In a surprise, mid-meeting development a funding package for the Sonoma-Marina Area Regional Transit District was approved, after the package failed to be approved during an earlier vote in the meeting of the Marin Transportation Board.

The change of heart, by Board Member Joan Lundstrom asked if she could change her vote. After the county counsel confirmed she was able to change her vote, they called the question a second time, and it passed by an 8-6 margin.

The $8 million bailout package had drawn out large crowds of the public, who left after the first vote and wasn’t present for the second. As a result, the Chairman of the Transportation Authority of Marin set aside the vote, opting to re-agendize the issue so the vote can be taken in front of the public.

From the Marin Independent Journal:

A Marin transportation board deadlocked then approved an $8 million bailout package for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit project late Thursday night – almost.

After a discussing the issue and taking public comment for almost three hours, the Transportation Authority of Marin voted 7-7 on a plan to shift the dollars to SMART so it can build a rail line from downtown San Rafael to Railroad Square in Santa Rosa.

At that point dozens of members of the public left the meeting at the Marin Civic Center thinking the money hadn’t been approved. But after a break, Joan Lundstrom of Larkspur said she wanted to change her vote, fearing a lack of approval could put a SMART-related pedestrian bridge over Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal at risk.

Read the full article here.