Peninsula News

San Mateo Co. supes urge Newsom to veto ordinance

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On a 4-0 vote, San Mateo County Supervisors today passed a resolution urging San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to veto an ordinance that calls for a 50 percent local hiring goal for all city-financed construction jobs within a 70-mile radius of San Francisco. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors' intent is to help provide jobs to building and construction trades people who live in San Francisco.

However, San Mateo labor leaders and the four San Mateo County Supervisors (the Board is currently missing one member with the election of former Board President Richard Gordon to the state assembly) argue that San Francisco's ordinance takes away job opportunities for its local residents. They point out the current jobless rate is close to 30 percent for construction and trades jobs.

San Francisco is currently engaged in major construction projects in San Mateo County at San Francisco International Airport and connected with the Hetch Hetchy water system, employing hundreds of trades workers.

Carole Groom, vice president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, is hopeful that San Francisco will reconsider its ordinance. She would have liked city officials to have engaged in consultation and discussions as they do on other regional issues throughout the nine Bay Area counties. Groom ruled out any showdown over the disagreement.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's public information officer, Tyrone Jue, pointed out that its $4.6 billion Hetch Hetchy project does have labor goals to encourage local residents to be hired first.

He pointed out that one-third of the project in San Mateo County is being financed by San Francisco so the goal is to hire about one-third of the workers from San Francisco with the other two-thirds from San Mateo County, which reflects its share of the costs.

Superivsor Adrienne Tissier says San Francisco is failing to address the jobless situation as a regional issue.

"It's unfortunate that we all couldn't have sat down earlier and talked about how we can do this together because, as you say, our work force today is very mobile and because of that and because of the high cost of living a lot of people move around," she said.

Conflict is almost inevitable, especially when you have two counties in a symbiotic relationship.

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Tags:
san francisco city hall, I-280, highway 101, skyline boulevard, san mateo county, peninsula news, david louie
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