Residents of the Bay Area’s Solano County are presently calling attention to the following question: Who is in charge of what happens in a community – voters or bureaucrats? Leaving aside emotionally-charged language such as the NIMBY/YIMBY dichotomy, let’s focus on the responsibilities of people who theoretically represent a jurisdiction.
Here is the scenario. Nearly 70% of Solano County voters voted NO on Regional Measure 3 on the June 2018 ballot, since they did not think the $1 increase in bridge tolls would benefit their county. However, Solano County’s representative on the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission not only cast a YES vote for RM3, but called for a higher toll increase.
If we’re going to deliver the relief we’re seeking, we need to do more than $1 out of the chute...I don’t want anyone to hold the low numbers from Solano against me as we move forward. Jim Spering, Bay Area Toll Authority Workshop, 12/20/17, 43:27 and 46:30.
So, MTC Commissioner Jim Spering is aware of the wishes of his Solano County constituents; however, he seems to be following today’s agenda of ignoring constituents in favor of implementing policies that bureaucrats deem good for the entire Bay Area region. Is this behavior what our Founding Fathers intended? Or are representatives in a republic responsible for carrying out Constitutional wishes of constituents?
Further information on this scenario: The Solano County Board of Supervisors re-appointed Mr. Spering for another term on the MTC Board starting February 10, 2019. And here is where some Solano residents drew the line in the sand. Residents are determined to call attention to 1) the divergence between what residents want and what their representatives work to implement, 2) the secretive way selection committees at the city and county level appoint MTC Commissioners, and 3) the method by which Commissioner Spering was appointed.
The Solano County supervisors agreed to send a letter to a committee of area mayors in an effort to correct how Supervisor Jim Spering was nominated to serve on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
Whoever thinks “there is nothing we can do” is vastly mistaken! We hope residents of your county will want to help shed light on MTC Commissioners’ actions. We have prepared a brief one-page handout that might be of assistance.