Monday, July 31, 2017

Is SANDAG's board corrupt or just incompetent?

Voice of San Diego: SANDAG Staff Knew About 2004 Voter Deception But Didn’t Tell the Current Board:
In an investigative series, Voice of San Diego has revealed that SANDAG misled the public on two separate ballot measures. One was passed 13 years ago, after the agency told voters the tax would bring in far more than the agency actually expected.

After our stories, SANDAG staff has faced questions from its board of directors and the public.

To answer them, staff members dug into the situation. In November 2016, they produced an internal presentation that explicitly spelled out how the agency had drastically scaled back the amount it expected to raise from TransNet, a 2004 ballot measure. In recent months, SANDAG staff have made a series of pronouncements about what happened that now look questionable.

The presentation not only spells out that voters were misled on the 2004 ballot, as Voice of San Diego reported earlier this month. It also shows that agency staffers were aware of the 2004 deception last year, in the weeks just after the scandal broke. But as the agency worked to explain away new revelations, it never disclosed the 2004 issue to the board or public despite repeated opportunities to do so.
Encinitas' representative on the board at the time of both the 2016 deception and the cover-up of the 2004 deception was former ethics professor Lisa Shaffer. Shaffer fought vehemently to retain her SANDAG seat when former Mayor Kristin Gaspar attempted to appoint herself instead. Yet despite continuing to offer her opinion on public issues, Shaffer has not come forward to explain how she performed her oversight role while SANDAG was deceiving the public.

In December 2016, with Mayor Catherine Blakespear now representing Encinitas at SANDAG, staff gave a 37-minute presentation on the false forecasts. VOSD has board member reactions.


  1. Shaffer and Kranz both voted to support SANDAG and their corrupt or incompetent study and position - they have some explain'n to do!

  2. "Is SANDAG's board corrupt or just incompetent?"

    Good question!

    1. Both. SANDAG has violated the public trust by violating state law re California Public Records Act.

  3. Shaffer and Kranz both have a history of relying exclusively on "staff" in Encinitas. Why would they do anything differently at SANDAG?

    SOP for those two.

  4. Psychopaths, all of them. Evil, deviant, I/We know better than you- do as I/We say and shut up and pay your taxes.

  5. I don't get it.

    They were asking the electorate to vote for a new tax, right?

    And the tax revenue turned out to be smaller than they said, right?

    If it was nefarious, wouldn't they have projected a smaller tax, and hidden the fact that it was a much larger tax.

    I don't understand the scandal of a tax vote where the sales pitch overestimated the magnitude of the tax revenues.

    1. Sounds as if you're confusing rate and revenue.

      The rate was supposed to produce a certain level of revenue. That revenue would produce public benefits. Less revenue, fewer benefits, same rate.

      It was a bait and switch.

    2. Still doesn't make sense.

      Revenue still equals spending.

      Is your argument that you wish they were taking more of your money so that the list of projects promised gets done?

      They collected less money, and are funding less projects than they projected.

      Isn't the standard complaint that the government does the opposite of that?

    3. The tax rate is the same!

    4. When you go to the store to buy milk, do you pay a rate, or do you pay in dollars?

      Would you rather pay more dollars or less dollars?

    5. One more try.

      It was a proposed sales tax increase. They exaggerated the revenue it would produce and, therefore, the benefits from the revenue.

      The pitch was if voters approve the increase, they'll get the bigger benefits. But the real benefits would have been smaller.

      Bait was big benefits. Switch was to smaller benefits. The tax rate was the same.

      What you're thinking is low rate, high rate. That wasn't the choice.

    6. So, they provided less benefits than promised, right?

      And they took less of our money (individually and collectively) than projected, right?

      And you choose to see one side of that equation only, and call it a scandal.

      How silly.

    7. 10:39,

      Faulty logic. There's no sales tax on milk. But if there were, you'd still pay your 31 cents on a $4 taxable gallon of milk.

      What SANDAG did is promise that a bunch of nonexistent people would buy nonexistent taxable milk, enough to pay for a bunch of freeways and trolleys.

    8. 6:50 a.m. exemplifies what's happened over the last few decades in the US. It's a mega-failure of primary and secondary education. It has become generational. Dummies are making more dummies.

    9. When you can't argue facts, call people names.

      SANDAG 2004: If you vote for TRANSNET, we're going to confiscate $14.2B from local taxpayers and use it to build freeway and choo-choo trains.

      SANDAG today: Based on newer projections of population and economic growth, it looks like we are only going to confiscate $12.9B from local taxpayers, so we're going to build slightly less freeway and choo-choo trains.

      EU Hoi Palloi: SCANDALOUS!!!!!

      Normal folks: [yawn]

    10. 9:39, I think you're the outlier. VOSD, the U-T, and Sacramento legislators have all taken a keen interest in the SANDAG scandals.

    11. 9:39 The facts have been well-argued. You fail to understand them.

  6. Difference between Shaffer/Kranz and Stocks:
    Stocks got us Santa Fe under crossing - GOOD
    Shaffer/Kranz got us the rail trail on the East Side - BAD (and wasted $)
    Stocks read the reports and went along with staff - GOOD/BAD
    Shaffer/Kranz didn't read the reports and went along with staff - BAD/BAD

  7. Shaffer is to ethics as Trump is to competency.

  8. All people in government are incapable of telling the truth.

  9. Having worked with people at SANDAG, I would vote for incompetent. The staff does almost all the legwork, then the board members vote on it. Board members sit on multiple boards, that meet once or twice a month. You're not going to get a lot of board members questioning their staff, ie, questioning whether they information they're presenting is totally wrong or an outright lie...


  10. According to VOSD, staff was instructed to delete draft documents and MORE, before CPRA (California Public Records Act) requests were submitted. This happened the very day that the discrepancies in projected monies to be collected were publicly disclosed.

  11. I was told that Pam Slater-Price was on the SANDAG board when this mis-calculation was first being used. Why didn't she say something about it then?

    1. The person truly responsible for the shenanigans at SANDAG is Executive Director Gary Gallegos and his close allies on the board. If you want to point the finger of blame at any local person, number one is Jerome Stocks, who served as vice-chair and chair of the board and was very tight with Gallegos. Stocks benefited by his relationship with Gallegos, but Encinitas got high,undeserved RHNA numbers accepted by Stock.

      Gellegos hide the truth about the financial numbers. Staff reported the discrepancies. Stocks was voted out of office. It's time to fire Gallegos.