Supervisor candidate Clift scores major union endorsements
April 3, 2014
Muril Clift, candidate for the District 2 San Luis Obispo County supervisor seat, won the endorsements of three major unions and an agricultural group during the past two weeks.
Clift’s endorsements by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union No. 639, AFL-CIO , the Tri Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO, the Tri-Counties Central Labor Council and the San Luis Obispo Cattlemen’s Political Action Committee follow a recent vote by Clift’s opponent incumbent Bruce Gibson to award a job to an out of area contractor. The IBEW represents many electricians in the county who say they have lost work because of the current board’s voting record.
On Jan. 28, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors awarded a $48.2 million contract to a Sacramento construction firm, Auburn Constructors to build the Los Osos sewage treatment plant. The board awarded the Sacramento company the contract even though two competing contractors submitted lower bids and opted to hire San Luis Obispo based electrical workers to perform much of the job.
Representatives from the two losing bidders, Balfour Beatty and Anderson Pacific, estimated that local union workers would receive about 40,000 man-hours on the project. The bids were rejected because of bidding errors that the county board did not want to allow the time to correct.
Gibson, whose district includes Los Osos, made the motion to award the contract. He said staff correctly deemed the two lowest bids invalid and that rebidding the project would create too much risk.
“We look forward to getting this project constructed at the least possible cost,” Gibson said at the conclusion of the meeting.
Nevertheless, the cost of the entire sewer is rising. After approving the contract with the Sacramento company, total sewer costs are running $12 million more than projected.