Move To Charter City Saves Oceanside Millions
Oceanside Saving Taxpayer Money, Achieving Goals Of Proposition A
Last Updated: 1178 days ago
Proposition A, which is set to be on the ballot in November, would open competition on county work, but the goal of Prop. A is already saving the city of Oceanside millions of taxpayer dollars.In June, Proposition K asked voters to change Oceanside from a general law city to a charter city.Since the measure passed, the city is no longer required to use union contractors for construction projects. The effort was led by Oceanside City Councilmember Jerry Kern."In the first three months, we saved a million dollars so that in itself was worth the charter," said Kern.Before the election, bids went out to build the Harbor Aquatic Center, but union bids were too high. After the election, the bid came in more than $800,000 less.The same is true, Kern said, for the renovation of the library. After the election, the city saved more than $145,000."Eighty-five percent of workers in San Diego are not union and we were closing them out of jobs," said Kern.The San Diego and Imperial County Labor Council disagree."They now have a charter in place that was written in a way that gives contractors a way to increase their profit margin and hurts the actual workers in Oceanside," said Lorena Gonzalez, the Labor Council's secretary-treasurer.Now, a by a four to one vote, county supervisors have Prop. A on the November ballot, which would ban project labor agreements.When a project labor agreement was sought for the Gaylord Project in Chula Vista, the project fell apart. Voters approved Proposition G, which now bans union-only agreements."I think Prop. A is an easier sell because it passed in Oceanside [and] it passed in Chula Vista. People see the benefits of it now," said Kern.Gonzalez said, "We see CEOs' pay going up and we see the average worker's pay going down. This is another symptom of that they've bought and paid for these politicians who are putting this on the ballot."The county already has an ordinance to ban project labor agreements. Prop. A, if approved, will make it a part of the county charter. The labor council called it a waste of money, saying it never sought a project labor agreement with the county.