The chair of the San Diego Association of Governments board said the agency needs to rebuild public trust after Voice of San Diego revealed executives there knowingly misled voters about how much money a November tax increase would have raised.
“I’d like to tell you we all knew about this, but we didn’t,” said Ron Roberts, a county supervisor who as the chair of the SANDAG board led the campaign to pass Measure A, a proposal to increase sales taxes a half-cent for 40 years that was defeated on Election Day.
“I wish as chair or even just as a board member, I had at least been made aware of this,” Roberts said. “I know there are board members who think I’m responsible for this, and that’s fine with me. But I never would have stood out there if I knew it was only going to raise $14 billion, and told people it would raise $18 billion.”
Months before SANDAG’s board put Measure A on the ballot, agency staffers recognized a major problem: Internal forecasts were dramatically overestimating how much money the tax would generate for regional transportation projects. They exchanged colorful and panicked emails about the discovery.