COVID-19 update, community workforce discussion on tap
After a four week recess, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will return on Tuesday for a regular board meeting.
Supervisors will hear an update on the state of COVID-19 pandemic from the county’s Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso. Since the supervisors’ last meeting in July, the county reinstated a mask mandate indoors due to the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant.
Dr. Do-Reynoso will provide Supervisors with updates on the county’s case rate and the vaccination rollout during Tuesday’s meeting.
In addition to the COVID-19 update, Supervisors will also consider a Community Workforce Agreement Amendment Ordinance presented by the county’s Public Works Department.
In 2019, the board directed Public Works staff to compile a CWA for use in public projects. Supervisors will now be asked to offer input on the working CWA, which staff compiled from an existing CWA utilized by the City of Santa Barbara in negotiations with Tri-County Building and Construction Trades Council.
According to a board letter written to the Supervisors, a CWA is a type of contract used in the construction industry to explain the terms and conditions of employment for projects with long duration or complex design. The CWA “allows for the expeditious resolution of disputes that can arise in the course of the project, helping to ensure that the project is delivered on time and that safety and quality standards are maintained,” according to the board letter. The CWA also includes provisions for worksite conditions.
There are, however, downsides to CWAs, according to the board letter. Critics of CWAs say they place “non-union contractors at a disadvantage” in bidding on projects and contribute to higher overall costs, according to Public Works staff. At this point, the county has never utilized a CWA in construction projects and has no experience to determine whether a CWA will raise or lower the cost of construction.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Supervisors will be asked to provide input on what language should be included in a potential CWA in order to achieve the board’s goals.
Tuesday’s meeting will begin at 9 a.m. The public is invited to participate virtually in the meeting or attend in person at the Joseph Centeno Betteravia Government Administration Building at 511 E. Lakeside Parkway in Santa Maria.
To view the meeting livestream, visit countyofsb.org/ceo/csbtv/livestream.sbc or youtube.com/user/CSBTV20.