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TransNet Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee

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TransNet Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee

The TransNet ITOC aids in the implementation of the TransNet program, the San Diego region’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

The TransNet program is administered by SANDAG. As outlined in the Transnet Ordinance and Expenditure Plan, the ITOC provides an increased level of accountability for expenditures of Transnet funds.

With the passage of the Transnet Extension Ordinance and Expenditure Plan in November, 2004 (Proposition A), it was mandated in the Ordinance that an Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee for TransNet be formed to provide an enhanced level of accountability for the expenditure of funds under the Expenditure Plan. The Committee helps ensure that all voter mandates are carried out as required and develops recommendations for improvements to the financial integrity and performance of the program.

ITOC released its Annual Report, which highlights the Committee's milestones and accomplishments during FY 2022.

View FY 21 Annual Report | View FY 20 Annual Report | View FY 19 Annual Report | View FY 2018 Report | View FY 17 Report | View FY 16 Report

ITOC released the fifth Triennial Performance Audit on the Transnet program in June 2021. The fourth audit was released in June 2018, the third audit was released in May 2015, the second audit was released in May 2012, and the first audit was released in May 2009. These required audits from the Transnet Extension Ordinance generally give the program high marks, while making a series of recommendations to improve various processes. ITOC is currently working with SANDAG staff to develop an implementation plan for the recommendations for the most recent audit.

The roles and responsibilities of ITOC, the selection process for ITOC members, and related administrative procedures are to be carried out in substantially the same manner as further described in the document titled, “Statement of Understanding Regarding the Implementation of the Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee for the TransNet Program,” which is incorporated in the TransNet Extension Ordinance and Expenditure Plan. That document, as well as ITOC bylaws and other guidelines adopted by ITOC are included below as downloads.

Part of ITOCs success relies on continued feedback from the public. Building and maintaining open dialogue is a critical element of the future of San Diego’s transportation system — one that offers viable choices and alternatives to travelers. To share your thoughts and ideas with ITOC, please complete our comment form.

As specified in the TransNet Ordinance, ITOC members have been selected to serve in each of the seven specified areas of professional expertise. The Selection Committee, consisting of a panel of city mayors and county supervisors, has selected the following ITOC members:

  • Jonathan Frankel, ITOC Chair (Term expires May 2024): Jonathan is serving in the ITOC position for a professional experienced in real estate and land economics. He is currently Principal Project Manager at Atlantis Group Land Use Consultants where he manages the processing of complex entitlements for residential, mixed use, commercial, and institutional development projects throughout San Diego County. Jonathan also has served in various public sector positions supporting the California State Senate Housing and Transportation Committee, the Office of the City Attorney in San Diego, and the Office of General Counsel at SANDAG. Jonathan holds a Juris Doctor from University of San Diego School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Indiana University. He currently serves as chair of the Mission Valley Planning Group, member of the Building Industry Association, and member of the Urban Land Institute. Jonathan is a Mission Valley resident.

  • Pedro Orso-Delgado, ITOC Vice Chair (Term expires May 2025): Pedro is serving in the ITOC position for a professional in the management of large-scale construction projects. Mr. Orso-Delgado is the principal of his own consulting firm, Under Construction. He served in the capacity of City Manager for the City of Santee from May 2014 to July 2015, and was named the City of Santee’s Deputy City Manager/Director of Development Services in August 2009. In addition, Mr. Orso-Delgado had a 25-year career at Caltrans serving in several capacities, including as the District 11 Director from 2001 through 2009. Mr. Orso-Delgado served as the chair of the Border Governors Infrastructure working table, and led the Caltrans team which applied for and within record time obtained the presidential permit for the new border crossing at Otay Mesa II. He currently serves as Advisor to the College of Engineering Board at San Diego State University, is a Commissioner at the Safety Commission for the City of Chula Vista, and is a Board member at Circulate San Diego. Mr. Orso-Delgado is a San Diego native, attended schools in both San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. He graduated from San Diego State University in 1983 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and began his career with Caltrans in 1984. Mr. Orso-Delgado currently lives in the south bay community of Chula Vista.
  • Dustin Fuller (Term expires May 2023): Dustin is serving in the ITOC position for a professional in biology or environmental science with demonstrated experience in environmental regulations and major project mitigation requirements and/or habitat acquisition and management. He is a Supervising Environmental Planner with the 22nd District Agricultural Association. Dustin has more than 20 years of experience in the environmental planning field, including coordination with resource agencies, preparation of environmental documents, and permit processing. He currently serves on the San Dieguito River Park JPA Board of Directors (Ex-Officio), is a member of the LOSSAN San Diego Regional Coast Corridor Working Group, and a member of the Association of Environmental Professionals. Dustin is an Oceanside resident working in Del Mar.
  • Stewart Halpern (Term expires May 2023): Stewart is serving in the ITOC position for a professional in the field of municipal/public finance and/or budgeting with a minimum of ten years in a relevant and senior decision-making position in the public or private sector. He has over 30 years of experience in various aspects of financial decision-making, managing external auditors, budgeting, and financial analysis. Stewart has served as a senior financial executive for major Wall Street firms with his extensive experience including tax-exempt entity budget analysis and financing. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of of four local not-for-profit organizations and as a member of the Audit Committees of the City of San Diego and of SANDAG. Stewart lives and works in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego.
  • Les Hopper (Term expires May 2024): Les is serving in the ITOC position for a licensed engineer with appropriate credentials in the field of transportation project design or construction and a minimum of ten years of experience in a relevant and senior decision-making position in the government or private sector. Les is a Principal at Rick Engineering Company and leads the Transportation Infrastructure Practice. He has 40 years of hands-on experience in the management, planning, permitting, and design of both public and private projects from inception through construction. He has a Master’s of Business Administration from Chapman University and currently holds board positions on the local WTS and ACEC chapters. He is a past president of the San Diego Transportation Development Agency and of the Society of American Value Engineers. Les enjoys living in North County and works in Mission Valley.
  • Sunnie House (Term expires May 2025): Sunnie is serving in the ITOC position for a chief executive officer or person in a similar senior-level decision-making position, of a major private sector employer with demonstrated experience in leading a large organization. As an executive in operations and business development for large global infrastructure consulting firms for over 23 years, she led diverse teams of professionals in areas of transportation planning, engineering, and program and construction management. Sunnie owns a consulting firm providing management and leadership optimization solutions to public and private organizations to support their growth and success. Sunnie lives and works in Rancho Bernardo area of San Diego.
  • Michael Kenney (Term expires May 2026): Michael is serving in the ITOC position for a licensed architect or civil/traffic engineer with experience in transportation and/or urban design. Michael is a Civil and Traffic Engineer with over 28 years’ experience. He has worked for both private and public entities and has served as City Traffic Engineer for several Cities. Michael lives in the Rolando neighborhood of San Diego.

ITOC bylaws authorize the current ITOC Chair to serve as the primary spokesperson for ITOC.

If you would like to be notified of future vacancies on ITOC, or if you have comments, questions, or suggestions for the Committee, please contact

Ariana zur Nieden, Senior Financial Programming and Project Control Analyst
Phone: (619) 699-6961, Email: mailto:ariana.zurnieden@sandag

Project Manager(s)

Ariana zur Nieden, Senior TransNet Program Manager
Phone: (619) 699-6961, Email:

Meeting Schedule

The ITOC will meet on an as needed basis.

Copies of TransNet Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee meeting agendas, action notes, and presentations are available via the links below. The agendas and action notes are provided in PDF format. Visit our Help section if you have problems viewing any of these PDF files.

Date Meeting Title            Meeting Materials [a-z] [z-a]
12/14/2016Meeting Cancelled             Cancellation Notice
11/9/2016Regular Session             Agenda, Minutes
10/12/2016Regular Session             Agenda, Minutes
9/14/2016Meeting Cancelled             Cancellation Notice
8/10/2016Meeting Cancelled             Cancellation Notice
7/13/2016Regular Session             Agenda, Minutes
6/8/2016Regular Session             Agenda, Minutes
5/11/2016Regular Session             Agenda, Minutes
4/13/2016Regular Session             Agenda, Minutes
3/9/2016Regular Session             Agenda, FY 2015 TransNet Independent Auditor's Annual Report and Draft TransNet and TransNet Extension Activities, for the Year Ended June 30, 2015, Minutes
2/10/2016Regular Session             Agenda, Minutes
1/13/2016Regular Session             Agenda, Minutes

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