Despite representing different geographic areas and coming from different parties, the SANDAG board often votes in lockstep even on the most controversial issues. Many board members say that’s because they rely on the SANDAG staff to lay out issues and recommendations. But that doesn’t always go well.
At a SANDAG board meeting in December 2016, for example, the transportation agency’s staff admitted it had been relying on a faulty economic forecast, resulting in a massive revenue shortfall.
One might expect the board of directors to have a lot to say to staff about that, or at least something to say. But instead – crickets.
Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey, who sits on the SANDAG board, says that needs to change and that it’s as much an indictment of board members as it is of SANDAG staff. He joined Andrew Keatts, Scott Lewis and Sara Libby on the podcast this week to talk about how the SANDAG scandal has spurred him to ask more questions and become a more vocal and active member of the board.
“There have been many instances where the board essentially rubber-stamped what staff put in front of them,” he said. “It’s been difficult for the board to really understand the magnitude of the [forecasting] error because we have to rely so much on staff. So over the past several weeks, I have been raising a lot of these questions.”
Bailey also talks about his push for a suicide barrier on the Coronado-San Diego Bay Bridge.
Also on the podcast, Keatts, Lewis and Libby discuss recreation councils, and the current push to overhaul the process that lets city money flow through the independent nonprofits. Plus: the never-ending feud over vacation rentals and how to regulate them.
Hero of the Week
Our hero this week is Diana Ocampo, whose story was featured this week on VOSD’s I Made it in San Diego podcast. At the top of her career, Ocampo was diagnosed with cancer and ended up losing the business she built. But she didn’t stay down for long, and instead built a new successful business.
Goat of the Week
This week, Bonnie Dumanis gets the goat The former district attorney claims she didn’t know Mexican businessman José Susumo Azano Matsura was a foreign national despite meeting with him on several occasions. Azano has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for illegally donating to her mayoral campaign, and other local campaigns.