Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Government and Politics

Arroyo Grande on path to put 'charter city' status on November ballot

City of Arroyo Grande Facebook Page

The Arroyo Grande City Council is expected to decide Tuesday night on whether to place the issue of becoming a charter city on the November ballot.

Several public hearings on this issue have been held in recent years by the council and an eleven member citizens advisory committee.

Supporters say the benefit of switching to charter status is to give residents and the city more control over local issues like elections and land use.

Those opposed, primarily labor unions, say charter cities can skirt the state's prevailing wage rule.

Arroyo Grande City Manager Steve Adams says this plan takes that concern into consideration.

"There's nothing in the charter that prohibits prevailing wage, so we don't really think there's an issue at this point about whether prevailing wage is good or bad," said Adams. "The question as we framed it in the charter really comes down to—do you want the state legislature to make that decision for the city, or do you want your city council to make that decision for the city."

Brent Jenkins with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Local 1800 says his organization isn't opposed to charter city status in general, but would like to see the council take the issue of prevailing wage out of the equation. 

San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Solvang, and King City are all charter cities on the Central Coast.

In San Luis Obispo's case, the city avoids the wage controversy by requiring its Public Works Department to pay contractors and subcontractors at least the prevailing wage.