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Public weighs in on performance of controversial SANDAG executive director

The SANDAG executive committee covered a number of items at its Friday meeting, including a performance review of its executive director, Hasan Ikhrata.

Two subjects took most of the focus: disagreements over a road user charge, which some call a mileage tax, and Ikhrata’s job performance, including accusations of corruption and misspent public funds. Members of the public weighed in.

“I find it really offensive that our SANDAG wants to charge us more to be on the road when we haven’t even made our public transportation more accessible," said one who was specifically against a proposed road user charge that Ikhrata supports.

Hasan Ikhrata is shown in this undated photo.
San Diego Association of Governments
Hasan Ikhrata is shown in this undated photo.

“His lack of willingness to compromise or authentically engage and consider other points of view makes him deeply unsuitable for leading this topographically and demographically diverse region," said another opposed to Ikhrata's continued tenure at the transportation agency.

But there were others who applauded what they said was a better leadership and management style under Ikhrata, along with what they see as a serious approach to meeting climate change goals.

“Prior to Hasan, SANDAG was rife with corruption and now we’re seeing a lot more transparency and public involvement and engagement and I think that’s the right direction to go," said a supporter of Ikhrata.

“I want more of the direction that SANDAG’s going in, more transparency, more emphasis on public transit. You can fix roads, sure, but I want a break from the status quo, please," said another.

Though the item on the agenda said the executive committee would discuss Ikhrata’s performance, that didn’t happen in public. The committee members voted to have that discussion in executive session, in other words, in private.


Whatever they decide will be presented to the full SANDAG Board of Directors at their March 24 meeting. At that point, more may be known about Ikhrata’s future as head of SANDAG.