This past Monday, Voice of San Diego’s Andrew Keatts, revealed the story of the stunning public deception carried out by our regional planning agency, SANDAG, led by the agency’s executive director Gary Gallegos.
To recap, SANDAG put a sales tax measure on the ballot last November and it failed to garner the required 2/3 votes in part because organizations like BikeSD opposed the measure. SANDAG’s proposal was to raise $18 billion to spend on transportation projects, but a large portion of those funds would have gone toward expanding and building more highways—an attempt at marginal gains to address congestion problems in the region.
In Keatts’ piece, we learned that the revenue projections for the tax measure were inflated and yet, “the agency’s board of directors approved putting the $18 billion spending plan before voters.”
We already know that Gallegos is a man without any vision, given his statement, “Transit is not going to work for every person in the region.”
On Tuesday, Keatts, followed up on the SANDAG bombshell story with some statements from the agency’s board chair, Supervisor Ron Roberts who stated he had no idea what was going on with the organization because he wasn’t told anything.
For an agency managing one of the largest sources of public dollars, not knowing is simply not acceptable as a response. Supervisor Roberts can’t simply disregard this gross act of public deception and except the public to have faith in either his ability to govern or in the agency’s ability to solve the region’s problems related to transportation or even housing. Furthermore, having a leader running a government agency that lacks vision beyond the highway-centric one from sixty years ago isn’t the way forward.
The SANDAG Board of Directors is currently at a retreat this week and we have to make it clear that when they return from that retreat, we expect new staff leadership—no excuses.
So we are calling on SANDAG’s Gary Gallegos to step down as executive director.
Make the call to change the corrupt nature of one of our most important regional agencies:
Board Chairman Ron Roberts: (619) 531-5544
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer: (619) 236-6330
For more information please read this commentary by former BikeSD President, Andy Kopp.