Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dick Spotswood: Power play over control of Bay Area’s regional governance

Dick Spotswood writes a twice-weekly column on local politics for the Marin Independent Journal. (IJ photo/Robert Tong) 

The Bay Area is in the midst of an audacious bureaucratic power play that, if successful, will change the face of the region. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is making its long-predicted move to gut the Association of Bay Area Governments, converting itself into the Bay Area’s de facto regional government.
A vote is expected soon enabling MTC to assume ABAG’s planning and housing allocation function. That would make ABAG’s financial model untenable. ABAG, long the high-density housing bogey man, has surprisingly morphed into a bottom-up operation respecting concerns of municipalities.
That’s due, in part, to two Marin council members, Novato’s Pat Eklund and San Anselmo’s Doug Kelly, who’ve taken an aggressive role reforming ABAG. It’s aided by ABAG new deputy executive director Brad Paul — a Greenbrae resident — who honors the long-touted but often-ignored policy that regional agencies push their high-density, transit-first housing agendas only when local communities concur.
See the full article in the Marin IJ HERE
See the Marin Coalition Lunch Program with Pat Ecklund and Steve Kinsey Debate HERE

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