One of the most important ballot measures approved by the people of California was Proposition 13 (the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation). The 1978 amendment to California’s Constitution mandated that the maximum tax on real property shall not exceed 1% of its full cash value. The law provided a sense of security for homeowners and added a measure of fiscal control for the people over politicians.
Last month, the County Board of Supervisors proposed another landmark measure that one day may result in the same opportunity for the public to control its elected officials and ensure that millions of dollars will be saved on county government projects.
The Board approved my recommendation to place on the November 2010 ballot a proposed Charter Amendment relating to fair and open competition in the County of San Diego.
Currently, a simple majority of the County Board of Supervisors have the power to require, prohibit, or remain neutral on Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for county contracts. If the ballot measure is approved, that power would be transferred to a majority of voters in San Diego County, and a majority vote of the people would be required for the Board of Supervisors to do anything other than allow all qualified contractors the opportunity to compete for county contracts.
Project Labor Agreements exist on the federal level. In Executive Order 13502 issued by President Barack Obama, a PLA is defined as “a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes terms and conditions of employment for a special construction project.”