The board and staff of the San Diego Association of Governments are heading out to a retreat for the next few days at Barona Resort. (You can check in on them, if you want.)
It’s not on the agenda, but there may be some talk about our revelation this week that the agency’s leaders knew a tax increase from 2004 was bringing in far less money than they anticipated and promises about a new tax increase they were pitching to voters were based on the same faulty reasoning. The initiative would have brought in billions less than they were claiming jeopardizing many of the promises to build roads, transit and protect open space.
Tuesday, we checked in with Supervisor Ron Roberts, who is the chairman of SANDAG. In a recent op-ed, Roberts claimed SANDAG staff merely suspected the estimates were aggressive. He and staff have said it was only our reporting in October that spurred them to dig into the issue. Now, we know staff explicitly warned higher ups many months before of the consequences they faced.
“I wish as chair or even just as a board member, I had at least been made aware of this,” said County Supervisor Ron Roberts. “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.”