Orange County might be weathering some rough storms, but that hasn’t kept them from keeping an eye on the horizon. During a half-day retreat of Supervisors and department heads, discussions ranged from organizational structure to labor relations to the changing political landscape in California.

Politically, Supervisors face a challenge of being the state’s stalwart Republican county in the age of a Democratic supermajority – the first in nearly five decades. The rising tide of Democratic power has actually strengthened a relationship between the County and one of its unions, the Orange County Employees Association. They have become one of the strongest lobbying voices for the County in Sacramento.

But the relationship between the OCEA and other unions is tense as the County continues to address its ‘Superbowl’ of negotiations. Many unions are facing renewals of contracts and County employees are struggling to deal with depleted morale. Raises have been on a continual hold due to budget constraints. Hiring freezes have continued, and the Unions are displeased with preferential treatment given to supervisors staff.

Read the full story at the Voice of the OC.