The continued importance of volunteer fire departments is highlighted
in this plan. Rather than working exclusively with unionized
firefighters, we have instead dedicated ourselves to training and
retaining volunteer firefighters. Instead of paying large sums of
money to career firefighters, the County believes that taxpayers can
get a better bang for their fire-protection buck by utilizing
well-trained volunteers. This saves taxpayers a great deal of money. I
have always believed that volunteer departments need to be bolstered,
and that they should remain a vital cog in the County Fire Authority’s
fire protection machine.
The other half of the Fire Authority relies on our continued
partnership with CAL FIRE for fire protection assets, equipment, and
the ability to keep fire stations open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
with increased staffing.
In this edition of the “Word,” I’ll be sharing important news about
a move to ensure fair and open competition for County contracts and
two key public forums set for next month on the General Plan Update
and Crime-Free Housing.
Thank you for the honor of serving as your advocate for efficient
and responsive government.
Fair and Open Competition
My fellow Supervisors supported my recommendation to place
Proposition A, the Fair and Open Competition measure on the November
ballot. This measure would prohibit the County from requiring
contractors to enter into Project Labor Agreements as a condition of
performing County construction projects, unless overturned by the voters.
Since Prop A is an important ballot measure to the County of San
Diego, I am including below an informational impartial analysis that
was prepared by our County Counsel and which appears in the Voter
Pamphlet to help you better understand this measure.
PROPOSITION A: PROPOSED SAN DIEGO COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT TO
ENSURE FAIR AND OPEN COMPETITION FOR COUNTY CONSTRUCTION
COUNTY COUNSEL IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS
You are asked to vote on a proposed amendment to the San Diego
County Charter. This proposed amendment, if approved, would add
Section 705.4 to the San Diego Charter. Proposed Section 705.4 would
prohibit the County from requiring contractors to enter into project
labor agreements as a condition of performing County construction
projects unless a project labor agreement is required by State or
federal law, or the project labor agreement is a condition to receive
State or federal funding.
A project labor agreement is a type of collective bargaining
agreement entered into between labor organizations and a contractor
that applies to the contractor’s construction project. The agreements
can cover a wide variety of matters, but typically limit strikes,
lockouts and other types of work stoppages in exchange for concessions
from the contractor regarding wages, benefits and other terms of
employment in connection with the construction project.
The proposed Charter amendment language only applies to County
construction projects. Construction projects are defined as County
projects for the construction, rehabilitation, alteration, conversion,
extension, maintenance, repair, or improvement of any structure
This proposed Charter amendment, with two exceptions, prohibits the
County from taking action that would require a contractor to enter
into a project labor agreement as a condition of performing a County
construction project. The two exceptions are: (1) If State or federal
law requires a project labor agreement in connection with a particular
County construction project, the County would be able to require such
a project labor agreement in order to comply with State or federal
law. (2) If the receipt of State or federal funding is conditioned
upon there being a project labor agreement applicable to a County
construction project, the County would be able to require such a
project labor agreement.
It is important to note that the proposed Charter amendment would
not restrict contractors and labor organizations from voluntarily
entering into project labor agreements on their own, independent of
any County requirements. A contractor and a labor organization will
continue to be free to agree between themselves to enter into a
project labor agreement on a County construction project even if the
proposed Charter amendment is approved by the voters.
A “YES” vote is a vote in favor of amending the San Diego County
Charter that would prohibit the County from requiring project labor
agreements on County construction projects unless required to do so by
State or federal law or to receive State or federal funding.
A “NO” vote is a vote against the adoption of this proposed Charter amendment.
General Plan Update Public Workshop
One of the most important documents in our county’s history is the
General Plan Update (GPU), a blueprint for how the unincorporated
portions of the county will look for decades to come. The plan is
moving toward completion.