By Miriam Raftery
“I will argue that my minority and low income citizens have just as much right to be fairly represented as San Diego and Chula Vista.”—Lemon Grove Councilman Jerry Jones
April 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Assembly Bill 805 passed the Assembly Local Government Committee on Wednesday by a 5-4 vote. The measure claims to reform SANDAG, but in fact gives virtually all power to the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista, leaving East County cities and other communities in our county powerless to add agenda items to benefit other cities or block objectionable measures at SANDAG, the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and North County Transit District.
Now East County cities are fighting back. On Tuesday, La Mesa’s City Council will consider a proposal from Council members Bill Baber and Kristine Alessio to hire a legislative lobbyist to advocate on La Mesa’s behalf against AB 805, which was authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), according to the agenda.
El Cajon’s City Council has voted to oppose AB 805, as did Lemon Grove and La Mesa. East County Assemblyman Randy Voepel, former Mayor of Santee, voted against the measure in committee.