North County Report: New SANDAG Chair Under Fire for Climate Comments - Voice of San Diego

News UNVEILING THE UNSEEN

North County Report: New SANDAG Chair Under Fire for Climate Comments

Celebrities are getting in on the effort to take down Rep. Darrell Issa, hundreds say goodbye to an Escondido firefighter and more in our weekly roundup of North County news.

Terry Sinnott / Photo courtesy of Resolusean Photography

The San Diego Association of Governments is the regional planning agency, and one of its primary roles is to help the county meet state climate change goals.

So when KPBS’s Andrew Bowen asked newly elected Chairman Terry Sinnott, a Del Mar city councilman, if climate change was driven by humans, Sinnott’s response raised a lot of eyebrows.

“I don’t get into that situation,” Sinnott said. “It’s a debatable issue that the board talks about. We have representatives from all 18 cities and the county of San Diego, and they bring their political thoughts in when they make decisions. My job is to facilitate and make sure we make progress and stick to the mission of our agency.”

In response, three members of the Del Mar’s Sustainability Advisory Board and a former councilman called for the City Council to remove Sinnott as its SANDAG representative, KPBS reported.

After reassuring the Council that he supports the city’s climate action plan and that he believes humans drive climate change, Sinnott said his job at SANDAG is to build consensus around policy – not divide.

While most of the Council appeared relieved by Sinnott’s comments, Deputy Mayor Dave Druker said he’d found them “upsetting” because consensus is achieved by agreeing on facts, and some people aren’t willing to accept that climate change is driven by humans.

“It’s extremely important to Del Mar that that be the message to SANDAG – that they need to solve this problem with the regional transportation plan,” Druker said.

Ultimately, the City Council kept him as its representative.

Celebrities Targeting Issa

Flip the 49th!, a political action committee that was formed to defeat Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, released to the Union-Tribune a list of its donors ahead of the federal filing deadline, revealing a number of celebrity donors.

The biggest donations came from actress Jane Fonda, for $100,000, and comedian Bill Maher, who gave $15,000. Former Sen. Barbara Boxer and actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Ted Danson also gave money.

So far, the group has raised about $440,000, but only reported spending $12,500 on a consultant for yard signs and materials for canvassing, according to the U-T.

Meanwhile, Ellen Montanari, who’s led the regular protests outside Issa’s office for the past year, stopped by the VOSD podcast to talk about the effort to oust Issa and what she’s learned in her year of activism.

This week, Issa and another endangered Southern California congressman, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, voted no again on the GOP tax bill, which they have both said could raise taxes on their constituents.

A Firefighter Falls

Escondido resident Cory Iverson was killed last week fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County as part of Cal Fire’s San Diego team. Iverson has been with Cal Fire since 2009, as an engineer, and leaves behind a wife and daughter, with another child on the way.

Cal Fire San Diego Chief Tony Mecham said the 17-member team was working in a “very active part of the fire” but had been pulled off the lines.

The Thomas Fire is on track to be one of the largest fires in the state’s history, having consumed more than 270,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 homes. Cal Fire reports about 6,500 fire personnel have been brought in to help.

A procession for Iverson was held Sunday along Highway 101, from Ventura to Orange counties, and along Interstate 15 in San Diego County. Hundreds of firefighters and law enforcement officers, along with residents, captured the procession on social media.

Also in the News

Show Comments
Loading

We’re striving for the best possible discussion and may delete comments using our editorial judgment. All comments containing links will be reviewed by VOSD staff before they are published.
Read our full comment policy.
For longer comments, consider submitting an op-ed to Voice of San Diego.
Read the guidelines here.

We have recently updated our commenting system. If you are unable to submit a comment, please clear the cache and cookies in your browser, or use a private browsing window. Click here for detailed instructions.