EVP Newsletter 8-11-16
Hey John! What the Hell Has the ECA Been Working On?
From time to time, I feel like I need to let you ECA members know what you are paying me for.
Ok folks-this is what you pay me for:
Tuesday, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors decided to raise “Transient Occupancy Tax” (TOT) rate from the current 9% to 12%. The ECA is closely aligned with the group SOS and I have included their newsletter article on their position for your reading pleasure here
Although this is a General Tax, meaning the BOS can spend it however they wish, I have been, and will continue to be, in personal conversations with the Supervisors advocating they allocate more of this new money (if the voters pass the raise in tax rate) on to fixing our County roads.
Crappiest of the Crappy!
Petaluma Roads: Although they decided moving forward in November of 2016 was too “rushed” for a sales tax measure (link) Petaluma may be coming out with a ballot measure in July of 2017 that would raise some $176 million over 20 years to be applied to that City’s road infrastructure. Hope it passes!
Water? We Don’t Need No Stinking Water! I have had the pleasure over the past year to sit on the Community Advisory Board dealing with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). To review some of what this law “touches”, I urge you to review this linked website by clicking here–
A new “Governing Board” needs to be set up to manage our three local aquifers (Sonoma, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa/Sebastopol plain). If we don’t do it, the State will do it for us. Basically, there are “turf wars” being fought over who should be on this Board, what that Board should be doing, and how are they going to charge for the service they will provide. The “little ‘ole ECA” is on this decision committee and will represent and fight for landowner and water user rights. There are about eighteen members of this committee and I am the only voice for the Construction Industry. What’s at stake? The costs of monitoring wells from the lowliest home owner, to the biggest Municipal wells. Also at stake, will be issues regarding diverting surface runoff and/or recharging the aquifers by increasing injection and/or infiltration of rainwater into the underground aquifers. That would affect everything from cutting down a tree on your land, to grading a slope that rain would run off into a stream. Big stuff.
How About That ECA Expo?
Developing an Equipment Trade Show that we can brand as our own. The concept is that we will invite equipment vendors and trucking firms to an “Expo” that will show new equipment, accessories, and related products at some (TBD) location in region North of the Golden Gate Bridge. This proposed “one day” expo could also showcase truck driver skills (say backing up a set of doubles) through cones, and/or an excavator operator skills session where operators can vie for a top prize in a skill session demonstration. Can you just imagine the “smack talking” that would go along with those exhibitions?
New Look To The ECA Annual General Membership Meeting:
Our ECA Annual General Membership Meeting is held in November:
The GMM Committee and myself are considering the following: The morning of the Annual GMM will be devoted to a series of five “workshops” that will have 45 minute durations and deal with: a) Safety and Employee Injury and Illness Prevention Plan updates which would include the new sawcutting/sandblasting silica regulations coming our way, b) Prevailing Wage “do’s and don’ts” designed to keep both signatory and non-signatory contractors out of the courtroom over compliance issues, c) trailering and hauling do’s and don’ts by the California Highway Patrol, d) the absolute latest in CARB regs and enforcement criteria for all of your on and off road equipment, and finally, e) “Partnering Concepts” both large and small for the Contractor, Owners, and Municipalities.
Folks could choose to go to All, One, or None of the Workshops as well. So you could just attend the luncheon but hope you will want to participate at the workshops with some of your co-workers.
There’s more that we are doing, but I will leave it there. Any thoughts or comments, please let me know!
That’s All Folks-