The County of San Diego, despite “politics as usual” in Sacramento, has a balanced budget withhealthy reserves and a credit rating among the highest of any government in the U.S.
I shared our efforts to step up campaigns against gang violence and what we have done to make our fire agencies and volunteer fire departments better equipped and better trained. On the other hand, extreme environmentalists are hampering our efforts to manage vegetation preventing wildfires.
I discussed land preservation with the park we are building along the San Luis Rey River and our work with the Coates family to preserve Rancho Guejito near Escondido in addition to the critical need for water availability and distribution. We are the victim of a political drought in California brought on by misguided policies and court decisions.
I praised the cooperation of the Fallbrook community for bringing their new library closer to opening and emphasized the importance of the newly renovated and improved Palomar Airport.
For a full transcript of my comments, I invite you to go to: http://billhorn.cloudapp.net
In this edition of the Word, I’ll tell you about the ordinance I
brought forward that bans Project Labor Agreements in the County, a
look at the two-day workshop we held for people to learn how zoning
changes may impact their property, and local efforts to boost small
business. Thanks for the honor of serving you as your Fifth District
Fair Play with PLA
As an elected guardian of our County, I believe it is my duty to protect the taxpayer dollar and ensure fair and open competition for County contracts.
Last month, my colleagues and I on the Board of Supervisors took an important step to protect those precious dollars. At my request, we voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance that bans Project Labor Agreements (PLA) in County contracts beyond what the State and Federal government mandate.
A Project Labor Agreement is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement to use union labor on a project. When required, it eliminates the ability for non-union companies and workers to compete for and work on government projects. When required by Federal, State, or local governments, a PLA discriminates against the approximately 85% of construction workers who are non-union and reduces competition to only those contractors who use union labor.
The PLA is like a requirement to use a gold plated hammer when a regular hammer will get the job done. It’s a union tool that can only be used at a high price. No matter what my colleagues and voters decide, the PLA will never be our tool. It limits competition to only those companies that pay union wages. Historically, bids have come in higher and project costs have risen by as much as 8% to 20% over non-PLA projects. All qualified contractors and workers should have a chance to compete for the contracts and jobs that use their tax dollars. With the ordinance, union companies will still be able to bid for and win County contracts. However, they’ll have to compete on a level playing field and show they can build projects better, cheaper, and faster than other companies to win contracts.
In the last 12 months, the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, Oceanside, and the County of Orange have all taken steps to reduce or eliminate requirements to use the PLA.
The Board also directed the Chief Administrative Officer to return to the Board in 180 days with a report on County contracting, competition and privatization including practices that could be formalized by policy, ordinance, or reconsideration for putting an initiative on the November ballot for voter approval.