I do so many things that no one actually understands how much I do or how the various things relate to each other. If you tie them together you see that my peers across my region, the state and the nation all consider me valuable and worthy of leadership roles. What distresses many of my family is that I don't receive any significant monetary compensation for doing all of this. Much of that is due to the attitude of the voting public. The vast majority believe that people put in positions of power to make decisions about the lives of this nation's citizens should not receive any compensation at all. Many believe that the "power" should be compensation enough. At the same time they do everything in their power to see that those in positions of political power cannot gain any personal material advantage or improvement without severe penalties and possible prison terms.
What I do MUST be done on a philosophically altruistic and philanthropic basis or I will be punished. So, I do this to try and see that the world I leave behind is better, or at least as good, at giving those that follow a fair shake at achieving their personal dreams. In many of my positions I am relegated to the task of providing an overarching view of society and civilization as we (me, myself and I) conceive it to be of benefit to mankind.
That is a daunting task.
As chosen by the voters I am a member of a city council. As chosen by my City Council I represent my city at the regional (county wide) level on intergovernmental relationships, public transportation and infrastructure decision making. Those two bodies are SLOCOG (San Luis Obispo Council of Governments) and SLORTA (San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority). Based upon my being in office I was given the opportunity to put myself forward to be chosen to influence policy decisions at the state level IF peer leadership chose to accept me in that position. They did.
The Presidents of the League of California Cities, for the past 10 years, have all chosen to involve me in decisions regarding city/state issues on revenue, taxation, housing, community development and economic development. They have also chosen me in two of those years to be "the leader" in those areas as chairman of those policy committees. In 2013 I was appointed Chairman of Revenue and Taxation policies. In 2015 I was appointed Chairman of Housing, Community and Economic Development policies.
The regional government board (SLOCOG) comprised of myself and the mayors of all the other cities in the county plus the entire Board of Supervisors have unanimously chosen me to represent them and the region in numerous organizations: LOSSAN (the Pacific Surfliner inter-city passenger rail corridor from San Diego to San Luis Obispo - the second largest corridor in the United States), CALCOG which is the organization for all of the regions in California in research, education and "lobbying" at the state and national levels, and NARC (National Association of Regional Councils) which is the organization for all the regional governments in the United States. In addition to that they, and SLORTA, elected me to the leadership positions of their own Joint Powers Authority from 2011 - 2013.
LOSSAN, comprised of representatives of the six coastal southern counties (San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo) plus Riverside County chose me as the first President and Chairman of the Board in its history to come from any of the three northern counties of the jurisdiction. In over 25 years all previous persons to hold those titles were from San Diego, Orange or Los Angeles counties. I was elevated to that position when my predecessor resigned by losing his qualifying position and I moved from Vice-Chair to Chair in 2013. In 2014 I was elected on my own merits. The President/Chairs of the four inter-city passenger rail corridors in the state meet quarterly and chose someone to chair their meetings, without any title. Since June of 2013 I have been chosen to chair every meeting. The President/Chair is also delegated to interface directly with all relevant agencies in Washington D.C., which I have done and am doing.
CALCOG members chose a Board of Directors from their membership and I have been chosen for that board since 2011 and as a member of the Executive Committee since 2012. This group meets twice a year plus any special meetings called on an as needed basis.
NARC's delegates from the entire country chose me, at my first meeting with them in 2011 to represent the entire nation and its territories on its Board of Directors. I still hold that position for a second term. In 2012 the President of NARC appointed me Policy Chairman of the Transportation Committee for the United States and Territories. I have been re-appointed to that position by all succeeding presidents and hold that position today.
These combined duties take up to 350 hours a month to perform. I include travel and "away" time in those hours. The average is about 200 hours.
These positions and duties have put me in direct contact and a working relationship with the administration of both the state and nation plus major organizations that carry out the decisions of those entities. Therefore I have had direct contact and developed a working relationship with executives and leadership of the Obama and Brown administrations and transportation organizations, including AmTrak, Union Pacific, Secretary of Transportation and his National Rail Administration and NARP (National Association of Rail Passengers), among others. These efforts have resulted in billions of dollars being delivered to specific projects to help make our local, regional, state and national transportation systems function better and safer together.
I also work very heavily in decisions regarding energy, water, housing, industry and commerce and the revenue to continue our ability to survive and prosper.
I'm told that the reason I'm being chosen for these roles is the opinion of my peers that I'm capable of making the right decisions in a fair and equitable manner for all concerned as well as being able to see collateral benefits and problems involved in the implementation of specific proposals. I'm also told that I run the most efficient and productive meetings that any of these groups have seen, according to their current membership.
I believe that I'm doing a very good job but am not sure how much of the praise is nothing more than "smoke".