Newsom returned the legislation to the Board of Supervisors unsigned, saying he had reservations about parts of it and wanted the city to pursue reciprocity agreements with neighboring counties. Since his move was short of a veto, the measure will go into effect in 2011.
"Local hire policy is a complex arena that operates on a delicate balance," Newsom wrote in his letter.
Even if Newsom had tried to kill the measure, his veto likely would have been overturned. A veto-proof majority of the board had approved the measure earlier this month on an 8-3 vote.
Under the ordinance, introduced by Supervisor John Avalos, city contractors and subcontractors working on city-funded construction projects worth $400,000 or more would have to ensure that at least 20 percent of the workers live in San Francisco during the first year the mandate becomes effective; local-worker participation would increase 5 percent every year until it hits the 50 percent mark in seven years. Contractors who fail to meet the requirement would face financial penalties.
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and other Peninsula officials called on Newsom to veto the measure, saying it will hurt workers there.
"The economic recession has no boundaries," said Assemblyman Rich Gordon, whose district includes much of the Peninsula and Silicon Valley. "If local governments choose to tackle their challenges through myopic self interest, regional problems relating to employment, the environment, education, and transportation will not be solved for the betterment of Bay Area residents."
The legislation contains exemptions, though, for two major projects in San Mateo County -- improvements to San Francisco International Airport and San Francisco's water system, which also serves much of the region.
A lot of people in the Architectural/Construction field are really up in arms about this. Basically, this law will allow any city-funded construction job to go to someone who is under qualified because they are in San Francisco rather than having someone who has more experience, a better track record, etc do the job. In the end, it will cost the city more money.