By Oceanside City Councilmember Jerry Kern
As a candidate for County Supervisor, I have expressed the view that the County is in the service delivery business. Residents give the County their tax dollars, and in exchange the County of San Diego is supposed to provide the services they require, hopefully in the most effective and economical manner possible. Some of these services are best provided by government employees, such as public safety. Other services are best contracted out to other service providers such as community non-profit organizations for social and mental health services.
Currently, there is a bill working its way through the state legislature, Assembly Bill 1250 (Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles), that would significantly inhibit the ability of these community non-profit organizations to provide essential services to the youths and families in our communities who need them most.
AB 1250, backed by various public employee unions, would require the County to demonstrate that contracts with non-profit community organizations will “not cause the displacement of county workers.”
Simply put, even if a contract would save money and provide better services, if it displaced a county worker it would not be permitted.
AB 1250 fundamentally seeks to stop counties from contracting with community-based organizations, nonprofits, local businesses, and other private sector providers for quality local services on which counties and their residents rely. Counties contract with these organizations and businesses because they have the expertise, capacity and ability to deliver services more efficiently than government employees.
AB 1250’s other chilling effect is that it requires community-based organizations, local businesses and nonprofits to disclose personal information about their employees and officers. This not only raises significant privacy concerns, but it will discourage these organizations from entering into contracts with counties to provide these services. The clear intent of AB 1250 is to prohibit private contracts.
There is no way to overstate how bad this bill would be for the residents of San Diego County, especially to the most vulnerable among us who depend on social service providers. If this bill is approved, costs would soar and services would be diminished. This bill is nothing more than public employee unions trying to pack the government payrolls at a time when we should be looking for greater efficiencies and better service delivery methods.
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Kern is a candidate for County Supervisor representing North County’s Fifth District. View his campaign website.