Who’s speaking up on SANDAG?

Thor's Assistant Rostra Administrator (Thor's Assistant) 10 Comments

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A few days ago, SD Rostra writer Brian Brady posted this on Facebook, including a link to a KUSI story from a few weeks prior (screenshot below)…

“I heard (Supervisor) Kristin Gaspar speak today and she was on fire. At present, she is the ONLY politician asking the hard questions about SANDAG. SANDAG is essentially a mafia-type agency, designed to enrich the few at the expense of the many.”

Brady’s post resulted in some interesting responses…

“Ouch Brady,” commented San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, “that’s me next to her… Kristin is amazing, that’s why I’m endorsing her for re-election!”

Vista Councilwoman Amanda Young Rigby also responded, “Not the only one, Brian. I’ve submitted two different Public Records Act requests (to SANDAG). The one they responded to begged more questions, prompting the second. They’re having such a hard time responding to my second one I have a meeting with counsel to discuss what I want to know vs. what they’re willing to tell me.” In an apparent reference to SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata, Rigby continued, “Someone needs to be reminded who he works for and that SANDAG is a public agency. Transparency is a thing … Kristin and Rebecca are awesome and they nail it every time. We must keep the pressure on from all sides.”

“Thanks Brian!” replied Gaspar. “I am thankful for Mayor Rebecca Jones. We are known as the disrupters at SANDAG. At first I was offended but now I recognize it is a compliment!”

Brady responded by clarifying his initial comment: “I didn’t mean to diminish the contributions Rebecca Jones and Amanda Young Rigby are making. I suppose you are the only one I am hearing Kristin … Keep up the heat and press harder.”

“Tune in to a Santee City Council Meeting sometime,” wrote Santee Councilwoman Laura Koval. “We have plenty to say (and I did again tonight).”

In reply, Brady asked, “Where are the Republican men on this? It seems like Kristin, Amanda, Rebecca, and Laura are doing all the heavy lifting.”

Others responded with praise for Supervisor Jim Desmond and Santee Mayor John Minto.

But you get the gist. Based on news coverage, it does at times appear that certain elected officials are carrying the water on the fight against SANDAG’s proposed efforts to utilize intended road and highway funds instead for transit projects.

Not everyone can be a SANDAG insider, nor can they attend the meetings to see firsthand who is championing the cause.

Mayors and councilmembers, as well as other politicos (regardless of party, regardless of gender), we’d like to know what you have done — or your city council has done — to hold SANDAG’s feet to the fire. Or, if you disagree with the approach by those noted above, let us know that as well. Readers, maybe you’ve noted your representative taking action… let us know.

Please comment below. If you’d like a longer response to be considered as a guest commentary, please let us know that as well — info@sdrostra.com.

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Comments 10

  1. “we’d like to know what you have done — or your city council has done — to hold SANDAG’s feet to the fire”

    FYI, y’all love “non-binding resolutions” so here’s an idea– draft one calling to disband SANDAG and have your Council vote on it.

    Too radical? Draft one which says “The City of XXXX is absolutely, positively opposed to any new tax proposals for SANDAG”.

    Still too radical? Here is an easy one; “The City of XXXX supports the immediate removal and replacement of the SANDAG Executive Director”

  2. A couple of electeds have been in contact with me to say, in essence, that TV coverage doesn’t equate to who is doing what on this issue. I think that’s kind of the point of this post. Like it says:

    “Based on news coverage, it does at times appear that certain elected officials are carrying the water … Not everyone can be a SANDAG insider, nor can they attend the meetings to see firsthand who is championing the cause.”

    Yep, that is the point. I know firsthand that most of the city elected officials in East County and Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey have been quite vocal about SANDAG.

    So, please share.

  3. Just listen to the meeting. You’ll see who said what. Nothing is better than first hand info.

  4. “SANDAG is essentially a mafia-type agency…”

    Anyone who is tired of the state of our political discourse stopped reading right there.

  5. “Anyone who is tired of the state of our political discourse stopped reading right there.”

    Good. It was targeted to anyone who is tired of politics as usual, not people interested in being politically correct.

  6. The reason I implore folks to listen to the meetings is because if you do your questions will be answered. Republican men leading the charge – Mayor Steve Vaus, Supervisor Jim Desmond and Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Those three along with non-Republican Mayor McNamara have done the heavy lifting behind the scenes to ensure our roads and highways are not forgotten. Especially critical evacuation routes such as the 67.

    First BIG thing that happened was Supervisor Desmond got the Board to vote that the controversial Five Big Moves include PRIORITIZING our most notably congested highway corridors. Second BIG thing was Mayors Vaus and McNamara getting the change in the Proposed FY 2020 Program Budget Amendment: Capital Improvement Program which moved funds toward designing much needed highway projects. This was a very close vote and was a substitute allocation that was not the staff recommendation.

  7. Post
    Author

    (Admin comment: Kristine Alessio is a member of the La Mesa City Council and the city’s rep on SANDAG).

    Council Member Alessio:

    Thanks very much, that’s exactly the kind of details we were seeking from someone directly involved.

    We too would encourage people to listen to the SANDAG meetings. We are however aware that such action may not be simple for many. In fact we’d even say that the bulk of those who care most about roads and highways could also be the same people who just wouldn’t have (or make) the time to attend, or maybe even listen to, a SANDAG meeting. That’s not an excuse for them, just the reality.

    So we truly appreciate hearing from someone who can provide a direct account and perspective.

  8. Brian,

    So now it is appropriate to substitute name-calling and invective for reasoned argument and respect for those you disagree with? And anyone who calls that out is simply out of touch and politically correct?

    By the way, when did “correct” become a negative term?

    If that mindset truly represents our future leadership, then I fear for our future.

  9. @HQ Let me gentler and walk through my choice of words.

    An organized group of people took money and agreed to spend it one way while purposely misdirecting those funds to enrich their friends. In the private sector, we would call them fraudsters.

    That organized group of people controls a monopoly on the use of and threat of force. I suppose “Mafia-like” was too kind a word. If I sound impatient with the electeds, it’s because I believe that government has become a group of thugs dressed up in Brooks Brothers’ suits.

    I choose to say “Stop! Thief!”

    I hope that does make you fearful for our future.

  10. “An organized group of people took money and agreed to spend it one way while purposely misdirecting those funds to enrich their friends.”

    Can you be more specific about who took money and who got enriched your so-called purposeful misdirection? Can you also cite any documentation to back up your claim?

    When answering about the misdirection, you may want to refer to the actual language of the 2004 ordinance

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vhswklymewlca91/Prop%20A%20language.pdf?dl=0

    Pay special attention to sections 16 and 17.

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