San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, scheduled to become a lame duck in November following the next mayoral election due to the term limit, has removed himself from key committees, including the VTA board. He was censured by the City Council last month for his actions in regards to the garbage collection contract with Norcal Waste Systems.
Before the revelation of the garbage scandal and the subsequent censure, Gonzales was considered on track for a state office. With his reputation tarnished, his resignation from the VTA board could be a move to try to save the BART project by dis-associating his pet project from himself. Since 1999, he has pushed the BART project through years of political bullying, including the endorsement of over-projected ridership and tax revenue.
A transit project shouldn't be controversial, but BART itself has been controversial due to its extreme high cost in contrast to the area density, abnormal incompatibility to other rail systems, and a paper trail of cost-overruns and failure of meeting ridership projections. Is BART one of no-so-smart political decisions that Gonzales made just like the garbage scandal? Does he cares about our tax dollars just like the garbage scandal? Does removing himself from the VTA board make the BART extension, which requires another sales tax increase, no longer his pet project?
Becoming a lame duck or not, we shouldn't live with the legacy of having an over-priced and under-performed rail line that will be a drain on our tax dollars for decades to come.