You May Not Know Your Future, But Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Does

Categories: Politics
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Roy Reynolds is a Fountain Valley-based pollster with a bug up his ass about the Southern California Association of Governments.

Thank God.

For those who have never heard of SCAG, it is, as Reynolds puts it, "an unelected, unrepresentative pseudo-government-like group" that "we must tolerate in our once free, democratic society."

Based in Los Angeles and funded mostly with federal and Caltrans dollars, SCAG is the largest "metropolitan planning organization" in the nation, covering Orange, Riverside, Imperial, Ventura, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties with 187 cities, more than 18 million residents and the combined 15th largest economy in the world.

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". . . And SCAG has us cutting the rail line right through here."
If you thought Democrats and the unions run California, think again. Pro-toll roads, pro-homebuilding and pro-ever more sprawl and the nastiness that comes with it, SCAG conducts meetings, writes reports and generally lobbies governments to ensure climate change, transportation and population controls mesh with its own regional growth plans.

Someone who sat though a city council meeting overtaken by NIMBYs probably dreamed up SCAG. The idea of a regional planning body making bold decisions for the betterment of all does have merit.

But you'd like that such an entity at least have accountability so it is not perceived to be granting the wishes of the few. Making unpopular decisions behind closed doors will not make them any more popular. That's the wound festering under the SCAG scab of Reynolds, the CEO of web-based polling and survey firm Polling Strategies.

Reynolds previously exposed it in a May column for Fountain Valley Patch, which fell in line with a 2009 Orange County Register editorial that pointed out there is no judicial oversight or electoral accountability for SCAG. In a new article for California Watch, Reynolds takes his ire wider, noting that SCAG is representative of similar groups "under equally Orwellian acronyms" such as SANDAG and KCOG.

Regional planning associations join regional transportation planning authorities and business councils in creating "independent" report circle jerks that eventually justify the decisions of members who sit on all the same fucking panels. If you think no skin off my tamale, think again: the Orange County cities that pony up tens of thousands of dollars annually to be part of SCAG can even get burned. In Irvine, while City Councilwoman Beth Krom also sat on the SCAG council, she had to suffer the indignity of SCAG mandating her city build 35,000 new housing units, of which 21,000 had to be "affordable," by 2014.

Eleven of Orange County's 34 cities--including Costa Mesa, Aliso Viejo and Reynold's beloved Fountain Valley--do not belong to SCAG, and yet they, too, are bound by its regional planning decisions.


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9 comments
erikm
erikm

Lame. I've attended the PE right of way meetings. The reason for the line running ground level: cost. Scag is an entity that enables OC and LAC to partner together for regional transportation solutions. Blanket critisizm is one reason why the oc weekly is no longer bathroom reading for me. Now i just wipe my ass with it.

Robert Lauten
Robert Lauten

SCAG is federally mandated. (Take up complaints with your Congress-member. There is no US Constitutionalauthority, State authority,-Yes, but not Federal).

“As the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization, theAssociation of Governments is mandatedby federal and state law to research and draw up plans for transportation,growth management, hazardous waste management, and air quality. Additionalmandates exist at the state level. “

http://www.scag.ca.gov/about.h...>> Who We Are

reality based people
reality based people

Google exists - Wikipedia and Google are your friends.  

SCAG is federally mandated.

If you want transportation funds from the feds, you gotta have one.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropol...

So go yell at the federal law from 1962 that required it.

Or go after AB32 and SB 375 in Sacramento, because MPOs are written into those laws as well.  

Don't forget the voters already shut you down in rejecting the suspension of AB 32.

Disband SCAG!
Disband SCAG!

Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention.SCAG is a self serving social engineering group that forces other groups of legitimate electeds to follow their, in some cases, poorly thought out plans.

Consider the PE right of way projects.  This is a strip of land where  the old Red Line used to run, and when it became obsolete, it was removed.  Now SCAG is looking at putting a new light rail right back where the old one failed.If it was only transportation, that would be one thing, but it's not. 

Along with this light rail, particularly in Santa Ana, SCAG and the city are using it to justify massive infill housing (yes, low income) projects, forcing out existing revenue generating viable businesses, billions of dollars in unneeded rail and streetcar infrastructure where buses would do the job, and even a major league multi-million dollar soccer stadium.  These are all things that are not wanted from within the existing communities, and represent the interests of major developers and contractors over the real community stakeholders.

Also, the Santa Ana project directly conflicts with the SCAG regional transportation plan, proving that the Santa Ana light rail is about development and not transportation.  ONce Santa Ana builds their light rail, the PE corridor will no longer be available to connect the Santa Ana train station to LA's Union Station, making a true regional connection.  This is a major conflict with what SCAG's stated goal and purpose is, and shows that developers drive these projects, not good governance.

SCAG should be disbanded, and the elected officials should be returned to their own communities so they can pay attention to what's happening there and do what they were elected to do locally, without interference from SCAG and the special interests they support.

Lucky
Lucky

Lame criticism. The Southern California Association of Governments Board of Directors is composed of elected officials. You can look them up, here: http://www.scag.ca.gov/committ...

The board includes a broad range of elected officials from all political stripes. Some of the Orange County elected officials on the SCAG Board include: Mayor Sukhee Kang of Irvine, Councilmember Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton, Councilmember Michele Martinez of Santa Ana, Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Councilmember Lerslie Daigle of Newport Beach, and Councilmember Matthew Harper of Huntington Beach.

SCAG serves many functions that are mandated under state law and tries to do its best in helping cities work together on issues confronting our region.

Disband SCAG!
Disband SCAG!

I stand corrected.What I should have said is that SCAG is not referred to in the MPO post by Reality Based People as the federally mandated agency.  Although the function of what SCAG is doing is federally mandated, it does not say that SCAG is required to be the agency to do this planning.

While SCAG is currently listed as the current designated agency, it is recertified as the designated agency every 4 years (last certified 2009).  If it was to go away, another agency would be certified to mange the transportation projects for this region.

There are several other MPO agencies that could do the job SCAG is doing if it was disbanded.

Disband SCAG!
Disband SCAG!

SCAG is NOT fedarally mandated.  They are one group of several that are considered MPO's that could do the job.

OCTA is a regional transportation agency that serves a planning function, as is Caltrans.  LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commissions) is an organization that deals with regional planning oversight.These are only a couple of examples, but there are other MPOs that could be doing the regional planning job that SCAG is trying to do, and some of them might do it better.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Get out of here gov't shill.  No doubting you're on the payroll, eh, troll?

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