Letter: Replacing city’s SANDAG representative


The City’s representative to the SANDAG Board, Deputy Mayor Shaffer, makes no secret that the City Council vote on March 30 to abandon the Rail Trail San Elijo Ave. alignment in favor of Highway 101 was a mistake. While fellow council members Blakespear and Kranz were persuaded by the numerous changes in the plan and by extensive organized community opposition to reconsider their positions, Shaffer was the sole vote against the community’s request to preserve the Cardiff rail corridor.

Deputy Mayor Shaffer’s opposition is clear and continuing, but as the representative to SANDAG, she must persuade the SANDAG board and staff that the March 30 change of direction was needed and must work to resolve related funding issues with the board. But how persuasive is one’s argument when you have made it clear you really don’t believe it‘s the right course?

As the City Public Works Director Glenn Pruim points out, SANDAG is concerned about the City’s decision making on the project and the risk of another Council change of mind. How confident can SANDAG feel based on the assurances from the losing vote on a 4 to 1 decision? Undoubtedly the Deputy Mayor will argue for the City’s revised position to the best of her ability, but it is, of course, contrary to her stated belief. Is this the best advocacy for the City and is it reasonable to expect our representative to compromise her judgment?

Perhaps it is time to put the City’s interest first and for Deputy Mayor Shaffer to step down as SANDAG representative.

Ralph Thielicke,