SANDAG’S SALES PITCH
Folks, from a psychological viewpoint, things are not all that bad when you consider
SANDAG’s latest campaign of, first, trying to bargain with the public by offering to listen
to the people’s “priorities” and, second, following up with fake sales pitch to sell their
great tax initiative. And to top it off, an angry UT editorial is forecasting a coming age of
“human misery and environmental degradation” if we don’t vote for SANDAG’s tax and
build more roads!
The forecast could be right, but just whose misery is impending? Is the UT ,in effect,
signaling SANDAG’s demise from incompetence or corruption?
Well known in psychological literature are the 5 clinical stages that patients experience
when facing death:
The fact that SANDAG is clearly in the bargaining/sales stage could be an unconscious
sign that they know they are dying as an institution which has become totally
meaningless in meeting the challenges facing our region in the 21st century.
SANDAG’s misuse of financial and natural resources to meet habitat protection, housing needs and transportation efficiency actually accelerates climate change danger and all but guarantees that SANDAG will continue a death cycle into irrelevancy. Desperately clinging to power and to totally outmoded methods of growth, they keep serving their masters by
building unnecessary freeways and enabling sprawl projects all of which SANDAG justifies
by false modeling assumptions. SANDAG calls it “balance.” A balance between what the
people need and what their masters want.
We call it betrayal of public duty, because in spite of devastating legal challenges to their
obsolete behavior and resulting court losses, they still cannot change.
That, Dear Friends, is the sign of institutional death; incapacity to change in the face of great
Consider, please, their initial responses to the Superior and Appellate court
decisions which judged the SANDAG plan an “abuse of authority” and a
total fraud that basically deceived the public about climate change
impacts of the 40 year plan. SANDAG’s first reaction was deep denial,
quickly followed by anger in appealing the court decisions all the way to Supreme Court.
Denial and anger: the first two classic signs shown by terminal patients when confronting
And now comes the third stage: bargaining for time, or staying alive as best they can. They
can’t tell the public the true impacts of their death plan but on other hand they have to pass
a tax measure to prop up their failures, so SANDAG has launched a MASSIVE campaign of
trying to please the public with last minute projects and falsely claiming that the plan
improves fire safety, water quality AND reduces congestion.
“A foundational principle in Western culture is the idea of redemption; that a
change of heart and return to the right way is always possible. SANDAG could apologize for trying deceive the public and drop its Supreme Court appeal. Then it could hear what the people truly want and need.”
The 2015 RTP is the same plan as the 2007 and 2011 Death plans that failed in court
but SANDAG tries to cover that up by spending millions on propaganda and offering to
“listen to and please” the public. That would be like a corpse listening to a doctor’s past
advice to stop an addiction; it’s too late! Even an angry UT story can’t revive the dead.
With the Supreme Court decision looming, the fourth stage of depression will soon set in.
When that is followed by failure of the tax measure the final stage will arrive; acceptance.
Acceptance that SANDAG is dead.