Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Analyzing Fresno's PLA vote
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 7 years ago on
December 23, 2016

Share

Labor claimed a victory when the Fresno city council approved a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) at its December 15 meeting. The agreement means the city will work with a collective of labor unions to provide workers for projects funded by the $70 million the city received in the Transformative Climate Community Program (TCCP).

The program is administered by the Strategic Growth Council (SGC), a state agency based in Sacramento. The money was set aside by AB 2722, which Governor Jerry Brown signed into law at a Fresno ceremony in September. The funds come from the Cap & Trade program,  Brown’s project to help reduce greenhouse gases.

Of the $140 million in TCCP funds, half was dedicated to Fresno. Los Angeles and a yet-to-be determined third city will share the remaining half. According to a report from the SGC, “The cities of Los Angeles and Fresno experience substantially higher pollution burdens than other parts of the state…. Fresno in particular is exceptionally disadvantaged. Of the state’s major population centers, the city has the largest per capita population of top 5 percent disadvantaged community residents in the state, at nearly 40% of the population.”

The city council approved the PLA, 5-2: Oliver Baines, who sponsored the contract vote was joined by Paul Caprioglio, Sal Quintero, Esmeralda Soria and Mayor-elect Lee Brand. Steve Brandau and Clint Olivier opposed the PLA.

Known as a fiscal conservative, Brand was supported in his election by the Association of Builders and Contractors of Northern California (ABC NorCal) and the Greater Fresno Chamber of Commerce. Both oppose PLAs.

Nicole Goehring, Community and Government Relations Director for ABC NorCal, tells GV Wire she is disappointed in Brand’s vote. She tells GV Wire she understand the pressure Brand was under from Sacramento. However, during a forum on March 31 that ABC NorCal held in Fresno, Goehring says Brand said he supports anything that evens the playing field.

“I’ve got to look at the bigger picture. (It is) protecting and addressing the issues of the entire city and improving the quality of life for all our citizens,” Brand told GV Wire.

“Based on my conversations in Sacramento, I believe had we voted down the PLA, it would seriously jeopardize that funding, not only for the $70 million of cap and trade, but also for tens of millions of other dollars that will come down the road,” Brand told GV Wire. “It will have a transformative impact on the city of Fresno.”

No official documentation indicates that a PLA was required to accept the $70 million. Brand explains to GV Wire why he still supported it. “When you read in between the lines, the Powers That Be in Sacramento (made it) clear to me the direction we had to go. You have to make tough decisions when you want to be in leadership.”

As with most public processes, the SGChad periods of open comment and review. Most of the supporters of Fresno receiving the $70 million came from environmental groups. Many either wrote letters or spoke during public comment periods. Groups such as The Trust for Public Land, Climate Resolve, and the Natural Resources Defense Council all sent letters of support.

Of the 30 speakers who testified at a public comment period in Fresno on November 7, none were listed as representing a union or other labor organizations, according to SGC documents.

PLAs themselves are controversial. Fresno has the distinction of being the first city in the nation to ban project labor agreements in 2000. But thanks to state pressure of pulling funds, the council reversed itself, repealing the PLA ban in 2014.

Chuck Riojas is the Financial Secretary/Treasurer of the Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare Counties Building & Construction Trade Council. They are listed as the agency in the PLA contract with Fresno. “PLAs are good, not only for the city of Fresno, but for anybody who will do a infrastructure project that cares about its community.”

“We just don’t believe in they are good for the overall taxpayers representatives. We are not opposed to unions. We think they should be fair and open for everybody,” Ronald Hicks, a board member of ABC NorCal, says. He also is the vice president of Soltek Pacific Construction in Clovis.

Hicks says PLAs can cause a 15-25% overrun, something Riojas disagrees with. “It doesn’t. There is no credible evidence that it ever does.”

With the money and the PLA in place, it is not quite known when construction projects will start. The PLA says that at least half of the man hours on the project must come from the local area. Also, the PLA will make an effort to hire veterans.

While contractors who bid on TCCP do not have to be union shops, the Building & Construction Trade Council is in control of making employee referrals. However, contractors are allowed to use their own employees, and a worker on TCCP project does not have to belong to a union.

Files

Fresno PLA document

E-mail David Taub

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

UP NEXT

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

UP NEXT

From Tragedy to Triumph: The Land Before Time Litter’s Journey

UP NEXT

Fresno Monopoly is Coming. You Have a Chance to Make It Your Own.

UP NEXT

Bob Nelson Breaks Silence on Fresno Unified Superintendent Search

UP NEXT

After Fong Ruling, a ‘Bitter Pill to Swallow’ for US Senate Losers Katie Porter & Barbara Lee?

UP NEXT

Fresno’s ‘Rods on the Bluff’ Is Driven by Friendship, Creativity, and Achievement

UP NEXT

This Chill Tabby Cat Loves Hanging Out With People. Is He Your ‘Purrfect’ Match?

UP NEXT

Fresno Unified Trustees Expand Superintendent Search to Include External Candidates

UP NEXT

Legendary Comedians Seinfeld and Carolla Lead Fresno Entertainment Lineup

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

2 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

2 days ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

2 days ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

2 days ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

3 days ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

3 days ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

Last June, more than half of California’s lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike, with no particular ideological preference — attended ...

22 hours ago

22 hours ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

22 hours ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

1 day ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

2 days ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend