Emails obtained by VOSD reveal that top SANDAG officials were told the agency’s economic forecasts — and therefore the numbers it showed voters about last year’s Measure A — were way off almost a year before the 2016 election. Instead of acting, the agency continued to rely on numbers they’d been told were faulty, misleading voters in the process and keeping important information from potential watchdogs.
When SANDAG asked voters to approve Measure A in November, it told the public the proposed sales tax would bring in $18 billion. The agency knew the measure would bring in far less than that – but it dangled the $18 billion number in front of voters anyway.
Emails obtained by Voice of San Diego reveal that staff at the San Diego Association of Governments panicked when they discovered the agency’s economic forecasts had significant errors that overstated how much revenue a sales tax would raise for transportation projects.
Once the agency’s chief economist understood the scope of the agency’s forecasting failure, he responded colorfully.
“Omg,” Ray Major wrote in an email to the staffer who identified the problem.
In a second response, he took it a step further: “Wtf.”