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POLITICS (State, Local/San Diego): Transportation funding, governance, SB 805, San Diego Assocation of Governments (SANDAG): Commentary (Dan Walters), "San Diego's perpetual cultural wars again shift into Capitol arena" ....

***Transportation funding, governance, SB 805, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)....

* CALmatters (Dan Walters):  "San Diego's perpetual cultural wars again shift into Capitol arena" - From CALmatters:

Geographically, San Diego County is a microcosm of California – a coastline as its western edge, giving way to tree-covered mountains and a searing desert to the east.

By happenstance, the county is also a self-contained reflection of California’s cultural and political dynamics. Its urban core, around picturesque San Diego Bay, is multicultural and liberal/Democratic in its politics. Its suburban and rural communities tend to be white and conservative/Republican. However, unlike California as a whole, in San Diego, the two factions are roughly in balance and they spar constantly for dominance in its governmental arenas, including San Diego’s city government and the county’s Board of Supervisors.

One such power struggle is now playing out in the San Diego Association of Governments, known as SANDAG, a county-wide agency whose board is composed of city and county officials and whose major task is raising and allocating transportation revenues.

San Diego’s urban/liberal community wants more spending on transit and other non-automotive forms, including San Diego’s famous trolley system. It has bridled for years at SANDAG’s makeup and complex voting procedures that seem to favor the suburban/conservative communities and their preference for expanding roads and highways to serve their fast-growing populations.

The squabbling over San Diego’s transportation future has taken many forms, and occasionally has been transported 504 miles northward to the state Capitol. In fact, SANDAG, including its composition and voting procedures, were originally created by state legislation as a way to bridge the county’s cultural divisions.

The latest conflict was triggered by a scandal over SANDAG’s efforts to persuade voters last year to approve a sales tax increase for transportation ..................