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Metro Board watchers say CA Senate reform bill rife with bad consequences




People make their way across the platform following the arrival of city, county officials and passengers on the first train in 53 years to arrive at Santa Monica station in Santa Monica, California on May 20, 2016.
People make their way across the platform following the arrival of city, county officials and passengers on the first train in 53 years to arrive at Santa Monica station in Santa Monica, California on May 20, 2016.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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In an effort to increase representation for certain areas on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors, State Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) has proposed a bill that would add eight seats to the board.

“Adding two more public members will ensure that Metro fairly represents the entire County of Los Angeles. Doing this will improve Metro’s ability to develop a regional transit plan that meets the needs of all county residents,” Mendoza said. The bill would require the two additional members be residents of L.A. County and not live in the same city as any other Metro Board member when they are appointed.

Some who are wary of the impact of this bill say it has the potential to sink Metro’s long term plans for expanding public transit access. In an L.A. Times op-ed, former Metro Board members Zev Yaroslavsky and Richard Katz say Senator Mendoza is mainly upset that a project in his district isn’t a top priority for Metro and that if passed, the bill would not only detrimentally dilute L.A. County’s influence on the board but also slow Metro’s recent progress to a halt.

Guests:

Tony Mendoza, California Democratic Senator for Artesia; Author of SB 1472 that would increase the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors from 14 to 16 members

Zev Yaroslavsky, former Los Angeles County Supervisor, and is now affiliated with the UCLA’s history department, and the Luskin School of Public Affairs; he tweets from @ZevYaroslavsky