Friday May 04 2012
League looks into your city forum questions
Measure A debate topics reviewed
Editor?s note: The following are answers to two of the questions asked at a Thursday evening debate in Auburn about Measure A. Measure A will appear on the June ballot and ask voters to change Auburn?s status from a general law city to a charter city. The League of Women Voters of Placer County will answer questions from the debate independently. Some of those answers will be published in the Journal and all will be available online at auburnjournal.com and at lwvplacercounty. org. Below are two questions and answers from the League. Q: Explain Prevailing Wage A: Prevailing wage is not market rate, not an average and not a median. Market Rate is the amount a willing seller and buyer agree to without a government mandate. Prevailing Wage is determined by the California Department of Industrial Relations and is based on the single exact hourly rate paid to the greatest number of workers. This rate is different for each trade, so the rate for a plumber is different than the rate for a carpenter. It is also different for different regions, so the rate in Sacramento is different than the rate in LA. The way a large number of workers get paid the exact same rate is through collective bargaining for union workers. As of 2009 union workers accounted for about 20 percent of construction workers in California. The results of a study done in 2005 by Berkeley Research and published by Cornell?s School of Industrial & Labor Relations estimated that prevailing wage was 18.7 percent higher than market rate in the Sacramento area for home construction jobs. The original prevailing wage law prevented volunteers from working on municipal projects; however San Diego college students who wanted to help preserve wildlife by volunteering caused a temporary exemption to this law. Today, volunteers may work on municipal projects until January 2017 at which time the exemption will expire. Q: Who are the donors and how has money been spent by each campaign? A: Auburn Advocates for Local Control ? Yes on Measure A has not received campaign contributions large enough to be filed with the City Clerk. The city has paid $22,053.18 for legal costs to file a suit against arguments used in the ballot by the NO on Measure A campaign that the city believes to be false and misleading. Preserve Auburn ? No on Measure A has received $25,000 from the California Alliance for Jobs which is a lobbying group for 2,000 heavy construction companies and 80K union construction workers in California. You can learn more about the California Alliance for jobs at http://rebuildca.org. The form 460 filed with the City Clerk lists a single payment from this campaign for $5,350 to Stenhouse Strategies.