UPDATED: Jennings Defends Stance Against Mayor’s ‘Prevailing Wage’ Proposal Next Week


City Manager Jon Jennings at a Recent Committee Meeting.

Nuje Usgri and Matt Marks, Testified Before the Finance Committee on the Mayor’s Proposal Earlier This Month.

On Thursday November 1, 2018, city manager Jon Jennings is scheduled to present to the Finance Committee his reasons that a “Responsible Contracting”  proposal by Mayor Ethan Strimling would be impractical for the city of Portland.  (Just build another condo to pay for alleged additional expenses)The Finance Committee meeting, chaired by Conservative Councilor Justin Costa, starts at 5:30 pm.

Extensive testimony was given by union leaders on October `10, 2018 in favor of the Mayor’s proposal.* However, near the end of the meeting when few people remained,  Conservative Councilor Justin Costa, tried to kill the proposal in Committee.  The Mayor has been trying to get ‘ordinance language’ for his proposal from a city attorney, Michael Goldman, for many months now. But the Mayor has been consistently and repeatedly stonewalled in that effort.  The ‘ordinance language’ is necessary as a work-product from which to continue the process of deliberation on the subject.  Goldman said he’ll have to check with corporate counsel, Danielle West-Chuta,  to see if he is permitted to do that for the next meeting.  (She works for city manager Jon Jennings).  Conveniently, city manager Jennings attended another meeting simultaneously and did not hear the testimony from union leaders from all over the state.

Following the meeting, this blogger asked Costa why he is opposed to this proposal.  In response, Costa shot back at this blogger:”  Why are you behaving like this?”  What Way – Asking Questions?

A rebuttal of the Mayor’s proposal was to have been presented  by the city manager on October, 20th.   It was delayed, however.

*On September 6, 2018, Mayor Ethan Strimling prepared a five (5) page memorandum plus attachments to the Finance Committee calling on the city of Portland to utilize “Responsible Contracting.”  The Mayor focused on three areas in which Portland does not participate.  “The first is the payment of prevailing wages for building contracts that are funded by municipal funds; (2) requiring contractors who are awarded a municipally funded construction project to participate in a registered apprenticeship/job training program and (3) adding additional opportunities for contractors who treat their workers well to earn points toward the possible awarding of a contract.”

Please visit post herein dated October 10, 2018 for more background information.