Tag Archive for Coast Community College District

The People Don’t Want It: My www.UnionWatch.org Article “Citizen Awareness Stops Project Labor Agreement in Orange County, California”

My article about the grassroots strategy leading to the 3-2 vote of the Coast Community College District elected board of trustees on May 15 to reject a Project Labor Agreement for up to $1.5 billion in future taxpayer-funded construction was posted on May 21, 2013 on www.UnionWatch.org. See Citizen Awareness Stops Project Labor Agreement in Orange County, California.

This union initiative was discussed quietly at Coast Community College District board meetings as a “Continuity of Work Agreement” until I discovered it and reported it on March 4, 2013 on www.LaborIssuesSolutions.com as Union Officials and Their Buddies Running Orange County’s Coast Community College District Have Been Sneaking a Project Labor Agreement Past the Public. It was followed up by My Email to Orange County’s Coast Community College District Board of Trustees on Their Sneaky Project Labor Agreement for $1 Billion of Taxpayer-Funded Construction, posted on March 5, 2013.

On March 11, 2013, www.FlashReport.org published my article Pugnacious Defense of Economic Freedom in Orange County Can Inspire California’s Free-Market Activists. It encouraged Orange County activists for economic freedom to get involved in fighting the scourge of government-mandated Project Labor Agreements at local governments in Orange County.

I then wrote about the Coast Community College District board discussion and votes about the Project Labor Agreement during their April 3, 2013 meeting in my April 9, 2013 www.UnionWatch.org article Orange County Project Labor Agreements: One Advances, One Gets Jammed.

News Coverage After the Vote

College Board Refuses to Draft Labor Agreement: Trustees say Measure M bond would not have passed if so-called PLAs were part of the deal – Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – May 16, 2013

Coast College District Rejects Union-Hiring Agreement for $689M Upcoming Work – via Engineering News-Record California – May 17, 2013, originally published in Orange County Register as Coast College District Rejects Union-Hiring Agreement – May 16, 2013

Coast Community College District Project Labor Agreement Defeated! – OC Politics Blog – May 15, 2013

Associated Builders and Contractors Defeat Union Discrimination On Largest California Community College Bond Passed in 2012 – www.OCPolitical.com – May 16, 2013

News Coverage Before the Vote

Coast Trustees to Consider Union Construction Deal – Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – May 13, 2013

Tea Party Objects to Proposed College-Union Pact – Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – May 14, 2013

Orange County Project Labor Agreements: One Advances, One Gets Jammed – My Article in www.UnionWatch.org

Within three days last week, elected boards of two of the four community college districts in Orange County, California voted on proposals to require their construction contractors to sign Project Labor Agreements with construction trade unions as a condition of work.

I write about the April 1, 2013 vote results at Rancho Santiago Community College District and the April 3, 2013 vote results at Coast Community College District in my April 9, 2013 www.UnionWatch.org article Orange County Project Labor Agreements: One Advances, One Gets Jammed. The article also includes a complete list of news media coverage.

Here is my additional writing on these Project Labor Agreement threats:

Pugnacious Defense of Economic Freedom in Orange County Can Inspire California’s Free-Market Activists – www.FlashReport.org – March 11, 2012

How Union-Only Project Labor Agreements Rip Off the Taxpayers – www.NewSantaAna.com – April 3, 2013

Pugnacious Defense of Economic Freedom in Orange County Can Inspire California’s Free-Market Activists: My Article Today in www.FlashReport.org

Today (March 11, 2013), www.FlashReport.org published my article Pugnacious Defense of Economic Freedom in Orange County Can Inspire California’s Free-Market Activists.

It’s inspired by the current sneaky effort of the Coast Community College District board of trustees to require contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with the unions of the Los Angeles-Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council as a condition of working on construction projects funded by $698 million in borrowed money authorized by Measure M, approved in November 2012 by 57% of voters in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Seal Beach, Westminster, Garden Grove, and Fountain Valley.

This college district serves a relatively affluent, Republican area. Why are four of the five board members Democrats, at least some of whom are inclined to give unions a monopoly on taxpayer-funded construction? Why doesn’t the one Republican on the college board tell people in the district what is happening, so they can comment on this costly proposal?

For more information, see these articles:

Union Officials and Their Buddies Running Orange County’s Coast Community College District Have Been Sneaking a Project Labor Agreement Past the Public – www.LaborIssuesSolutions.com – March 4, 2013

My Email to Orange County’s Coast Community College District Board of Trustees on Their Sneaky Project Labor Agreement for $1 Billion of Taxpayer-Funded Constructionwww.LaborIssuesSolutions.com – March 5, 2013

College District Caught in Labor Agreement Fight – Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot and Huntington Beach Independent – March 8, 2012

In my www.FlashReport.org article, I encourage Orange County Republican activists and other advocates of economic and personal freedom to study and learn from past examples of aggressive campaigns to stop and reverse Project Labor Agreements at local governments such as the County of Orange, Santa Ana Unified School District, and Rancho Santiago Community College District. Make elected officials – Democrats and Republicans – accountable to the people for their votes, as was done with State Senate candidate Ken Maddox in 2004.

Read Pugnacious Defense of Economic Freedom in Orange County Can Inspire California’s Free-Market Activists – www.FlashReport.org – March 11, 2013.

My Email to Orange County’s Coast Community College District Board of Trustees on Their Sneaky Project Labor Agreement for $1 Billion of Taxpayer-Funded Construction

Here is the complete official record of consideration of a Project Labor Agreement by the elected board of trustees for the Coast Community College District. It includes an agenda, staff report, draft Project Labor Agreement, and minutes of the January 24, 2013 “special” meeting and the agenda and minutes of the February 6, 2013 meeting.

Complete Official Record: Project Labor Agreement Proposed for Coast Community College District – Measure M – 2013

Here is information about Measure M provided by the Coast Community College District and included in the official voting guide to citizens in the district:

Text of Coast Community College District Measure M – authorizing borrowing $698 million through bond sales – November 2012

Information on Coast Community College District web site about Measure M


From: Kevin Dayton [mailto:xxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2013 10:12 AM
To: xxxxxxxx
Subject: Comments on Proposed Project Labor Agreement for $698 Million Measure M at Coast Community College District

Dear Board Secretary Julie Frazier-Mathews and the Coast Community College District Board of Trustees:

Below, I explain why the voters in your district are justified in being outraged at the governance of their community college, especially concerning the proposed requirement for construction contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions as a condition of working on your $698+ million taxpayer-funded Measure M construction program. (Total cost of program estimated at $957 million.)

1. No one expected a Project Labor Agreement to be considered because it was not referenced in the ballot statement for Measure M. Even in the staff presentation on January 16 during your Measure M study session, nothing about a Project Labor Agreement was included. Sneaky.

2. This issue was first placed on the college board agenda as a “Special Meeting” scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on January 24, 2013. Why so special? At least it was pulled from the agenda at the meeting.

3. The proposed public policy was disguised as a “Continuity of Work Agreement” rather than being called by its customary and traditional name, a Project Labor Agreement. Hiding it from the public?

4. There was not one reference to consideration of a Project Labor Agreement in the district president’s news briefs, a press release, or any other official material from the district. Was this an attempt to avoid public attention to a highly controversial proposal?

5. I could not find out what happened at the February 6 meeting until draft minutes were included in the March 6 agenda packet. What’s the big secret? Apparently staff isn’t even authorized to orally provide the public with the results of votes, let alone draft meeting minutes?

6. You’re considering a union monopoly on a $698 million construction program (not including state matching grants, interest on money borrowed through bond sales, and financial transaction fees). Your district is in a geographical region that cares about government fiscal responsibility and generally is not supportive of government-mandated union agreements for publicly-funded construction. (The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to ban them in 2009.) But no one bothered to inquire with any groups well-known for presenting an opposing view on Project Labor Agreements. Why? Didn’t you want to fully consider the pros and cons, such as the likely 10-15% cost increase in construction as shown in this report? Measuring the Cost of Project Labor Agreements on School Construction in California.

7. Your Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration (Andy Dunn) is very familiar with Project Labor Agreements – he was immersed in fights over proposed Project Labor Agreements at the Foothill-De Anza Community College District (where a PLA was adopted in the end, 3-2 vote) and at the San Joaquin Delta Community College District (where a PLA was never implemented in the end). Surely he was aware that this proposal was highly controversial.

The Orange County Taxpayers Association must feel a little sheepish, getting hoodwinked by the college district into endorsing Measure M even though they specifically won’t endorse bond measures for which a Project Labor Agreement is planned. I bet Measure M would have failed without their endorsement – Measure M only passed with 57% of the vote.

Considering that one of the Coast Community College District board members is apparently running for Orange County Board of Supervisors and needs to get financial and organizational campaign support from the Los Angeles-Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council, I doubt the public uproar now being instigated about the proposed Project Labor Agreement will stop it. One of my axioms is “behind every push for a Project Labor Agreement is a politician with ambition for higher office.”

Nevertheless, the secrecy is over and the Coast Community College District is going to be in the news in Orange County as a local government eager to give unions a costly $698 million taxpayer-funded monopoly. In fact, this email will be the basis for a good op-ed. (“Sunshine Week” is next week, for which newspapers report on lack of transparency at local governments.)

No need to respond to me – I just happened to be the person who discovered the plot. You will be hearing from people who live, work, and pay property taxes in your district. You’re also going to hear from responsible and capable companies that worked on projects funded by your last bond measure but whose employees chose not to belong to a union.

Please make the wise decision to abandon this union deal.

Kevin Dayton
President and CEO
Labor Issues Solutions, LLC

Union Officials and Their Buddies Running Orange County’s Coast Community College District Have Been Sneaking a Project Labor Agreement Past the Public

NEW UPDATE (March 4, 2013): Here are the actions of the board of the Coast Community College District on February 6, 2013 concerning the Project Labor Agreement proposal:

3.04 Explanation of Project Labor Agreements/Continuity of Work Agreements by District General Counsel, Jack P. Lipton

Dr. Jack Lipton provided an overview to the Board of Trustees regarding Project Labor Agreements/Continuity of Work Agreements.

1.08 Public Comment (Items on Open Session Agenda)

  • Steve Young [trial lawyer and failed State Senate candidate]
  • Ray Van der Nat [union lawyer for the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Building and Construction Trade Council]
  • Jim Adams [Orange County representative for the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Building and Construction Trade Council]
  • Ron Miller [executive secretary for the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Building and Construction Trade Council]
  • Doug Mangione [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union No. 441 official]
  • David Abbott
  • Craig Morrison
  • Glen Nolte [United Association of Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union No. 582]
  • Larry Lindquist
  • Don Summers
  • Dean Mancina [Coast Federation of Educators, AFT Local 1911]

addressed the Board regarding Continuity of Work Agreements.

3.05 a. Consider the Concept of Adopting Continuity of Work and Local Employment Agreements for Coast Community College District Projects Which Spend or Will Spend Any Measure M Funds

b. Discuss Appointing a Land Development/Measure M Committee or a Task Force to Negotiate a Continuity of Work Labor Agreement with the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and the Craft Unions and District Councils Signatory to This Agreement for Approval by the Board of Trustees

After in-depth discussion, on a motion by Trustee Patterson, seconded by Trustee Moreno, the Board voted to appoint a task force consisting of Trustees Grant and Patterson, the Chancellor or his designee, Vice Chancellor Dunn or his designee, Sr. Director of Facilities, Planning and Construction, Jerry Marchbank, a Citizens’ Oversight Committee member once appointed, and District General Counsel, not as a voting member but in an advisory capacity, to explore developing a Continuity of Work and Local Employment Agreement with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and the Craft Unions and District Councils, which Agreement would be used for all Coast Community College District construction projects which spend or will spend Measure M Funds. It was requested that a status report be brought back to the Board at the April 3, 2013 meeting.

Motion carried with the following vote:

Ayes: Trustees Moreno, Patterson, Prinsky, Hornbuckle, Grant and Keo (5-0)


UPDATE (March 4, 2013): Staff of the Board of Trustees Office of the Coast Community College District just informed me that it is “traditionally not their practice to share information” about the actions at their public board meetings until the board approves the minutes. That includes orally reading me the results of votes. Because the board has not yet approved the minutes of its February 6, 2013 meeting, I will not be able to inform you about the status of the Project Labor Agreement for Coast Community College District at this time.

Sunshine Week is March 10-16, 2013 – “Open government is good government”


To my dismay, on March 2, 2013 I discovered that on January 24, 2013, in a “special meeting,” the board of trustees for the Coast Community College District had scheduled a vote to negotiate a “Continuity of Work and Local Employment Agreement” (aka, a Project Labor Agreement) with unions that construction contractors would have to sign in order to work on future construction funded by Measure M, which authorizes the college district to borrow $698 million for construction by selling bonds to investors.

I’ve reported that construction trade union lobbyists are becoming much more sophisticated about circumventing public opposition and hastily whipping costly government-mandated Project Labor Agreements through elected boards of California local governments.

Unions are now consistently using two political strategies to foil opposition:

(1) Hiding the item in public meeting agendas and associated staff reports by using phony euphemisms for Project Labor Agreements, such as Project Stabilization Agreement, Construction Stabilization Agreement, Community Benefits Agreement, Community Workforce Agreement, Construction Careers Agreement, and Continuity of Work Agreement. They know that the term “Project Labor Agreement” has become familiar enough in California to be instantly associated with controversy and negative attention.

(2) Abruptly scheduling “special meetings” for elected boards to approve mandates for contractors to sign Project Labor Agreements with unions, thus circumventing anyone monitoring local agency meetings based on a routine assigned schedule.

The sneaks fooled the public again.

Measure M was approved by 57% of district voters in November 2012, with no indication in the ballot statements that the district would consider a government-mandated Project Labor Agreement. In 2002, voters approved Measure C, which authorized the district to borrow $370 million for construction by selling bonds to investors. That construction was bid under fair and open competition.

The Coast Community College District encompasses Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Westminster, and Garden Grove. Much of this district includes some of the wealthiest, most Republican cities and neighborhoods in California. This college district even includes The School of Sailing and Seamanship in Newport Beach!

The Orange County Taxpayers Association (OCTax) endorsed Measure M, noting that the Coast Community College District was one of only two educational districts to present ballot measures to the OCTA for review and that it complied with all 13 criteria for support, including #13: “The bond initiative states clearly to voters whether the district plans to build and maintain its bond-financed facilities under a Project Labor Agreement.”

But apparently union lobbyists worked behind the scenes to convince elected and administrative leadership of this community college to consider giving unions a monopoly on taxpayer-funded construction. A comprehensive staff presentation to the board on January 16, 2013 during a study session about Measure M did not refer to any sort of labor agreement with construction trade unions. It was sprung without warning.

Here were the union-backed items as listed on the January 24, 2013 agenda:

5. Consideration of the Concept of Adopting Continuity of Work and Local Employment Agreements for Coast Community College District Projects Which Spend or Will Spend Any Measure M Funds.

6. Authorize and Direct the Land Development and Measure M Committees of the Board of Trustees to Negotiate a Continuity of Work Labor Agreement with the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and the Craft Unions and District Councils Signatory to this Agreement for Approval by the Board of Trustees.

According to the minutes of the January 24, 2013 Coast Community College District board meeting, board member [Lorraine] Prinsky “stated she would pull Items 5 and 6 to be re-visited at a later Board Meeting. After discussion by the Board, on a motion by Trustee Prinsky, seconded by Trustee [Mary] Hornbuckle, the Board voted to pull these items…On a motion by Trustee [Jim] Moreno, seconded by Trustee [Jerry] Patterson, the Board voted to bring Items 5 and 6 back to the February 6, 2013 Agenda.”

The head of the Los Angeles-Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council (Jim Adams) and union lawyer Ray Van der Nat addressed the Board and encouraged the board to proceed to adopt a draft Project Labor Agreement included in the board packets.

And on February 6, 2013, as promised, the Project Labor Agreement was again on the board’s agenda:

3.04 Explanation of Project Labor Agreements/Continuity of Work Agreements by District General Counsel Jack P. Lipton.

3.05 a. Consider the Concept of Adopting Continuity of Work and Local Employment Agreements for Coast Community College District Projects Which Spend or Will Spend Any Measure M Funds.

b. Discuss Appointing a Land Development/Measure M Committee or a Task Force to Negotiate a Continuity of Work Labor Agreement with the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and the Craft Unions and District Councils Signatory to This Agreement for Approval by the Board of Trustees.

The February 6, 2013 board minutes are not yet posted [posted] on the Coast Community College District web site, and I have been unable to find any news media coverage or even any union newsletter reports about what happened. Strangely, the chancellor’s news briefs about events at the district each week do not mention anything about a Project Labor Agreement.

Here is the party affiliation of the five Coast Community College District board members, according to an outstanding database of Orange County local elected officials posted on www.OCPolitical.com by political consultant Chris Emami. (See 2012 School Board Party Affiliation Post – November 16, 2012)

COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT David Grant (D) 2014
COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT Jim Moreno (D) 2014
COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT Mary Hornbuckle (R) 2016
COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT Jerry Patterson (D) 2016
COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT Lorraine Prinsky (D) 2016

It appears that Lorraine Prinsky, Jim Moreno, Jerry Patterson are politically active Democrats who endorse candidates in races for offices such as the state legislature. Jim Moreno appears to be running for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors to be vacated by John Moorlach, who cannot run again because of term limits. California Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel – a Republican – also plans to run for this seat.

David Grant is a former president of Orange Coast College, one of the colleges in this district.