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Open Competition Attacked in Escondido

Thursday, September 29, 2011
posted by Assemblymember Marie Waldron

Escondido, CA –  Last night’s Charter City workshop in Escondido brought out a legion of opposition, mostly from members of the local Democratic party and from labor folks bused in from areas as far away as Los Angeles.   No one spoke in favor of the charter.

Presentations were made from three groups at the beginning of the meeting:  the Construction Trades Council for the union side,  the Associated Builders and Contractors for the Fair and Open Competition opinion and Erik Bruvold, with National University System giving results of studies on prevailing wage.

City staff released a long-awaited study showing the potential savings over the next 5 year period if a charter were in place.  Savings on just the local projects is estimated at upwards of $16 million if prevailing wages are not paid.   This is local money that can then be spent on maintaining city services, such as fixing potholes and maintaining city infrastructure and buildings.

The goal of the workshop, proposed by Deputy Mayor Marie Waldron and co-authored by Councilman Ed Gallo, was to hear public input, however only two or three people actually gave relevant public input.  The majority were making personal attacks on councilmembers, saying they felt they had no opportunity for public input or just denouncing the draft charter concept while offering no alternative.

Clearly the defense of costly prevailing wages and Project Labor Agreements was the focus of the meeting and the speakers were supportive of the union side.

The four conservative members of the council stood firm on their support for the charter concept, especially Fair and Open Competition.  Olga Diaz, the lone Democrat on the council, sided with the union argument.

There will be many more hearings on this issue before it is decided and the charter is written.

The article in the North County Times can be viewed HERE.

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3 Responses to “Open Competition Attacked in Escondido”

  1. Jay says:

    Olga will have a hard time getting re-elected if she continues to oppose the charter and side with the labor unions. Clarity is what voters want, and this will clarify for the voters of Escondido that she is not a good representative of the electorate but there for the labor union leaders. Anyone who wants to represent the interests of the electorate should challenge Olga and be emboldened to know they can win.

  2. We need to have a regional conversation about competitive practices in government contracting. I’m not sure if Escondido being a role model is going to be enough. We have to ask each of our leaders to take action. That includes the sdrostra blog pen.

    Here in Encinitas the contracting is anything but competitive or well managed and it has been that way for years. Nothing is going to change unless we take a stand like Escondido.

    Here is one of MANY examples of poor managed non-competition in Encinitas:
    http://encinitastaxpayers.org/blog/index.php/2010/06/07/no-record-of-west-coast-arborist-s-evalu?blog=3

  3. Every city needs to hire an asshole to run the managed competition program. This treasured addition to a town should not be allowed to even be part of the city pension gravy train. He/she should essentially be a consultant beholden to no one.

    There should be at least a 10 year “non-compete” clause (enforceable by painful death if not worse) that forbids ANY compensation from any bidder on any contract — now or later.

    I’d be the perfect choice for the job, of course, but I’m old, irascible, and definitely retired. It has to be a person who thinks everyone is a crook (especially public servants), and that no one is to be trusted without putting it in writing.

    This contract overseer’s ONLY priority should be the same as my personal motto as a Navy Supply Officer — “do more with less.” Improve service, and cut the costs.

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