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Roundtable: SANDAG’s Loss, Zombie Spending, Infrastructure Ideas, Oceanside Feud

Evening Edition

Logan Jenkins, a reporter for U-T San Diego, talks to KPBS about newly re-elected Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood. Three of the five members of Oceanside's City Council want to oust him from his seat on the SANDAG board.

Aired 12/7/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Andrew Keatts, Voice of San Diego

Eric Wolff, U-T San Diego

Craig Gustafson, U-T San Diego

Logan Jenkins, U-T San Diego


SANDAG's Regional Transportation Plan Gets Run Over: A San Diego County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that challenged the San Diego Association of Governments' Regional Transportation plan.

The plan, which received much public comment before adoption, called for spending $200 billion over 40 years, primarily on highways and local roads and also on public transportation. The construction is funded by a half-cent sales tax extended by voters in 2004.

But SANDAG's plan also allowed the county to increase greenhouse gas emissions over 30 of its 40 years, from 2020 to 2050. A 2008 executive order signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger calls for a reduction during that period.

The RTP was vigorously opposed by environmentalists because of its highways-first approach, which they said would further promote the region's automobile culture, rather than offer attractive alternatives.

SANDAG could choose to appeal the ruling or the association could modify the plan to address the court's concerns and stay out of court.

Senator Faults San Diego Zombie Spending: U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), has released a report which faults spending by the Department of Homeland Security, quite a bit of it in San Diego.

Cited prominently in the report is the “zombie attack,” staged for firefighters and emergency medical technicians on Mission Bay.

Most media outlets reporting on Coburn's outrage mentioned the zombie event prominently. It is not often that news outlets are able to use the words "Homeland Security" and "zombie" in the same sentence.

HALO Corporation, a San Diego-based company which staged the zombie attack, used a zombie apocalypse to simulate a combat-style event.

Other San Diego expenses cited as wasteful by Coburn, who is a consistent and vigorous critic of DHS, were a cyber-security program aimed primarily at children and the purchase of flat-screen TVs and video cameras (mounted around Mission Bay), all city of San Diego expenses.

San Diego County came in for criticism, too. The sheriff's Department purchased armored vehicles and a long-range acoustic device.

Todd Gloria's Infrastructure Adventure: In his City Council inauguration speech, Todd Gloria suggested ways to address some $900 million in delayed or halted infrastructure projects. Some took Gloria's comments as floating the idea of a half-cent sales tax hike, but Gloria later told KPBS that's not true.

The backlog includes street, building and sewer repairs.

Gloria, also the newly elected council president, mentioned previous tax increases to raise money for infrastructure repairs in his speech, including the TransNet tax extended by voters in 2004 and Proposition MM.

A potential tax-hike has already been called “outlandish” by the pro-business Lincoln Club. Gloria, however, feels that San Diegans may be ready to fund improvements, although they declined to do so two years ago.

Oceanside's Popular Mayor Under Attack by Council Majority: Three of the five members of Oceanside's City Council want to oust newly re-elected mayor Jim Wood from his seat on the SANDAG board.

While this week a San Diego judge ruled that SANDAG's Regional Transportation Plan is top-heavy with new roads, highways and lanes for automobiles, the Oceanside council majority wants more of each. They believe Wood has not advocated for highways sufficiently

The council may move to change the way that appointment is made, which would effectively remove Wood from the SANDAG board.

Not surprisingly, in a city that has seen its share of recalls and other political dust-ups, Wood is fighting back, threatening a lawsuit and more recalls.

This story previously mischaracterized Todd Gloria's speech. It has been corrected.

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Avatar for user 'jackkshu'

jackkshu | December 7, 2012 at 1 p.m. ― 4 years, 3 months ago

SANDAG may say they are completing transit projects. However, they have not changed their funding allocations for projects or even consider alternative plans based on a re-allocation. Thus freeway projects are proceeding just as as they have 10, 20 years ago. We need SANDAG to change it's approach to transportation planning as well as to make transit first. People will take transit as well as walk and bike if we invest in building communities that are based on such forms of transportation. Ask anyone who is stuck in traffic, when gas costs $4 + a gallon, if they would like the option to take an fast, efficient transit system.

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Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | December 7, 2012 at 1:55 p.m. ― 4 years, 3 months ago

SANDAG is the Regional Planners on more than just Traffic and Transportation projects. TRANSNET funds can be spent on Regional Infrastructure within the City of San Diego with just the majority vote of SANDAG members. For Weighted Votes, the City and County of San Diego together already has 40 percent of the vote because the City has over 42 percent of the population (1,376,173 people in the City of San Diego / 3,224,432 people on the full County of San Diego) within its limits.

See SANDAG's Bylaws Article IV, Section 5 (d) on Page 5.

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Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | December 7, 2012 at 1:59 p.m. ― 4 years, 3 months ago

SANDAG's was required to put a ballot measure on the November 6, 2012 election to fund not only Transportation projects, but also Quality of Life projects.

TRANSNET money can be used specifically to fund capital improvements to the City of San Diego's failing infrastructure where infill development and increased density is planned. Including, but not limited to, Integrated Regional Infrastructure, Habitat Conservation, Shoreline Preservatiion, Water Supply, Wastewater, Storm Water, Energy, Education, Parks, Open Space, and Water Quality Enhancement. SANDAG TRANSNET can be used for Sustainable Development that reduces Green House Gases and promoting transit oriented development.


"Quality of Life Funding Strategy. "There are many critical infrastructure needs facing the region, with limited resources available to meet them. As the San Diego region continues to change, we must regularly assess the ability of our infrastructure to handle that change and to maintain our quality of life. Because of the lack of available resources at the national and state level to help finance transportation and other regional and local infrastructure needs, regions are increasingly being asked to leverage or match state and federal funds with local money or programs that help fill the infrastructure gaps.

"The Integrated Regional Infrastructure Strategy (IRIS) is a component of the Regional Comprehensive Plan (RCP) adopted by the SANDAG Board in July 2004. Developed in response to the need to manage demand for infrastructure services as the region continues to grow, the IRIS provides a framework for better integrating long-range planning with short-term capital expenditures for key region-serving infrastructure areas.

"Through a comprehensive infrastructure inventory and evaluation, needs assessment and identification of policy and investment options, the IRIS found that the overall need for infrastructure is greater than available resources. While most of the region’s infrastructure providers have a system in place to address these needs and prioritize expenditures, the IRIS identified three regional infrastructure areas that are significantly underfunded and lack dedicated funding streams: habitat conservation, shoreline preservation, and water quality enhancement.

"... the measure included a requirement for the SANDAG Board of Directors to “act on additional regional funding measures (a ballot measure and/or other secure funding commitments) to meet long-term requirements for implementing habitat conservation plans in the San Diego region.” The current deadline outlined in the TransNet Extension Ordinance for meeting this commitment is November 2012 (EMP Principle No. 10, amended November 20, 2009).

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