Matt Gunderson Calls on Catherine Blakespear, Hasan Ikhrata, and Mayor Todd Gloria to Resign from SANDAG Immediately

October 20, 2022

Contact: Duane Dichiara
(916) 997-4784

Matt Gunderson Joins Supervisor Jim Desmond, Mayor Rebecca Jones, Mayor Matt Hall, Deputy Mayor John Franklin in demanding accountability at scandal-ridden SANDAG

(SAN DIEGO, CA) – Last Friday, SANDAG’s Auditor revealed that SANDAG accrued a whopping $290 million in cost overruns across multiple unnamed contract vendors. This comes on the heels of over $250,000 in non work related hours spending of taxpayer dollars by SANDAG staff, including over $80,000 spent on lavish meals. The cost overruns represent millions in taxpayer dollars paid above the initial budgeted amounts with some overruns exceeding 698% in unaccounted for increases.

“It stinks, and it stinks of corruption all the way to the top,” noted Matt Gunderson after the press conference in Escondido yesterday. “My opponent has tried to hide her position as SANDAG Chairwoman on political mailers and now we know why. At best, her lack of oversight and transparency disqualifies her from office, at worst, these vendors are campaign contributors. Voters have a right to know which it is before November.”

Mr. Gunderson went on to add that he believes the SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata, Chairwoman Blakespear, and Vice Chairman Todd Gloria should “do the right thing” and step down immediately.

“We just discovered that Mayor Gloria awarded preferential treatment to a developer that contributed $100,000 towards efforts to elect him,” said Mr. Gunderson. “Who wants to bet these vendors are all over campaign contribution reports for top SANDAG Board members?”

Mr. Gunderson joined Supervisor Jim Desmond, San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall, and Vista Deputy Mayor John Franklin at a press conference in Escondido yesterday to call on SANDAG to immediately stop spending until SANDAG gets its house in order and takes more concrete corrective actions along with a defined schedule of completion for current contracts.

“Lavish meals, broken promises, and a lack of accountability,” fired San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones. “San Diego county taxpayers deserve better. The latest findings in the recent outside independent audit that is required as part of AB805 has found yet more examples of spending of your taxpayer dollars with no information or safeguards.”

Matt Gunderson is a successful business and community leader who created over 200 good-paying South Orange County jobs at his auto dealerships in Mission Viejo. Along with his professional achievements, Gunderson has served his local community as Chairman of the Mission Hospital Foundation Board, as a member of the Saddleback College Foundation Board, and past Chair of the Orange County Auto Dealers Association.