ECA Newsletter 1-31-19
Don’t Outrun Your Coverage!
Jake Mackenzie has served on the Sonoma County Transportation Authority Board for 20 years. Jake has also served on the SMART Board for 15 years. Jake also just finished a 2 year stint as the Chair of the powerful Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). He has had an incredible “run” of influence on our transportation system and vision for the future in the North Bay.
That “run” is now over.
If you remember, two weeks ago I wrote about a new regional effort to stimulate and regulate much needed housing construction by an initiative called the “CASA Compact”. The “CASA Compact”, is a new 15 year “plan” that is intended to address the Bay Area housing crisis. Some of the elements in the CASA Compact include state-imposed rental caps, tenant evictions to require just cause to be evicted, and measures that could remove local controls over land use and zoning provisions. The CASA Compact did not get created overnight. It has been “in the works” for several years under the guidance of its Steering Committee. Recently, the Steering Committee brought their “finished” product to the MTC for a vote that would “ratify” the CASA Compact and start the ball rolling for State sponsored Bills and Measures to enact the Compact. Jake, as part of that MTC Board, recently (December of 2018) voted to support the CASA Compact.
Jake then proceeded to report on his support and vote at the January 8, 2019 Rohnert Park Council meeting. To say that the other Council Members were pissed that Jake did not come to them for their consent prior to his MTC vote, would be an understatement. The other 4 Council Members did not think the CASA Compact was in the best interest of the city of Rohnert Park. Jake admitted that not letting them have a say was a mistake. But the hour long tongue lashing he received on January 8 was “shrugged off” by Jake even though Vice Mayor Joe Callinan was quoted saying “ I really think somebody has lost their way. I think maybe you’ve been on these committees way too long and it’s time for a change”.
At the next Rohnert Park Council Meeting (1-22-19), the Rohnert Park City Council voted 3-2 to appoint Vice Mayor Joe Callinan, and not Jake Mackenzie, to the Sonoma County Transportation Authority which in effect, disabled Jake Mackenzie’s qualifications to continue to be the SMART Board representative. This shocker took a lot of transportation veterans by surprise, not the least of which was the rest of the SMART Board who, days before, had just voted Jake (unanimously) as Vice Chair of the SMART Board.
How does all of this affect the ECA and its member? I am not sure yet. I will say that I know Jake quite well and have a lot of respect for his abilities to represent the North Bay Area in securing grants and funding for our bike paths, bridges and road work. I do not know Joe Callinan as well but rest assured, I will be meeting with him soon to correct that fact. Maybe Joe will be as effective as Jake-we do not know. But words of “warning” came from David Rabbitt and other transportation leaders that hints at a real loss for our influence up here by not having Jake on the SCTA and SMART Boards.
We shall see what the outcome of Jake’s faux pau in “outrunning his cover” previously supplied by his fellow Rohnert Park Council Members—-
To read the Press Democrat article about this click on the following link—
That’s All Folks!