IID work

United Desert Communities of Imperial and Riverside Counties (UDC) was founded in the fall of 2019 with the initial goal to educate the public on the impact of the Imperial Irrigation District’s (IID’s) intended action to contract for a 10-year Project Labor Agreement (PLA).  That concern was not based on pro-union or anti-union sentiment. It was based on a strong belief that the moneys paid to local companies’ existing employees working on IID projects under the terms of a PLA would leave the two communities with little to no chance of those employees having access to their benefits.  

A major educational effort was launched in September 2020.  While UDC believes the campaign was effective, the action of some members of the IID Board following the election, including those not re-elected, led the UDC to recognize that three members of the board had decided that they would vote for the PLA, regardless of facts placed before them. The facts had been provided to each one from the initial contemplation of the Board to adopt a long-term PLA.   Multiple requests were made to the Board to have a workshop with local companies and to direct IID staff to conduct a Financial Impact Study of the planned action.  Those requests were ignored.

UDC has now retained a respected and experienced local attorney that served notice to IID on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 of multiple Brown Act violations. Under the terms of the Brown Act, IID has 30 days from the date of the notice to cure the violations.  During the December 15 public IID Board meeting, being aware of the forthcoming letter notification by UDC, IID General Counsel provided a primer course of action to remedy some of the noted violations identified by the UDC’s counsel.

Also identified in the UDC’s counsel notice to IID was an intent to file a Writ, ordering that approval of the PLA on December 1, 2020 by a 3/2 vote be overturned. IID has seven days to respond to the UDC’s notice.  IID responded on December 22, 2020 with an advice that IID has no internal appeal or administrative remedies available.  Without an internal IID process in place, UDC must seek a resolution through the judicial system. 

UDC had hoped to preclude these actions which will simply burden the ratepayer with greater legal cost.  We, however, are truly fighting for the working families of Imperial and Riverside County with actions and proof of the true cost of a PLA to both the local employees of working families and to the ratepayers.  


Alan Huber 

(1) comment


I have read the local papers in an attempt to understand this anti-and-pro PLA issue.

Even after reading Mr. Huber’s letter I fail to understand the UDC. Its actions spring from the belief that, “moneys paid to local companies’ existing employees working on IID projects under the terms of a PLA would leave the two communities with little to no chance of those employees having access to their benefits.”

Interesting hypothesis, but what factual economic research was conducted to corroborate or to disprove this thesis? What data was produced? (“the facts had been provided to each one”?) And from which sources?

It appears intuitive that if a laborer earns X amount of dollars in exchange for his time and craftsmanship, that money will in turn be reinvested in his community as rent/mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, clothing, auto payments and to cottage industries around cars, educational expenses, not to mention entertainment and other discretionary income spent locally. Economists theorize that every dollar spent locally circulates locally 4 to 7 times. What’s not to like about a workman having more money in his wallet to spend? How can extra money paid a local workman not benefit the local community at large? I’ve read no study to indicate otherwise.

A belief is not fact.

Huber asserts an educational effort was launched in September 2020 and again believes “the campaign (interesting choice of words!) was effective.”

Who was the educational effort aimed at? The board, the candidates for the board, the ratepayers at large, the potential workers on future PLA projects? Future employers on potential PLA projects? Huber asserts, “the public.” Yet, as a member of the public, I have not been pointed to a source or site for this information...

And, above, all, what material was submitted in an attempt to “educate” its potential demographic? For one, if “effective,” why didn’t the submitted material of this “educational effort” logically persuade an otherwise, logical, commonsensical majority of the board?

Surely, a respectable committee would not submit superfluous tendentious propaganda nor doctrinaire dogma intended to maintain and/or perpetuate a colony of wage-slaves. For such assertions one merely has to tune to MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, NewsMax or Fox News and absorb their respective rantings...

But questions remain for the voting IID board as well, as suggested by Huber’s letter.

1. Why did the board choose not to have a workshop with local companies (one assumes that would possibly be affected by the passage of the PLA)?

2. Why did the board chose not to direct IID staff to conduct a Financial Impact Study of the planned action?

As a ratepayer and reader of local papers, I expect that we, ratepayers and readers, are entitled to have all or most of the above questions investigated and answered in and by the local paper with hard data and facts, not beliefs.

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