The Bay Area League March update on the merger discussions: The process continues to assess the consolidation of the ABAG and MTC planning staff, and potential future merger. LWVBA was interviewed by the consultants, Management Partners. We made it clear that our vision is for a fully consolidated regional agency at some point. On February 26th, the Joint ABAG-MTC Committee received a presentation of how other similar regional governments are structured. An Assembly Select Committee, chaired by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, has been formed to also consider regional governance issues in the Bay Area.
Public meetings on the Merger Study are being held around the region: the next on Monday, March 14 in Novato
For more information: www.mtcabagmergerstudy.com
Background: The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) agreed on October 28, 2015 to proceed with a plan to merge the two agencies, rather than to simply transfer the ABAG planning staff to MTC. In the meantime, MTC will continue funding ABAG through the FY 2015-16year.
They will hire a mutually acceptable consultant to conduct a jointly funded merger study and develop a merger implementation plan (MIP) for the two agencies by June 1, 2016. The process will be jointly overseen by the MTC Planning Committee and the ABAG Administrative Committee, who are already working together on Plan Bay Area 2040 (the second round of the SB 375 process).
The LWVBayArea sent several letters to both agencies (posted on our website http://www.lwvbayarea.org/advocacy.html#letters expressing concern about MTC’s original proposal. We urged the continuation of funding for ABAG, and a thoughtful study of a merger that would include all ABAG programs, with full ability for public input. For 50 years, we have wanted a consolidated regional agency.
Stay tuned, we expect there will be a point that Leagues will need to attend meetings and speak out.
Linda Craig | President, LWVBA
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