OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Larry Labrado’

Live from RSCCD on PLA Discussion Procedure in Relation to the Brown Act; RSCCD Board Officer Selection

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 12, 2013

RSCCDI’m live at the RSCCD Board meeting to cover Item 6.6 on their agenda. For background on this item, see my post earlier tonight on this. Basically, the RSCCD Board was discussing in closed session efforts to impose a PLA on all work done from Measure Q, the $198,000,000 bond passed in 2012 in the western half of the district (Santa Ana and very small portions of Garden Grove and Anaheim). Item 6.6 forces the PLA to be discussed in open session.

(5:42 PM): Trustee Claudia Alvarez says RSCCD wants to follow the law. She says many districts negotiate PLAs in closed session. She says the reason to negotiate a PLA in closed session is for the district’s strategic advantage. She says there is no cover-up effort because they’ve brought Item 6.6 in open session.

(5:43 PM): Trustee John Hanna says these PLA negotiations should no longer be discussed substantively in closed session. Hanna says he agrees with Alvarez. He says the Chancellor should negotiate privately, so the RSCCD Board can examine the negotiation product in open session.

(5:46 PM): Trustee Larry Labrado wants the Board Executive Committee (not just the Board President) to be able to privately confer with the Chancellor on the PLA. The Executive Committee consists of 3 of the 7 trustees: the President, Vice President, and Secretary.

(5:47 PM): Alvarez says there’s nothing wrong with each trustee being updated by the Chancellor on the PLA negotiations.

(5:48 PM): Hanna wants Item 6.6 to be amended to have Board to “continue its practice of refraining” from discussing the PLA negotiations.

(5:49 PM): Trustee Phil Yarbrough disputes that this is RSCCD’s practice, hence the need for Item 6.6.

(5:50 PM): Hanna says it is the practice. He hopes to get an Attorney General opinion that they can negotiate PLAs in closed session.

(5:52 PM): Yarbrough says amending the practice going forth like Item 6.6 is good because PLAs should be discussed in open session like the Brown Act requires.

(5:53 PM): Chancellor Raul Rodriguez warns that the Alvarez proposal could violate the Brown Act’s serial meeting rules.

(5:54 PM): Board President Arianna Barrios says there are four conflicting opinions, including the Chancellor’s and Craig Alexander’s. She is concerned that RSCCD would lose in an Attorney General’s opinion, so that’s one of the reasons she agendized Item 6.6.

(5:56 PM): The Hanna Amendment is passed unanimously.

(5:57 PM): I note that neither Trustee Jose Solorio nor Nelida Yanez has uttered a word in the debate.

(5:58 PM): Item 6.6 is approved unanimously.

(5:59 PM): Hanna says he will nominate Alvarez for Clerk. Yarbrough seconds.

Solorio says he would like to be President. (I would note this would enable him to be RSCCD President during his candidacy for the hotly contested 34th Senate District race in 2014 against Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen.)

Labrado says he would like to be Vice President.

(6:05 PM): Ironically, RSCCD staff are now doing a presentation on projects that were funded by Measure E, which was the $337,000,000 bond passed in 2002 in all of RSCCD (Santa Ana, Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim Hills, and small portions of Garden Grove). The presentation noted numerous projects that were over budget and behind schedule. Measure E projects are already subject to a PLA. (The PLA discussion related to Item 6.6 from tonight’s meeting were involving Measure Q, the 2012 bond for $198,000,000 in western RSCCD: Santa Ana and small portions of Garden Grove and Anaheim.)

(6:15 PM): I’m done with this live blog. It’ll be interesting going forward in future meetings, with their pledge to not discuss PLA negotiations in private. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the developments with the PLA, which will mandate only unionized labor working on Measure Q projects. The other union demands will also be included in the PLA, but obviously those are still being negotiated; OC Political will reveal those as soon as we know what they are. RSCCD President-designate Solorio will likely have his hands full when the PLA terms go public.

Posted in Rancho Santiago Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rancho Santiago Community College District Board Accused of Violating Brown Act in Negotiating PLAs; Jose Solorio Accused of Leading Violation Effort

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 12, 2013

RSCCDThe Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Board of Trustees has been accused of violating the Brown Act by negotiating PLA terms in closed session. (For those unfamiliar, PLAs are Project Labor Agreements, which basically require union labor terms on the projects in question, including requiring unionized labor to be employed by private contractors who are hired to work on the project.)

Conservative Trustee Phil Yarbrough has accused the liberal-dominated RSCCD Board of violating the Brown Act by negoiating PLAs in closed session. Yarbrough has retained attorney Craig Alexander (an affiliate attorney of the Pacific Justice Institute and an OC Political blogger), who sent this seven-page letter admonishing the district and demanding it comply with the Brown Act, the state’s government transparency law, by discussing the PLA in open session in front of the public.

In an apparent reaction to the letter, the RSCCD agenda for tonight’s meeting includes Item 6.6, which is entitled, “Discussion of Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement Negotiations with Los Angeles-Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council/Craft Unions/Carpenters Union” on the agenda. (“Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement Negotiations” is the RSCCD euphemism for “PLA negotiations”). The staff recommendation is: “It is recommended that the board formally agree to refrain from any discussion of negotiations on the Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement in closed session unless or until more conclusive information is provided to clarify the legality of such discussions in closed session per the Brown Act.” In other words, the RSCCD is no longer certain that its previous actions in discussing the PLA negotiations were legal.

Kevin Dayton has dissected the RSCCD PLA issue at the Flash Report.

OC Political has received emails from various groups on this issue pointing to Jose Solorio as the leader of this closed session PLA effort. The Associated Builders and Contractors had the most concise email on this issue, which was sent over yesterday:

Help Stop Jose Solorio From Illegally Hiding His $29 Million Taxpayer Give-Away To Special Interests

Help stop RSCCD Trustee Jose Solorio from illegally hiding his $29 million taxpayer give-away to special interests!  It is being voted on TOMORROW, TUESDAY 11/12/2013 at 4pm.

It seems the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Board of Trustees has been violating California’s open meeting laws (also known as “The Brown Act”) by negotiating a discriminatory union agreement on their nearly $200 million dollar Measure Q bond passed by voters in November 2012. No mention of this wasteful special interest deal was of course ever made when selling this to the citizens – and now the public is being purposefully kept out of the debate.
Help Stop Jose Solorio From Illegally Hiding His $29 Million Taxpayer Give-Away To Special Interests
If that isn’t bad enough, they might vote tomorrow night to CONTINUE ILLEGALLY HIDING THIS FROM THE PUBLIC!

The PLA is Item 6.6 on the agenda and the last two pages of the document include an error-riddled memo from the Chancellor trying to pretend that “It is a common practice for…public agencies to discuss PLA negotiations in closed session.”

We need you to do the following:
Attend the meeting tomorrow. TUESDAY November 12th at 4:00pm at the RSCCD District Offices located at 2323 North Broadway, Board Room #107 Santa Ana, CA 92706. We need you to bring management, workers, and apprentices and tell the RSCCD Trustees to bring this deal out into the light of day!

These discriminatory union deals are traditionally called Project Labor Agreements or PLA’s, but in another effort to disguise this waste from the public, RSCCD went so far as to call the agreement a “Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement.”  Join us tomorrow night and help stop this ongoing deception!

If it is such a good idea to waste $29 million dollars of our teachers and students education dollars just to over-pay for construction, then why is Jose Solorio trying to cover this deal up?

Posted in Rancho Santiago Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Eight File for Orange City Council: Alvarez, Grangoff, Labrado, and Murphy Clear Frontrunners

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 14, 2012

Mike Alvarez

Mike Alvarez

Ray Grangoff

Ray Grangoff

Larry Labrado

Larry Labrado

Mark Murphy

Mark Murphy

Eight people filed for Orange City Council by the close of filing Friday.  Two council seats are up, and they are held by termed-out Councilmembers Jon Dumitru (R) and Tita Smith (D), so there are no eligible incumbents in this race.  In alphabetical order by last name, the nine candidates (and their ballot designations) are:

  • Mike Alvarez (R) – Businessman
  • Richard Callahan (R) – Financial Professional/Author
  • Brian A. Del Vecchio (R) – Businessman/Educator
  • Robert L. Douglas (D) – Orange Business Owner
  • Ray Grangoff (R) – City of Orange Planning Commissioner
  • Lawrence R. “Larry” Labrado (D) – Governing Board Member, Rancho Santiago Community College District
  • Mark A. Murphy (R) – Businessman
  • Josh Nothom (D) – Educator

I’ll get back to Alvarez, Grangoff, Labrado, and Murphy in a minute, but let me briefly describe the other four first.  Douglas is a perennial candidate for council, having run in the last four elections, and only once surpassing 11% of the vote.  Callahan is a frequent letter writer to the Orange County Registerand is a former corporate executive, having been vice president and controller of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group.  Del Vecchio is a salesman, currently a national account representative at Equus Products (Equus sells “diagnostic & scan tools, test equipment, gauges and tachometers” for cars).  Nothom is a teacher at the Lila School of Orange County, is currently developing the Joberu Community School, and is also the lead guitarist in a band called ReaLEyeZ.

Here are the Big Four:

  • Alvarez is a former Orange City Councilman, who termed out in 2004.  He made an unsuccessful bid for Mayor in 2006 when Carolyn Cavecche defeated him 55.7%-33.2%.
  • Labrado is a sitting elected member of the Rancho Santiago Community College District, representing the people of Orange on that board since 1994.
  • Grangoff is an Orange Planning Commissioner.  He’s also Deputy Chief of Staff to Supervisor Pat Bates and was an elected official at the age of 18 when he was a school board member before opting not to run for re-election to attend graduate school.
  • Murphy is a former Orange Mayor and City Councilman, who termed out in 2010.  He was elected by the people of Orange in 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.

Posted in Orange | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »