by Photo by Sarah Berjan

The Chula Vista City Council voted to appoint Council member Andrea Cardenas as the city’s representative on the region’s transportation and planning agency. 

Mayors from cities across San Deigo County have historically sat on the San Diego Association of Governments to represent their jurisdictions. The Chula Vista City Council voted to have Councilmember Andrea Cardenas as the primary representative with councilmembers Carolina Chavez and Deputy Mayor Jose Preciado as alternates in a 3-1 vote, with Mayor John McCann casting the “no” vote. 

According to the California government code, Mayors can suggest who to send to SANDAG, but their recommendations must receive full council support. 

McCann initially proposed himself as the representative with Cardenas as the alternative and Chavez as a substitute but lacked support from the council. Another recommendation, he suggested Cardenas as the primary and himself and Chavez as alternates. That motion also lacked support. 

Councilmember Jose Preciado proposed for himself, along with Chavez to become alternates with Cardenas as the primary representative. 

“For those of us who have been involved in regional governance for a while, we know that SANDAG changed dramatically with the adoption of AB 805. In fact, in the past with the small mayors, many of the small mayors and small cities dominated the voting process how we invested the TransNet, and some of these things. I think Chula Vista, unfortunately did not do as well as the small cities and had more influence,” Preciado said. “I am very interested in working with the mayor to develop a regional policy that we all can support. That we can all trust.”

During public comments, four speakers urged the council to select McCann as the primary the SANDAG Board of Directors because of his experience. They referred to his opposing the SANDAG mileage tax, using climate change as a means to get people out of their cars and onto public transit, and other taxes SANDAG initiatives are proposing on citizens.

Four e-comments supported appointing the mayor to the SANDAG Board of Directors.

“While this motion that I’m making may be disappointing, I do want to tell you that it is my goal as a member of this council to work collaboratively with you,” he told McCann, adding that he wants the City Council to “sit together” and develop a regional policy “we can all support.”

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