ECA NEWSLETTER 7-25-19
There are a few important items the ECA is working on, and I felt the best use of the “Soapbox” was not to make fun of the Mueller testimony (or “Not in my purvey” non-testimony), but rather to let you know what we are up to.
- Emergency Contracts and Protocol:
On Wednesday, July 24 I met with Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins along with Dustin Abbott of Pacific Sanitation (our newest ECA Member!), and Doug Holmes of Ghilotti Brothers to discuss several issues of importance to ECA membership. One of those issues was the glaring need for a “workshop” with Chris Godwell (Sonoma County Emergency Services Coordinator) and his staff to clarify and coordinate prequalification of contractors and suppliers for the “next” County emergency. The fires of 2017 and the flood of 2019 demonstrated that there is a great need for local assistance when the next earthquake/fire/flood hits and the County is woefully ill prepared to mobilize local resources quickly and efficiently. There are problems to work out in getting contractors and suppliers paid for their work, figuring out a fair way to utilize local contractors and suppliers such that the County does not compromise their reimbursement of emergency expenditures from FEMA and CALOES, and a balanced use of local contractors and suppliers that are prequalified to be utilized. Lynda Hopkins is very supportive of this effort by ECA to work with County Emergency Services staff to clearly go over what contractual issues, limits, and duties can be ascertained and completed ahead of time for the prequalification efforts. A bigger and more complex problem might be to utilize local suppliers during an emergency as FEMA has “National” prequalified sources that they require be used instead of local suppliers (such as straw wattles, silt fence, etc.). There is much to do, and I will be bringing this effort up to the ECA Board of Directors soon with the hopes that a temporary advisory committee be formed to help with a structured recommendation and negotiation with the County Emergency services staff. If you have any desire to a part of the solution and participate with us, please give me a call or email and let me know you are willing to devote a few hours in the next 2-3 months to get this done!
- Partnering in Public Works:
At the same meeting with Lynda Hopkins as described above, the concept of Partnering was raised with the intent that formal Partnering be a requirement on all County Transportation and Public Works projects in excess of $500,000 value. We will soon set up a meeting with Johannes at TPW to discuss this proactive and positive potential for making the Public works projects go smoother and save the taxpayers some money. Thanks to Ghilotti Brothers for bringing this to the County’s attention with the ECA!
- AB5 Exemption for Trucking on General Engineering Projects:
On Thursday, 7-25-19, I will meet with Kimberlina from Kadon Trucking and Logan Pitts, the Field Representative of State Senator Bill Dodd of the 3rd District to discuss how to best facilitate assistance with “carving out an exemption” when AB 5 goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee in late August, and then on to the Senate Floor for a final vote before the Bill heads to Governor Newsome’s desk to be signed into law. As I have written before, if AB5 goes through without amendment, our trucking companies will be hard pressed to supply all the trucks and drivers needed to our larger projects in a timely manner. Without being able to utilize independent truckers to balance out the demand, some projects will have to be delayed and additional costs to both the Contractor and the Public will be realized. Also, the investment of both Contractors who own their own equipment and independent truckers who own their own equipment, could potentially have to sell or idle some of their investment until such time as enough drivers are employed under the new law to operate them.
The ECA is working closely with Debbie Ferrari of Mag Trucking who has been working tirelessly to provide a clear exemption to owner operators in AB5.
That’s All Folks