See Kerth run

Rob Kerth makin’ moves.

Rob Kerth makin’ moves.

Officially, Rob Kerth left his job as executive director at the Midtown Business Association, in order to try and retake his old seat on the Sacramento City Council.

The unofficial version is that he was forced out of the MBA by unhappy business owners and other board members. Whispers of Kerth’s ouster had been circulating for weeks. Back in September rumor was that Kerth had been voted out, which he dispelled. “It’s a 25 member board. I managed to keep 13 of them happy with me at any one time.”

But on Monday The Sacramento Bee reported that Kerth had indeed been “given notice,” according to an email that reporter Ryan Lillis had gotten his hands on.

Kerth had been not-so-secretly considering a run for the District 2 council seat currently represented by Sandy Sheedy. She won the seat in 2000, after Kerth gave it up to run for mayor against fellow councilwoman Heather Fargo.

Within hours of Lillis’ post, Kerth sent out an email blast making his candidacy official. He told SN&R that his parting with the MBA, “was definitely a mutual decision.”

“We’ve been working on this transition for many months.”

As for the race, Kerth said this election is a critical one for north Sac and other parts of the district, where revitalization has been stalled by the economy. “It’s wrong to think that north Sacramento’s best days are behind it,” he said. He joins Sheedy, political organizer Kim Mack and possibly other candidates, in what promises to be a lively race. “The more people who get in, the better the ideas that will come out of it,” Kerth said. (Cosmo Garvin)

American idle

As you dodge potholes downtown or merge onto Interstate 80 in a high-speed game of chicken and disappearing lanes, here is something to give you pause—if the traffic already hasn’t. The average person in Sacramento spends about a day each year stuck in traffic. At the same time, that person burns 27 gallons in unused fuel, which also adds to the area’s smog.

The numbers are from a new assessment of traffic congestion in 439 urban areas by the Texas Transportation Institute.

Sacramento ranked 22nd in its category of large urban areas in TTI’s latest Urban Mobility Report based on data from 2010. The Washington, D.C., area, with its robust economy, had the worst traffic congestion nationally, followed by Chicago and then Los Angeles. The Bay Area placed sixth, and commuters lost 50 hours per year to traffic.

TTI—a Texas A&M University think thank—found that congestion cost Sacramentans $507 in lost wages last year. Additionally, the hold-ups also hurt local business through delayed deliveries and other inefficiencies.

“Congestion does more than choke our highways,” co-author Tim Lomax said. “It chokes our economy and makes it harder to buy what we need and harder to keep a job.” To read the Urban Mobility Report, visit: (Hugh Biggar)