Larger Local Presence Than Unions

Here’s just another viewpoint in opposition to the “union only” agreement being proposed in our city for Public Works jobs. Given the facts presented by the Santa Barbara Contractors Association, most, if not an overwhelming majority, of our local building force are non-union. If passed, most of these jobs will be awarded to out-of-town contractors.

From my 20 years of experience supplying tile locally, these out-of-town contractors typically turn to material suppliers from their given area. Just as our contractors here support local suppliers like us here at Buena Tile, or over at Hayward Lumber and Santa Barbara Stone, to name a few. Here is where the ripple comes in.

Like most material suppliers, most of our sales staff here work on commission. Usually a local architect or designer starts the process at a local supply house. When jobs such as these are awarded locally, the likelihood of a local material supplier getting the sale increases. Securing the sale means dollars to the salesperson. More ripple …

Salespersons like myself, who lives locally, spends those dollars locally. Maybe at a coffee shop like the Lighthouse on the Mesa in the morning, Lito’s for lunch , the Mill for some great dinner at Wildwood followed by a nightcap with Willy at the Pickle Room. One day, one salesperson, and recycling that commission check at four to five places. No coincidence that I have sold tile to all the above-mentioned places. Locals stay local. All those places mentioned have employees who depend on me, as well as contractors, subcontractors, and the like, to frequent their clothing stores, restaurants ,bookstores, and so on.

Interesting that we keep talking about State Street and how to revitalize it so people will come back, yet we are looking to award large projects to those not local, thus ensuring the money from those projects will be spent anywhere but here.


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