On election night, two area Republican mayors were excitedly congratulating themselves on some of the cities around the region electing new GOP mayors, most particularly John McCann in Chula Vista, Dane White in Escondido, and John Franklin in Vista.
These two mayors’ shared view, at least in the flurry of election night, was that the majority hold by Democrats at SANDAG was being broken, specifically in the “weighted vote” scenario when Chula Vista has often voted with the City of San Diego on controversial issues such as the Regional Transportation Plan and related road user fees.
The two mayors’ thinking was that with more Republicans representing cities on the SANDAG board, especially Chula Vista, it would literally gut the ability for the weighted vote to be used. In many cases, that voting mechanism has been utilized by the larger cities to impose their wills on many of the other municipalities throughout the region.
The two Republican mayors were ecstatic.
My take was a little different. What if the majority of Democrats on any city councils around the region with a Republican mayor actually decide on the nuclear option, to refuse their mayor a seat at SANDAG? What happens then?
Enter Vista, Tuesday night. See the Voice of San Diego Morning Report excerpt…
Vista Won’t Have Representation on SANDAG
“The Vista City Council on Tuesday couldn’t agree on who will be their representative on the regional transportation agency’s board, so they decided not to choose anyone.
“John Franklin, the newly elected Republican mayor, nominated himself for the position, but couldn’t get approval from three members of the now Democratic council majority.
“At one point during the meeting, Franklin said he would rather choose no one, then choose someone who supports charging drivers for every mile they drive.
“After a roughly six hour long meeting, the council decided not to send anyone to represent them, forfeiting their vote on SANDAG’s board, for now.”
Here’s Voice’s entire Morning Report.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter what happens in the rest of the County. San Diego has 50% of the weighted vote at SANDAG. Very little can be done to remove their complete control of the agency and the money that the rest of us send there in our taxes. The only effective tool that the rest of the board has is to deny a quorum. The only tool the voters have is to deny them any more money on election day. If a seat sits empty then it’s an automatic action for quorum denial. Voice at the table you say? Pffft you think they (San Diego) care what you think?
Mr. Jones is unfortunately correct. The City of San Diego and the County are both solidly Democrat controlled and need only pick off two other small city votes to continue to have complete control of SANDAG.
With that being said, congrats to the newly elected local officials. May your service to your community be rewarding and beneficial.