Guingona loses Samtrans seat to Matsumoto 

The man who has represented the North County on local transportation boards for the past 10 years lost his seat Friday to a rival who has criticized his attendance record.

South San Francisco City Councilwoman Karyl Matsumoto claimed a seat on the San Mateo County Transit District and San Mateo County Transportation Authority boards Friday after defeating Daly City Councilman Mike Guingona in a vote of the City Selection Committee, comprised of representatives from each city council in the county. The committee had voted previously on Jan. 26 but neither candidate received the necessary 11 votes.

In 2006, a busy year personally and professionally for Guingona, he missed seven meetings on each board, according to records. Matsumoto seized on that record in campaigning for the seat, which Guingona has held since 1997.

"It had nothing to do about Mike’s credentials or capabilities. It was strictly on his attendance," said Matsumoto, who said she was surprised by the politics involved with the seat when council members she spoke with questioned why she was running.

"I had no idea when I entered this that it was going to be so high-profile and so intense," Matsumoto said.

But Guingona — who said he had County Supervisors Jerry Hill and Adrienne Tissier calling council members on his behalf — said that Matsumoto had campaigned hard and had her supporters out making calls.

"I hope she is as passionate about doing the job as she was to get the job," Guingona said, who added that he was glad he had a "great opportunity to serve" the community.

The SamTrans and Transportation Authority boards manage the county’s bus operations, overseeing an $85 million budget, and manage roughly $63 million in sales tax funds dedicated to transportation.

Guingona garnered votes Friday from Brisbane, Colma, Daly City, Foster City, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos and San Mateo, but Matsumoto dominated the mid and south county, winning 11 votes from Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Portola Valley, South San Francisco and Woodside. Pacifica did not register a vote because its member arrived late.

dsmith@examiner.com

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