Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas backed SANDAG’s Measure A, successfully lobbied for a tax increase in Chula Vista to fund infrastructure upgrades and boosts housing developments in the South Bay and beyond. But both she and Chula Vista still struggle to get a seat at the table when it comes to SANDAG and the projects it oversees.

SANDAG staffers tried to be forthcoming about the agency’s forecasting failure in an early draft of an op-ed eventually published under SANDAG board chair Ron Roberts’ name, according to emails obtained by Voice of San Diego. The final product obscured the extent of the agency’s error, and introduced an inaccurate claim.

The bill would not only give each of the cities on the SANDAG board a vote proportional to their population — making San Diego and Chula Vista far more powerful — it would make San Diego’s mayor the permanent chair of both SANDAG and the Metropolitan Transit System.

The cost of SANDAG’s highest-profile projects, the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project to extend the Blue Line north to the UCSD campus, is especially high for a light-rail project. But there is a change SANDAG could consider that would reduce the price tag and take advantage of both existing light-rail lines and the Coaster rail line.