City to MTA: 'We'll send who we want' for panel

Council member denounces Metro's 'arrogance,' says committee is placation only.

March 07, 2012|By Daniel Siegal,
  • The northbound Long Beach (710) Freeway ends at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, on Friday, January 29, 2010. A Stakeholder Advisory Committee is being organized as the Metropolitan Transit Authority seeks input for an environmental impact report on the 710 Freeway extension project. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
The northbound Long Beach (710) Freeway ends at Valley…

The La Cañada City Council decided to follow its own lead Tuesday in deciding who it will nominate to positions on a new Stakeholder Advisory Committee being organized by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The committee is being organized as the MTA seeks input for an environmental impact report on the 710 Freeway extension project.

The City Council, which has long taken a firm stance against the tunnel project, voted unanimously on Monday night to allow the city’s ad hoc 710 subcommittee’s members to nominate whomever they want to serve on the new panel, regardless of Metro’s direction.

The committee is supposed to be comprised of members of planning commissions, town councils and L.A. County Dept. of Public Works employees, according to a letter from the MTA.

Mayor Pro Tem Steve Del Guercio, who, along with fellow Councilman Donald Voss comprises the city’s 710 subcommittee, said that Metro was out of line to proscribe elected officials from participating in the new stakeholder committee.


“I don’t think it can be restricted to say we can’t send whoever we want,” Del Guercio said. “It is absolutely inconsistent now to say town council members can participate, but La Cañada elected officials can’t.”

The council should unite to “call [Metro’s] bluff. We should be able to send whoever we want. We should be irritated by their arrogance again,” he added.

Del Guercio said he is worried that the Stakeholder Outreach Committee was being set up only to placate the cities affected by the 710 project without giving them real input.

“We have to look at what has gone on throughout the process and see if this is basically propaganda to make it look like there was broad input and support when there wasn’t,” he said.

Metro’s Stakeholder Outreach Advisory Committee will be a counterpart to the already-established Technical Advisory Committee, and will be further complemented by community liaison committees.

Metro spokesperson Lynda Bybee said that the advisory committee was formed as a result of a motion passed by the Metro board. She said there was no intention to prevent elected officials from having input in the environmental impact study process as it enters its alternatives analysis phase.

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