Congratulations to CALCOG Board members Fred Strong (SLOCOG) and Vito Chiesa (STANCOG) who earned two of four prestigious leadership awards from the National Association of Regional Councils (often called by its "fun" acronym NARC).
Presidents Award: Council Member Fred Strong
City of Paso Robles Council Member Fred Strong won the President's Award. Mr. Strong has devoted he past 20 years of his life to representing the people in a wide swath of appointed positions, Fred Strong is a public servant of the highest order. He represents the Paso Robles City Council at the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG), Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN), California Association of Councils of Governments (CALCOG), League of California Cities, and NARC. Despite the expanse of his obligations, Fred Strong has a perfect attendance record with all of these organizations and devotes so much of his life to these combined duties. As the representative for Paso Robles at all of these organizations, Fred Strong has advocated tirelessly for his community and ensured regional transportation development in San Luis Obispo.
Tom Bradley Leadership Award: Supervisor Vito Chiesa
Stanislaus Supervisor Chiesa won the Tom Bradley Leadership Award for an elected official for excellence in advocating for regional governance and programs. Under Chairman Chiesa’s leadership, the Stanislaus Council of Governments (STANCOG) successfully developed ballot Measure L for a transportation sales tax, which passed with over 70% of the vote last November. The result was impressive. Not only did the measure meet the needed two-thirds threshold, but it achieved the highest vote margin on a local transportation ballot measure in California since 1989 in a region where such a result might not be expected.
Supervisor Chiesa worked through an intensive county-wide outreach process to develop a public-driven expenditure plan that gave the citizens of Stanislaus County the confidence to support the measure . By basing the plan on what the public wanted—down to the names of streets to be repaved—StanCOG was able to win endorsements from a range of community and political stakeholders, including both Republicans and Democrats. The $958 million expenditure plan will allocate revenue across local street maintenance, traffic management, bike and pedestrian projects, as well as transit services for seniors, disabled, and veterans and regional projects.