Since 2001, Gary Gallegos has been the executive director at SANDAG, leading that agency through twists and turns of some massive transportation projects, and navigating the fraught politics of trying to raise taxes to pay for those projects. But 2017 will be his last year in that role. Gallegos said on Tuesday he plans to retire by the end of the year. He’s been meaning to retire, he said.
But Gallegos’ announcement to the Union-Tribune editorial board comes while SANDAG is caught in a tornado of troubles, Andrew Keatts writes. Fueled by Voice of San Diego reports, an investigation into SANDAG’s past errors and inaccurate forecasting have revealed dysfunction and possible attempts to deceive the public inside the agency. Additionally, state legislators are working on a new law called AB 805 that would change the power structure on SANDAG’s board and create auditing functions.
All of that is against a backdrop of SANDAG’s failure to convince voters in 2016 to raise taxes, and a successful 2004 tax increase that was meant to fund major infrastructure projects, but which may fall billions of dollars short of what the agency told voters it would raise, due to the agency’s own errors in calculations. Projects promised in that 2004 measure are also far more expensive than SANDAG admitted for many years.
The SANDAG board voted last week to review Gallegos’ performance in an upcoming closed-door session.
Prior to sending an email to SANDAG staff informing them of his decision, Gallegos told the Union-Tribune he plans to retire to a ranch in Colorado.
San Dieguito Disabled Students Kept Out of New Digs
San Dieguito High School district has for years moved from campus to campus its program that serves 18 to 22 year-old students with disabilities. The program is designed to help the young adults transition out of school and into adult life, and the special needs of the program result in frequent relocations. Maya Srikrishnan reports the district recently settled on a new home for the program at a newly remodeled middle school in Solana Beach, but don’t blink, because the program will have to be moved yet again.