Regional Governmental Agencies Usurp Control of Local Communities

Regional Governmental Agencies Usurp Control of Local Communities

Unelected regional governmental bodies have decided to seek control over land use and other policies now governed by local communities.

In December 2018, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted to have a 21-member steering committee support the Casa Compact, which is designed to ameliorate the shortage of housing in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

MTC is a regional governmental agency involved in transportation planning.

The Casa Compact, which is also known as the Committee to House the Bay Area, contains a multitude of policy recommendations.  These recommendations call for caps on rent, rules to make the eviction of renters more difficult, the removal of zoning restrictions near transit hubs, and the unlocking of public land to create additional housing.  A Bay Area-wide tax increase, possibly in excess of $1 billion, is also planned

On Jan. 17, 2019, the board of directors of Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG) voted 21 to 9 to support the Casa Compact.  One board member did not vote.

ABAG is involved in land use in the Bay Area.

At the Jan. 17 meeting, members of a group called Livable Califoria held a rally to protest the Casa Compact.  At the ABAG meeting about 65 people spoke.

MTC and ABAG were once separate organizations.  Today, ABAG is under the aegis of MTC.

The directors of MTC and ABAG are not directly elected by voters.  The directors come from a pool of locally elected officials.

One member of MTC is Amy Worth, a member of the Orinda City Council.  Ms. Worth was elected to a sixth consecutive term on the city council in November 2018.  She was first elected to the city council in November 1998.

At press time, Ms. Worth could not be reached for comment on the Casa Compact. ν – Richard Colman  

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