would block the establishment of clean, electric passenger rail service along the Coastal Rail Corridor in Santa Cruz County. Greenway has the potential to raise very large sums of money, having taken in over half a million dollars in contributions since the organization's founding in 2017. According to financial documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Santa Cruz County Greenway, Inc. took in $194,892.00 in 2017, and $305,698.00 in 2018 (see attached PDF files).
sm_yes-greenway-form-460-santa-cruz-january-through-september-2021.jpg
The Yes Greenway measure calls for the removal from Santa Cruz County's general plan all references to the establishment of passenger rail service, and the continued construction of the Rail Trail, in order to remove the train tracks in favor of a 'trail only' model. Multiple segments of the 'Rail Trail' have already been constructed, and are in use, in the cities of Santa Cruz and Watsonville (see attached photos). The Rail Trail plan preserves the existing train tracks, while adding a new bike and pedestrian trail along the edge of the rail corridor.

As a a 501(c)(4) 'dark money' organization, Santa Cruz County Greenway, Inc. is not required by law to disclose the identity of its donors. As a county campaign committee, however, Yes Greenway must disclose its top donors supporting the ballot initiative.

Top contributors to 'Yes Greenway':

$5,000 - John W. Ballard
$5,000 - William Menchine
$5,000 - Rowland K. Rebele
$5,000 - Miles Rieter, CEO Driscoll's Berries
$5,000 - Bill Simpkins
$5,000 - Robert Stephens
$1,039.04 - Jack Brown
$1,038.73 - Ed Colligan
$1,038.73 - Elizabeth Doolin
$1,038.73 - Carin Hanna, Owner of Craft Gallery, Capitola
$1,038.73 - Rick Magnuson, Managing Director, Orpheum Capital, LLC
$1,038.73 - Peter Meehan
$1,038.73 - Gayle Ortiz, Owner of Gayle's Bakery, Capitola
$1,000 - Jeremy Ertl
$1,000 - Suzanne Holt
$1,000 - Gerald Weber


Sources and More Information:

IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search
https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/

Santa Cruz County Campaign Reporting Documents for Yes Greenway
https://public.netfile.com/Pub2/AllFilingsByFiler.aspx?id=200915759
§Contributions to Santa Cruz County Greenway from 2018 IRS Form 990, Page 1
by Santa Cruz News Group
Monday Nov 1st, 2021 6:18 PM
sm_greenway-santa-cruz-county-inc-irs-form-990-donations-cash-contributions-grants-rail-trail.jpg
irs_form_990_-_santa_cruz_county_greenway__inc_2018.pdf_600_.jpg
irs_form_990_-_santa_cruz_county_greenway__inc_2017.pdf_600_.jpg
§San Lorenzo River Parkway Trestle Trail Project, City of Santa Cruz
by Santa Cruz News Group
Monday Nov 1st, 2021 6:18 PM
sm_san_lorenzo_river_parkway_trestle_trail_project_city_of_santa_cruz_rail_trail.jpg
Photo Credit: City of Santa Cruz
§Watsonville Rail Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
by Santa Cruz News Group
Monday Nov 1st, 2021 6:18 PM
sm_watsonville_rail_trail_santa_cruz_county.jpg
Photo Credit: Santa Cruz County Friends of the Rail & Trail (FORT)
https://www.facebook.com/railandtrail
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RE: When will newer filings be available?Santa Cruz News GroupFriday Nov 5th, 2021 3:15 PM
When will newer filings be available?David DeanFriday Nov 5th, 2021 12:19 PM
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