Billions of dollars spent by folks not elected to the position. They got the job to spend your money, tell you how to live and how much it will cost to live in the Bay Area—one of the world’s most expensive region. Government decides how you get to work, how much it costs for water—and if you have water—and is trying to determine whether you can build homes, commercial property or have government control the use of your property. Freedom? Not in the Bay Area.
Dictatorship comes in the form of a Bureaucratic State, a state in which regional governmental agencies — all run by unelected, unaccountable officials — rule arrogantly over taxpayers. The two most powerful dictators are the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). No MTC or ABAG director has ever been directly elected by voters.
The first quote comes from Steve Frank, editor and publisher of California Political Review News and Views, introducing the article by Richard Colman, author of the second quote. The point both commentators make is that agencies, managed by unelected people, have the power to make decisions that substantially affect all of us. Such power should be in the hands of officials directly accountable to the people, that is, voters.
The extent of the power exercised by agencies often depends on the aggressiveness of those running such agencies. Richard Colman gives the example of Robert Moses, the Parks Commissioner who on his own authority determined New York City’s infrastructure from the 1930s to the 1960s. A visit to the MTC website will show that MTC is not shy or diffident. Neither is ABAG or the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority or the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. These agencies have slick websites containing lots of pictures and information, designed to both inform and indoctrinate. Note he happy people on "Bike to Work Day," especially the senior gentleman who is there to show that "everybody" can bike to work instead of driving or expecting efficient transit systems.
However, we are not doomed to live under the dictatorial yoke if we do not wish to do so. At present, these agencies still depend on 1) enabling legislation passed by elected representatives, and 2) tax money to implement their plans. Both of these variables are in the hands of voters.
Note: Steve Frank will be in San Francisco June 11, 2017. He will be one of the guest panelists in “Sanctuary Cities: Pros and Cons,” a panel discussion hosted by the Libertarian Party of San Francisco.