Oxnard Union High School District Trustees Choose Unnecessary High Cost Path for New High School

Trustees vote contrary to Superintendent and Contractor Recommendations

OxnardUnionHSDistGuest Editorial

The Ventura County Taxpayers Association believes that the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) tentatively approved for construction of the new $45 million Rancho Campana High School in Camarillo is ill considered, is not in the best interests of Taxpayers that are paying for it and we strongly urge the Oxnard Union High School District Trustees to reconsider their decision.

To begin with, it is astonishing that despite the objection of the Superintendant,  the Staff, the Bond Oversight Committee and the General Contractor hired to build the project, Trustees Hanson, Edmonds and Hall voted in favor of the PLA . VCTA is not in the business of building high schools but it seems to us that when the key professionals are telling you no and a serious minded oversight committee is in agreement that the wise and prudent approach would be to follow their recommendation.

Second, there is no upside and no added value for the District to include a PLA, only the virtual certainty of additional cost. Measure H contemplates the construction of two high schools. Funding is widely recognized to be very tight. The PLA could easily add $2-4 million of unnecessary expense for this first school reducing desired plant and equipment scope for both schools. The PLA also significantly restricts the pool of potential bidders at a time when contractors are eagerly looking for work. This will clearly limit the District’s options for achieving best value. The Board of Trustees’ role is to ensure that Measure H funds are spent in accordance with the bond language in the most cost effective manner. It is universal in VCTA’s experience that elected boards lose sight of their role and whose money they are spending. Introducing a PLA serves only a very narrow interest and not the interests of the District or the Taxpayers.

Lastly, one need look no further than the successful and even wonderful projects completed by the Ventura Community College District and Simi Valley Unified to see that a Project Labor Agreement is not necessary for achieving cost effective outcomes that have been well received by the clients.

The PLA will add complexity and cost and jeopardize the satisfactory completion of 2 high schools long anticipated by this community. It is unneeded for a successful outcome and opposed by the professionals entrusted with delivering the project. VCTA urges the Trustees to reconsider their decision and drop the PLA requirement.

ACTION 1: Click here to express opposition to the Project Labor Agreement and ask Trustees Hanson, Edmonds and Hall to align themselves with the interests of the District and Taxpayers they were elected to serve.

ACTION 2: Attend the Board of Trustees Meeting on Dec 18 at 630PM.

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Ventura County Taxpayers Association | PO Box 3878 | Ventura | CA | 93006 — [email protected]

Ventura County Taxpayers Association

One Response to Oxnard Union High School District Trustees Choose Unnecessary High Cost Path for New High School

  1. Stefan Djordjevic December 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    On behalf of the expatriate community, I thank you for building two more schools for us, and for the future hiring of us for good jobs with benefits while building them. America is not a country, it is a marketplace, and we thank you for confirming that.

    Reply

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