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Marin County Supervisor Kinsey to Head Regional Transportation Agency
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Marin County Supervisor Kinsey to Head Regional Transportation Agency

Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey has been elected chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) by his fellow commissioners at a regularly scheduled meeting of the 19-member policy board. Elected to serve as vice chair of MTC was Jon Rubin, who represents the mayor of San Francisco on the Commission. Each will serve a two-year term.

Outlining his goals for the next two years, Kinsey said, "I want to build on MTC’s recent efforts to improve our public outreach. We have done a good job and we can continue to do a better job so that all voices are heard as we make the important policy choices that come before the Commission."

Referring to continued legal wrangling over Bay Area air quality efforts, Kinsey commented, "A personal ambition for me would be to rebuild a level of respect with our critics so we can leave behind the era of litigation and move to a higher plane where we can find our common ground on a number of shared issues." Other priorities identified by Kinsey include advocating for reauthorization of the federal transportation funding program, improving transit connectivity around the Bay Area with the TransLink® smart card, and other programs, using performance measures as a guide for policy decisions, and pursuing a "smart growth" strategy that strengthens the link between transportation and land use.

Kinsey, who represents Marin County on the Commission, was appointed to MTC in 1998 and has served as vice chair since 2001. The 50-year-old West Marin resident was elected to the Marin County Board of Supervisors in November 1996. Prior to that, he was a member of the Marin Conservation League board and chair of the Marin Conservation League Water Committee. Kinsey has also served on the Marin Municipal Water District Ad Hoc Water Supply Committee and in 1995 was co-chair of the "Yes on Measure C" committee, which led a successful effort to pass a $2.6 million school bond measure.

Kinsey is the first Marin County commissioner to be named MTC chair. He brings strong transportation and land-use planning credentials to the position, playing a leadership role on the Regional Agencies Steering Committee guiding the Smart Growth Strategy/Regional Livability Footprint Project for MTC, the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board. He also has served as chair of the Marin County Congestion Management Agency and the county’s Fair Housing Committee, president of the Marin Emergency Radio Authority, and as a member of the Marin County Housing Authority, the Marin County Open Space District, the Marin County Redevelopment Agency, and the Marin County Transit District.

Kinsey replaces San Pablo mayor Sharon Brown as MTC Chair. Brown, who had represented the cities of Contra Costa County on the sMTC since 1993, has been succeeded on the Commission by Richmond mayor Irma J. Anderson. Other newly appointed commissioners include Tom Azumbrado, who represents the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and serves as director of project management in HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing; and Caltrans District 4 Director Bijan Sartipi, who represents the state Business, Housing and Transportation Agency. Members are appointed or re-appointed to the 19-member governing board of MTC every four years.

Rubin, vice-president and creative director for Bay Relations Inc., a Daly City public relations firm, has been an MTC commissioner since 1995, when he was appointed by former San Francisco mayor Frank Jordan.