File photo by Vito Di Stefano

San Diego’s small cities say there is an imbalance of power on the board of the region’s transportation agency. And now, they want to level the playing field.

Board members representing 10 San Diego cities on the San Diego Association of Governments are requesting that the board stop using its weighted vote practice.

Some background: The weighted vote system, which was put in place by AB 805 in 2017, put regional decisions in the hands of the county’s largest jurisdictions: San Diego, San Diego County and Chula Vista.

The group of small cities hope to make a case against the weighted vote at a board meeting this month. Their goal, though, is not to change state law. Instead, they plan to ask the other cities a favor – that they agree to no longer use the weighted vote system moving forward.

Right now, San Diego, San Diego County and Chula Vista represent 57 percent of the board’s vote. The 10 cities – Del Mar, Coronado, San Marcos, Poway, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Vista, Escondido, El Cajon and Santee – collectively represent 24 percent of the board’s vote.

Read the full story here.

Environment Report: Public Power in Orange County Is in Trouble. 

North Park Towers-6
A shadow of power lines along the alley behind North Park Towers / Photo by Ariana Drehsler for Voice of San Diego

One of California’s biggest public power companies is losing big customers less than a year after it began to sell energy following political turmoil and transparency concerns that start with its leadership. 

Orange County Power Authority has been trying to fire Brian Probolsky, its chief executive officer, for months as well as its general counsel Ryan Baron of Best Best and Krieger law firm, after multiple failed audits of the agency. Baron also serves as general counsel on contract with San Diego Community Power. The city of Irvine has pledged to stay and clean-up the clean power company, a promise some of its council members will keep, they say, as long as they see changes in leadership.

Voice of San Diego’s MacKenzie Elmer recounts the saga as reported by Noah Biesiada at a fellow nonprofit journalism outlet, Voice of Orange County. 

Read the Environment Report here.

Bonus Podcast Episode: How to Find Control While Homeless

Housing navigator Levi Giafaglione of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the East Village on Dec. 20, 2022.
Housing navigator Levi Giafaglione of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the East Village on Dec. 20, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

On this VOSD Podcast bonus episode, host Scott Lewis interviews Levi Giafaglione about his experience with homelessness.

Giafaglione, now a housing navigator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, opens up about how he first became homeless while living in Los Angeles, how he navigated the constant change and challenges of living with unhoused communities — drugs, cold nights, complicated shelter systems and lack of control. 

Listen to the episode here

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