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Reader Input: City attorney’s comments mislead

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Re: “Lawsuit between Auburn, police union has high stakes,” Journal, Nov. 21.

Auburn City Attorney Michael Colantuono informs us that the Auburn City Council is “resolute,” that they will never divest their authority to make budgetary decisions to a third party, and is the driving principle behind their decision to waste over $75,000 on legal fees and create another $300,000 in liability rather than accept the Placer County Superior Court’s ruling they were wrong.

Maybe Colantuono should review the City of Auburn’s last contract with Local 39 (Auburn General Bargaining Unit & Administrative Support Unit: Article 3 (Grievance procedures), 3.15 (Selection of arbitrator), where on July 1, 2008, the Council agreed to give those employees binding arbitration on matters under $5,000 and advisory arbitration for matters over $5,000.

This is substantially more than we suggested as a means of resolving this issue a few years ago (which included our agreement on all monetary concessions), and it clearly shows a disparity in the treatment of its employees where due process and transparency (or lack thereof) is concerned.

Readers should note that such a procedure could have resolved this dispute for under $1,000, which we would have gladly paid, and thus inhibited attorneys (i.e. Colantuono) from perpetuating this and gouging the taxpayers as has been done. With the Council’s sudden and recent interest with “transparency,” we’re curious to hear what they might have to say about their attorney’s apparent inaccurate/misleading public comments on their behalf.

(Likely response: *crickets*)

Stan Hamelin, president, Auburn Police Officers Association