SANDAG seeks public input in search for new executive director

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Association of Governments will kick off a series of public forums Wednesday evening aimed at finding a new executive director after the last leader left the agency amid fallout from a scandal.

A firm hired by SANDAG is collecting input from the public, government officials and staff of the regional planning and transportation agency. The first of five public forums where San Diego County residents are invited to offer input in what they want to see in the agency’s new leader is Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. in the Mitchell Room of Escondido City Hall, 201 North Broadway.

The firm, CPS HR Consulting, is also distributing an online survey to collect input.

The other meetings will be held on:

— Jan. 22 at 6 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall, 276 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista;

— Jan. 23 at 6 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall, Building 2, 10601 Magnolia Ave., Santee;

— Jan. 25 at 6 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall, 505 South Vulcan Ave., Encinitas;

— Jan. 30 at 6 p.m., Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Ave., San Diego.

English and Spanish surveys can be accessed at http://www.surveys.cpshr.us/s3/SANDAG until Jan. 31.

“It is our goal to be inclusive in gathering input about the knowledge and skills this applicant must possess to do the job well,” said board chairman and Del Mar City Council member Terry Sinnott.

CPS HR staff will present a compilation of the input gathered from the meetings and survey at the Board of Directors retreat on Feb. 9.

The firm will begin soliciting applications for the position in mid- February, according to SANDAG.

The agency’s longtime executive director Gary Gallegos resigned in August amid the fallout from a scandal that began with an economic modeling error that caused SANDAG to overstate the projected revenues from 2016’s Measure A.

Staff became aware of the problem before November’s election but failed to inform board members or the public.

The measure fell short of the two-thirds necessary for passage.

Gallegos resigned shortly after the release of a scathing report from an Orange County law firm commissioned by the agency that primarily delved into details of the failed economic forecast, but also found that agency executives ordered the deletion of documents related to the issue that were less than 60 days old.