Mountain View Voice

News - January 8, 2010

Abe-Koga lands seats on VTA board, LAFCO

by Daniel DeBolt

Council member Margaret Abe-Koga may have stepped down from her mayoral duties, but she is moving up in the world of local transportation.

Last month a group of six North County cities selected Abe-Koga to be one of its three representatives on the Valley Transportation Authority board of directors starting in 2010. She says she plans to make a move for the vice chair position on the board as well.

Abe-Koga said city reps from Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara decided that Mountain View should get a seat on the board over others because it has several transportation issues to deal with and several projects in the works, including high speed rail.

The move was the result of a new selection process which has Mountain View representation back on the VTA board much sooner than expected following a shared term by council members Greg Perry and Laura Macias in 2006-07.

As one of the county's smaller cities, Mountain View used to rotate onto the board once every 10 years, but Abe-Koga said the North County city grouping decided to try a new voting system this year in which the city group would actually select its three VTA representatives.

Abe-Koga had been serving as a VTA policy advisory committee member over the last year.

The two other City Council members selected to represent North County are Chris Moylan from Sunnyvale and Rich Larsen from Los Altos Hills.

In other news, Abe-Koga said she has also managed to get a seat on the Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, a little-known but powerful agency in Santa Clara County.

Its five commissioners decide on city annexations and the formation of new cities in the county. It also decides where Mountain View and Sunnyvale's "spheres of influence" lie at Moffett Field, which is federal property.

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