On Tuesday, 10-15-19, Community Relations Chair Lacey Torkelson Smith and Mary Kennedy Cabrera and I met with Tom Boylan to discuss a new concept for a Public Relations campaign. Before I talk about the ideas we kicked around, first a little background—
Last week, I had a discussion with Jere Starks from Sonoma Raceway. Jere brought up something I was aware of but needed a reminder about to act upon. Jere commented on how nice it was for the ECA to have adopted the Sonoma Valley Teen Center as its Community Relations Project some years ago (by the way, if any of you worked on this project or know anyone that worked on this project, please contact me with your info as we would like to do a “spotlight” in the future where we show photos and talk about what the ECA Members did to develop this great resource in Sonoma Valley).
Jere also mentioned that he felt the ECA could “toot our horn” a little better about some of the many Community Relations Projects we have done over the years. Not only “toot our horn” but reestablish a connection between the ECA and the CR Projects so our Members know about the charity and they also can take pride in what we have done to help the Community.
I thought this was a great reminder for me to “step up our game” on some of these past Projects to inform everyone of how much impact our Members have had to better our region. Tom, Lacey, Mary and I brainstormed for over an hour, and decided to put together an outline in a few weeks that I can assign budget dollars to, that would further our Public Relations efforts that should have many direct and some indirect benefits.
With an important vote upcoming on the sales tax extension of Road and Infrastructure funding Measure M, what better way to show people the benefits that our area receives as a result of our sales tax dollars going to hire local contractors using local materials in fixing our roads and bridges? The concept is that if we demonstrate how much impact our CR Projects have had, the “tie in” is that local dollars not only fix the roads, they allow our contractors and suppliers to give back to the community by helping with these CR projects that are so needed by so many.
I hope you all like the concept. If you would like to help with any kind of information on past CR Projects, or help with any ideas to promote these past CR Projects to the public, we just might convince a few voters to cast their “YES” vote on the Measure M extension which could fund our road needs for many decades. What better way to enjoy doing “feel good” projects that help those that need it, while coming back and helping ourselves in the end.
Maybe this can help me, to help you so you can help us.
Pretty cool huh?
More to come in about a month as we “flesh out” our approach to this.
Thanks Tom Boylan and Lacey!!
That’s All Folks!
Community Relations Committee News:
*Chair Lacey Torkelson Smith had Bob from the Earl Baum Center and Barry from The Lions Club come to the Board Meeting on 10-15-19 to present the latest Community Relations Project for consideration. Twenty years ago, the ECA Members adopted the sitework at the Earl Baum Center on Occidental Road as their CR Project and the facility was built. So, the ECA has a long-standing relationship with the Center. The presentation was a good one, and Lacey led the Board in a unanimous vote of approval. The new project consists of a small gravel pad (approximately 50’x45’x6” deep) on an already cleared site. We just need to scrape off some weeds, level it, install a weed barrier and then the gravel, and we are done. The Earl Baum Center will provide a nice plaque for us (Braille included!). If you would like to chip in and provide some help, please let me know very quickly as we want to get this built right away.
*If any of you out there worked on the Earl Baum sitework 20 years ago, we would like to hear from you. Please let us know if you worked on it or remember who did please!
To click on the Earl Baum Center website, click here—
Spec Committee Meeting News: Chair Dave Weller
Next meeting will be October 24, 12 noon to 1:30 pm. We have come up with some great examples for the City of Santa Rosa to improve their chances to get better bids from you contractors and will be sharing our findings with the City folk at this meeting.
If anybody has any other Specification or Contract type issues out there, please let us know so we can address them at the Spec Committee meeting on 10-24-19. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please RSVP as we provide lunch at this meeting.
Workforce Development Committee News: Chair Laura McArthur will be following up with internship information from Sonoma State and SRJC as well as some intern types that have gone through the Sonoma Teen Center (another one of the ECA’s Community Relations Projects from the past!!). If you have experience with the intern program or have interest in hiring any interns, please contact Laura or myself. To click on the Sonoma Valley Teen Center website link, click here—
Two Updates On Government Affairs:
- The ECA and NCBE Hosted a Forum on AB5 Last Night:
The Forum featured three great speakers: Stephen Holden from the Holden Law Group in Auburn, Debbie Ferrari from Mag Trucking in Hayward, and Mike Ghilotti from Ghilotti Brothers, Inc. in San Rafael. The Forum was sponsored by V Dolan Trucking, InterWest Insurance Services, and R & S Trucking. We had 80 attendees that included many truckers and many trucking brokers that wanted to learn about any possible “workarounds” of this disastrous AB5 law going into effect January 1, 2020.
Mr. Holden (who we were able to connect with thanks to Erik Fowler and Mike Ryan) carefully explained the legal issues and the background of the independent contractor issue. He recommended everybody carefully review their employment policies and procedures to make certain that on January 1, 2020, all those that have hired and utilized independent contractors in the past, are well protected from compliance issues. Mr. Holden also warned us that trying to do a “workaround” is dangerous even if you are able to avoid the AB5 compliance issues. One of the main reasons it is “risky”, is if a trucking company dispatches his/her own employees driving his/her own trucks, that is fine-they are his/her employees. If a trucking company then tries to utilize another company’s employees driving their own trucks, the risk is that those drivers and trucks become the liability of the trucking company that is using them. In other words, if there is a labor dispute from a driver, or if there is an accident, or a worker comp claim, the company that is “borrowing” those employees could be held responsible. Many other aspects of this new law were discussed.
Ms. Ferrari discussed the Legislative aspect of the new AB5. She informed us that there were a few Assemblymen that stood up during debate and took issue with AB5 and they asked their associates for a “carve out” to no avail. Those “friendlies” are being contacted now to see if they would be willing to author a “clean up” bill to allow trucking companies to be exempt from the new law. Although there is hope, there is no clear path to exemption in the near future and Debbie warned the audience they should expect a rough 2 or so years as this is worked through.
Mike Ghilotti talked about how the General Contractors are on the side of the trucking brokers in this issue. He talked about the need to stay unified in trying to find a solution for the trucking broker industry. The brokers serve a particular need by making sure the right number of qualified and inspected and safe trucks show up when and where they are supposed to, as well as arranging dump sites and providing other useful resources to the GC’s.
At the end of the evening, I asked if everyone would appreciate doing a similar “Forum Update” in about 6 weeks and the response was unanimously “YES”. Further, the idea of gathering General Contracting owners with trucking broker owners in a room with our local Assembly and Senate Representatives Marc Levine, Jim Woods, Bill Dodd and Mike McGuire also was deemed a great idea. Perhaps, since elected will want our help to pass a Measure M sales tax extension, we “negotiate” some assistance from our local elected in fixing AB5 in exchange for Measure M support? More to follow—-
How a contractor or supplier can help. link
- Sonoma County Supervisor Candidate Forum 10-16-19:
I attended the Sonoma County Candidate Forum for Supervisor on 10-16-19 at the Santa Rosa Golf and Country Club. Candidates were David Cook and Susan Gorin for the 1st District, Shirlee Zane and Chris Coursey for the 3rd District, and Lynda Hopkins unopposed in West County District.
The big difference between Susan Gorin and David Cook is that Cook opposes any road tax. Susan supports it.
The big difference between Shirlee Zane and Chris Coursey is that Shirlee is endorsed by all our State Representatives (Jim Woods, Mike McGuire, and Bill Dodd) and by our United States Congressman Mike Thompson. This is important because Shirlee knows how to leverage those relationships to get Federal and State funding for our Sonoma County needs, while Chris is not endorsed by any of those mentioned above. My other editorial comment regarding Mr. Coursey is that he was critical of the County on many aspects, yet short on solutions to his stated problems. As to his one critical comment that Supervisors tend to “pull and push staff in different directions because of their own District wants” he suggested the solution was to “bash some heads of staff together to fix that”. Ms. Zane countered that “bashing heads” is not a good idea and she suggested working with staff to achieve benefits for all County residents while still representing her own District constituents.
Lynda Hopkins is running unopposed (so far), but she still supports fixing our roads and bridges as the #1 priority. Lynda was also aggressive and vocal in her support of both Susan Gorin and Shirlee Zane. In particular, Lynda pointed out accomplishments by Zane in building homes for our homeless veterans and streamlining the effort to build more affordable housing.