SANDAG must transform itself into a new kind of organization, ready to deal with 21st century problems, and make restoring the public trust its No. 1 priority.
New arguments emerge against AB 805, the governor signs two new bills from local lawmakers, San Diego County spent more than half a million dollars lobbying so far this year and more in our weekly roundup of news from Sacramento.
In recent weeks, a few new arguments have popped up from opponents of AB 805, a state measure written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher that would overhaul the scandal-plagued San Diego Association of Governments.
Gary Gallegos has announced plans to leave SANDAG by year’s end. Scandal has consumed the agency for nearly a year after Voice of San Diego revealed the agency failed to disclose a series of major problems facing the agency’s sales-tax funded transportation program.
On this week’s podcast, hosts Andrew Keatts and Scott Lewis read excerpts from the independent investigation of SANDAG and break down its most shocking findings.
That SANDAG told staffers to hide and delete records is perhaps the most shocking revelation to come from a bombshell report this week, but it isn’t the only major discovery in the document. The report also found that witnesses urged investigators to look into other major issues, that the agency’s chief and board chair misled board members and the public after the scandal broke and that the agency has been crippled by mismanagement.
An outside investigation commissioned by SANDAG details steps agency staff members took to keep information from the public as its forecasting scandal was beginning to unfold.
Full reform at SANDAG includes AB 805 in concert with new staff leadership. One will not be successful without the other.
An internal document obtained by Voice of San Diego shows that SANDAG staffers offered SANDAG board members and the public explanations for its ongoing scandal that they knew were false or incomplete. It also shows the agency discussed how it had misled voters on a 2004 ballot measure but declined to tell the board or the public.
Current and former San Diego Association of Governments board members said staff should have specifically flagged for the board that the agency had drastically cut down the amount of money it expected to raise from a 2004 tax increase months before the board decided to put it a measure on the ballot that predicted a much higher total.