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Metropolitan Transportation Commission Tries to Force ABAG to Give up Control of Planning

BREAKING NEWS: The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is attempting a "palace coup" to consolidate its control of the entire SF Bay Area and force ABAG (the Association of Bay Area Governments) to relinquish its planning powers. By doing this MTC hopes to become solely in charge of all regional planning decisions and the allocation process for the State's Regional Housing Needs Assessments quotas (RHNA).

EXCLUSIVE: Read the attached letter and report from ABAG's president and Executive Director that lays out this dire situation.

Though it is true that ABAG has historically been dysfunctional and unresponsive to local community opinions and planning (I've personally made no secret of that), MTC is ten times worse. Whereas, ABAG is at least comprised of locally elected representatives and its powers derive from that fact as a joint powers authority (JPA), it is still at least theoretically beholden to those member municipalities that created it. However, MTC is beholding to no one except perhaps the State Governor or acts of the State Legislature. MTC is an agency created by the State and it already controls all federal transportation funding sent to the SF Bay Area, which it is increasingly using as a hammer to force the "urbanization" of Marin.

If ABAG were to lose its powers to oversee the RHNA process and the associated planning and growth projections, it would essentially no longer have any real function and local control with regard to planning and government funding would be essentially extinct in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Still, the only way ABAG can lose its powers would be if they were to relinquish them to MTC or be forced to by an act of the State Legislature. Or at least that's what the media will say. But in reality MTC can and already is bleeding ABAG of much needed operations funding to force their hand.

It's worth noting that in all of this, Steve Kinsey is the sole representative for all of Marin County at MTC. And even though he's known about this and been privy to all its details for months, he's yet to reveal any of it to the public or even to any of the local cities or the County of Marin.

It was Pat Eklund who alerted the community and distributed this letter / report to local ABAG representatives.

As bad as Plan Bay Area 2107 appears to be so far, this action by MTC is an even greater threat.

I would urge readers to contact their city and town council members and the County Supervisors and demand that MTC's aggressive actions be stopped immediately.