Mayor Bill Wells: Democrats on SANDAG think they know what’s best for voters

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) approved their $163 BILLION Regional Transportation Plan in December 2021, which is filled with new taxes.

The plan, supported by Democrats who promise it will solve “climate change,” was heavily opposed by Republican members of the SANDAG board. The opponents do not believe mass public transit and increasing taxes on San Diegans who are already facing the highest-in-the-nation cost of living is the right thing to do.

But, Democrats disagree.

Mayors Todd Gloria, Catherine Blakespeare, Mary Salas and more all believe the threat of “climate change” validates increasing taxes on San Diegans.

Many of the supporters openly admitted in public hearing that the end goal of this enormous plan is to get people out of their cars. Opponents, like El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, say our region is simply too big to force people into public transit, and that the geographic area does not make public transit a solid option.

But before passing the plan, SANDAG leaders removed the most controversial part of the bill, the mileage tax.

The mileage tax would tax each driver 4.5 cents per mile driven, which was one of the key funding methods for the $163 billion Regional Transportation Plan. So in short, the SANDAG Board passed a $163 BILLION Regional Transportation Bill, without any plans on how they will fund it.

Mayor Bill Wells, who voted against the plan in December, joined KUSI’s Lauren Phinney on Good Morning San Diego to share an update on where we are with this plan.

Phinney asked if those in support have spoken to the public, conducted polls, or anything to see if the voters want more transit, but Wells said they have not. Instead, Wells said the SANDAG Board Members supporting the plan think they know what’s best for the voters.

RELATED STORY: SANDAG approves Regional Transportation Plan filled with new taxes

SANDAG Board of Directors as of November 24, 2021

Hon. Catherine Blakespear

First Vice Chair
Hon. Todd Gloria

Second Vice Chair
Hon. Alejandra Sotelo-Solis

Chief Executive Officer
Hasan Ikhrata

City of Carlsbad
Hon. Matt Hall, Mayor
(A) Hon. Priya Bhat-Patel, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Keith Blackburn, Mayor Pro Tem

City of Chula Vista
Hon. Mary Salas, Mayor
(A) Hon. Steve Padilla, Councilmember
(A) Hon. John McCann, Councilmember

City of Coronado
Hon. Richard Bailey, Mayor
(A) Hon. Bill Sandke, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Mike Donovan, Councilmember

City of Del Mar
Hon. Terry Gaasterland, Mayor
(A) Hon. Dave Druker, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Dan Quirk, Councilmember

City of El Cajon
Hon. Bill Wells, Mayor
(A) Hon. Steve Goble, Deputy Mayor

City of Encinitas
Hon. Catherine Blakespear, Mayor
(A) Hon. Joe Mosca, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Kellie Hinze, Councilmember

City of Escondido
Hon. Paul McNamara, Mayor
(A) Hon. Mike Morasco, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Consuelo Martinez, Councilmember

City of Imperial Beach
Hon. Serge Dedina, Mayor
(A) Hon. Ed Spriggs, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Paloma Aguirre, Councilmember

City of La Mesa
Hon. Jack Shu, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Mark Arapostathis, Mayor
(A) Hon. Bill Baber, Councilmember

City of Lemon Grove
Hon. Racquel Vasquez, Mayor
(A) Hon. Jennifer Mendoza, Councilmember
(A) Hon. George Gastil, Councilmember

City of National City
Hon. Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, Mayor
(A) Hon. Mona Rios, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Marcus Bush, Councilmember

City of Oceanside
Hon. Christopher Rodriguez, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Ryan Keim, Councilmember
(A) Vacant

City of Poway
Hon. Steve Vaus, Mayor
(A) Hon. John Mullin, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Caylin Frank, Councilmember

City of San Diego
Hon. Todd Gloria, Mayor
(A) Hon. Vivian Moreno, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Marni von Wilpert, Councilmember

Hon. Jennifer Campbell, Council President
(A) Hon. Raul Campillo, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Joe LaCava, Councilmember

City of San Marcos
Hon. Rebecca Jones, Mayor
(A) Hon. Sharon Jenkins, Mayor Pro Tem
(A) Hon. Ed Musgrove, Councilmember

City of Santee
Hon. John Minto, Mayor
(A) Hon. Laura Koval, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Rob McNelis, Councilmember

City of Solana Beach
Hon. Lesa Heebner, Mayor
(A) Hon. David A. Zito, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Jewel Edson, Councilmember

City of Vista
Hon. Judy Ritter, Mayor
(A) Hon. John Franklin, Councilmember
(A) Hon. Joe Green, Deputy Mayor

County of San Diego
Hon. Terra Lawson-Remer, Supervisor
(A) Hon. Nora Vargas, Supervisor

Hon. Joel Anderson, Supervisor
(A) Hon. Nora Vargas, Supervisor

California Department of Transportation
(Advisory Member)
Toks Omishakin, Executive Director
(A) Gustavo Dallarda, District 11 Director
(A) Ann Fox, Deputy Director

Metropolitan Transit System
(Advisory Member)
Hon. Paloma Aguirre
(A) Hon. Vivian Moreno

North County Transit District
(Advisory Member)
Hon. Tony Kranz
(A) Hon. Sharon Jenkins
(A) Hon. Priya Bhat-Patel

Imperial County
(Advisory Member)
Hon. Jesus Eduardo Escobar, Supervisor
(A) Mark Baza, Imperial County Transportation Commission

United States Department of Defense
(Advisory Member)
Dennis Keck, Navy Region Southwest, Executive Director
(A) Steve Chung, Navy Region Southwest

Port of San Diego
(Advisory Member)
Hon. Garry Bonelli, Commissioner
(A) Hon. Dan Malcolm, Commissioner

San Diego County Water Authority
(Advisory Member)
Mel Katz, Director
(A) Consuelo Martinez
(A) Hon. Mona Rios

Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association
(Advisory Member)
Hon. Cody Martinez, Chairman,
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
Hon. Erica Pinto, Chairwoman,
Jamul Indian Village of California

Mexico (Consulate General of Mexico)
(Advisory Member)
Hon. Carlos González Gutiérrez
Cónsul General of Mexico
(A) Hon. Mario Figueroa
Deputy Cónsul General of Mexico
(A) Hon. Natalia Figueroa, Vice Consul

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority
(Advisory Member)
Gil Cabrera
(A) Johanna Schiavoni

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