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Byline: Michelle Guido and Noam Levey
Aug. 8--Despite last minute negotiations, two Santa Clara County supervisors said Monday they will not support putting a transportation sales tax on the ballot until 2002, effectively killing the chance that the board would ask voters in November to bring BART to downtown San Jose.
Now, if voters are to decide on BART this fall, a proposal will have to come from the Valley Transportation Authority on Wednesday. But the chances of that ballot measure passing are questionable because it will require a two-thirds vote, not the simple majority needed for the supervisors' plan.
The announcement from supervisors Jim Beall and Blanca Alvarado throws a roadblock in front of the effort to extend BART to San Jose, an idea first debated 20 years ago and reignited by San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales and a coalition of high-tech leaders.
BART supporters argue that the rail extension will transform commute and development patterns in an area choked by lengthening commutes and skyrocketing housing costs.
Supervisors don't disagree, but some have questioned the rush. In a surprise move Monday, Alvarado and Beall circulated a memo outlining a plan to place a sales tax measure on the November 2002 ballot. Their proposal includes a timeline for public input and an affordable housing fund generated from the sales tax measure.
"I am disappointed and frustrated," said Gonzales after reviewing the memo. Gonzales has …