Privatizing Public-Sector Work Could Get Easier in Fresno County Under Measure O
Voters this November will determine whether or not to make it easier for Fresno County Supervisors to privatize public-sector work. It currently takes four votes to approve such privatization, but under Measure O, the vote threshold would be reduced to three. There hasn’t been much in the way of campaigning for the measure, which was introduced by Supervisor Debbie Poochigian. Measure O has been described as “flying under the radar” by the Fresno Bee and supporters, like Poochigian, argue it will allow the county to cuts costs and downsize.
Back in February the board didn’t move forward on getting bids from contractors for county security and the Public Defender's Office because it was apparent there were not sufficient votes (4). The Bee points out that Measure O is significant because “it would have made a difference in recent efforts to outsource county security and defense attorneys and could very well tip the balance in future outsourcing decisions.”
The measure’s text reads as follows:
“Shall Fresno County Charter, Section 13, be amended to allow the County to employ independent contractors for services performed by County employees by majority vote of the Board of Supervisors and to read: SECTION 13: Notwithstanding Section 44 of this Charter or other provisions of law, the County may employ independent contractors to perform any County service, including service then being performed by County employees, with three affirmative votes of the Board of Supervisors?”