Association of Bay Area Governments

Councilman Kansen Chu Charges Expensive Yosemite Retreat to the City

San Jose Councilman Kansen Chu attended a weekend conference in Yosemite with his wife to learn about sustainable communities. Or something like that.

All work and no play makes Kansen Chu a dull councilmember. Back in March, the representative for San Jose’s Berryessa district (and 2014 State Assembly candidate) took a trip with his wife—on the city’s dime—to Yosemite National Park to attend the 22nd Annual Ahwahnee Conference for Local Elected Officials. What initially caught Fly’s attention was the conference, titled “Building Livable Communities: New Strategies for a New Age,” was sponsored by a who’s who of who-cares-about-the-environment: PG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison Company and the Southern California Gas Company. But a closer look at Councilman Chu’s expense report shows he barely attended the event, despite shelling out $809.54 of taxpayer dollars.

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Officials Consider New Tax on Drivers

It could be an expensive road ahead for Bay Area drivers—literally. Transportation planners are throwing around the idea to make the Bay Area the first place in the country to tax drivers for every mile they travel, with an average bill of up to $1,300 per year. The scheme would require installing GPS-like trackers on everyone’s car to keep track of how far they travel, which sounds a little fishy on its own.

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