City to review Mayor's proposal to expand prevailing wage requirements on public works projects

SAN DIEGO - A proposal by Mayor Bob Filner to expand the city of San Diego's prevailing wage requirements on municipal public works projects is scheduled to be taken up Wednesday morning by the City Council's Rules and Economic Development Committee.

The city currently requires that contractors pay a prevailing wage to employees on many projects valued at more than $10 million.

In a memo to council members, the mayor said requiring that contractors pay employees a prevailing wage would improve construction careers, stimulate marketplace competition, ensure that contractors compete on a level playing field, provide better value for taxpayers by making sure projects are built by skilled workers, and minimize city expenditures caused by poor workmanship.

San Diego, as a charter city, is not subject to the state law. However, other charter cities -- including Los Angeles -- require prevailing wages, Filner said. He said the Los Angeles version should serve as a model for San Diego.

The proposal would not affect projects where it's already required that state or federal prevailing wages be paid, and would not apply to private projects, according to the mayor.

The committee is also set to consider proposed limits on donations by county political parties to candidates and causes in city of San Diego elections. Because a court struck down the city's former limit of $1,000 as too restrictive, parties can currently provide unlimited amounts of funding.

The city's Ethics Commission is suggesting a $20,000 limit on citywide races and $10,000 for City Council elections.

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