December 18, 2014

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Vote on Lorain’s hiring guidelines pushed back a day

LORAIN — Repeal of a local hiring agreement to designed to increase employment for Lorain and Lorain County residents on city construction projects will be voted on at a meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

City Councilman Tony Richardson, D-at large, blocked a vote on the repeal at Wednesday night’s special City Council meeting. Richardson said he supports repeal, but believes there needs to be more discussion about hiring goals and cost thresholds for the substitute ordinance.

The current ordinance calls for 75 percent of qualified Lorain or Lorain County residents to be hired for projects of $100,000 or more and includes a stipulation that workers unionize while working on the project. Nine percent of local hires must be minorities.

Mayor Chase Ritenauer said the agreement, approved in November 2011, has unrealistic hiring goals and has discouraged local, nonunion companies from bidding on projects. The new ordinance, which Ritenauer said has enough votes to pass, would require 25 percent of those hired for projects of $2 million or more be local residents, 9 percent of whom must be minorities. The union stipulation would be eliminated.

While supporting repeal, Richardson said the $2 million threshold is too high, and there needs to be more discussion on changes.

He said the new threshold would affect just 3 of 27 upcoming projects.

See Thursday’s Chronicle-Telegram for the full story.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.