Chula Vista Mayor John McCann rejected from SANDAG Board, giving weighted vote to Democrats

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Last week, San Diego County Supervisor Chair Nora Vargas was elected the new Chair of SANDAG.

Her nomination to the position comes as Democrats continue pushing for an unpopular mileage tax to fund the $163 Regional Transportation Plan, aiming to get San Diegans out of their private vehicles and into public transit.

Vargas did not receive the majority of votes from the Board member, but due to the weighted vote, she won the position anyway.

Supervisor Vargas is in support of the mileage tax, and with the controversial weighted voting system, San Diegans can expect it to be a reality soon.

Vargas thanked the Board for voting, as she vowed to prioritize equity, and economic prosperity during her time as Chair of SANDAG.

The controversial weighted vote gives representatives of San Diego and Chula Vista enormous power, essentially deeming the smaller cities in our counties worthless.

Former Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, helped create the weighted vote system, and is now slamming all the opponents and representatives from smaller regions for “acting like children.”

Gonzalez is now the head of one of California’s big unions, and is able to fund candidates who will push policies that the union prefers, like SANDAG’s unpopular mileage tax.


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KUSI ran a unofficial Twitter poll, asking our followers if they support SANDAG’s proposed mileage tax, and the results are just what we expected. 97% of the 3,159 votes were against the mileage tax.

But the controversy at SANDAG only gets worse from there.

Chula Vista is the county’s second largest city, and has the second most power on SANDAG’s weighted voting structure. As a result, the recent mayoral race between Republican John McCann, and Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar was important in the 2022 election, as the winner was expected to represent Chula Vista on the SANDAG Board.

McCann won the race, and was sworn in as the Mayor of Chula Vista. But, the Chula Vista City Council must vote to approve/confirm who will represent them on SANDAG. Since McCann is opposed to the mileage tax, the Democrat City Council members refused to allow him to represent Chula Vista on the Board of SANDAG.

Many KUSI viewers have reached out to us expressing outrage, as this same thing has happened in a few other cities including Escondido and Carlsbad.

McCann insists he won the mayoral election due to his opposition to the SANDAG mileage tax, and says the Chula Vista City Councilmembers are working against the very people they were elected to help.

McCann joined KUSI’s Lauren Phinney on Good Morning San Diego after Chair Nora Vargas used the weighted vote just minutes after becoming Chair, to deny Terry Gaasterland the position of Second Vice Chair, and instead install her preferred choice, Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner, as Second Vice Chair.

RELATED STORY: SANDAG Chair Nora Vargas uses weighted vote to overrule majority

Nora Vargas’ use of the weighted vote can be seen in the video below:

Categories: California News, Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News, Politics