consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pictures saving thousands of words.

This is a picture from Wikipedia of a rattlesnake, which if threatened or perceiving a threat is said at least to rattle in warning, before it strikes.

This is the link to the County's website posting of meeting agendas, where as of downloading the Feb. 12, 2013 agenda mere minutes ago today, the downloaded pdf copy of that Feb. 12, 2013 meeting agenda shows it remains posted by the County as wholly silent of any consideration of prevailing wage rescission, a step being insinuated after decades of prevailing wage being County policy.

Perhaps commissioners pushing to eliminate prevailing wage felt threatened by consequences, or perceived a threat of repercussions. Perhaps in their minds such a change seemed wholly inconsequential to the commissioners bent on making the change. The Republican mind is strange in ways I admit I do not understand, and these dear Republican friends may have thought, "Who could possibly object ...".

In any event, without any rattle they struck.

Below is a screen capture of the incognito three page hummer dropped at their meeting (but not posted even now as part of any official agenda per the official webpage cited in the above paragraph), with the meeting held for reasons of which I am uncertain at 8:30 am in East Bethel and not at the county board chambers in Anoka, on Feb. 12, 2013 [the posting being on the web courtesy of - not your county government]; and wording is to clearly move to undo decades of labor fairness [click a thumbnail to enlarge and read]:

Ignoring for a moment open meeting law on public meeting agenda notice, those niceties, wouldn't you at least expect the courtesy accorded by a snake, rattling in advance, from your elected representatives?


It is interesting to see how restrained some friends of labor were, in their reported comments:

In Commissioner Carol LeDoux’s two years on the county board, she told the Labor Review, “no business ever expressed to me their desire to bid on jobs they’re not able to bid on” because of the county’s prevailing wage policy.

“We should expect fairness from people who are going to benefit from a government contract,” LeDoux said. “We should expect them to pay prevailing wage or livable wages if you’re going to work in the public arena.”

“I don’t want to go down the slippery slope of paying quality workers less than a livable wage,” said LeDoux. “I want people to be self-sustaining and the only way they can do that is by having a livable wage.”

[...] “I’m greatly disappointed by the outcome,” Kordiak said. “I have supported the trades throughout my career.”

“By supporting prevailing wage, you help ensure that those who are working on your behalf are paid a responsible wage,” Kordiak said. “You send me a trained workforce. Your members live in my community; you are the fiber of my community, as far as I’m concerned.”

“I was there when Anoka County adopted the prevailing wage policy,” said former Anoka County commissioner Dan Erhart. “This created a level playing field for local contractors… The benefit of having a prevailing wage resolution… is that we were very much assured to have quality workmanship and a fair playing field when people bid on jobs for the county.”

Blaine resident Bill McCarthy, president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, added his concern about the Anoka County board’s action:

“At a time when our President, Congress and state legislators are looking at increasing wages for working class people, Anoka County commissioners are lowering wages by repealing the prevailing wage policy for construction workers, who have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn of the last five years — absolutely shameful! As an Anoka County resident, I want to live in a community whose elected officials seek to raise our standard of living, not lower it.”

Whatever these gentle people may have been thinking, none said outright that the perpetrators of the prevailing wage rescission should have at least rattled before they struck.

Only intemperate bloggers say things like that, I guess.

But, hey, the truth of things is they should have rattled, clearly so, and one or more of them likely in hindsight might now agree their movements as strategized and conducted suggest less than a total love of candor and less than a total respect for all in the electorate.

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