In an effort to cut costs, Newport Beach city leaders voted this week to eschew state requirements that force municipalities to pay contract workers prevailing wages.
According to a staff report, Newport Beach, a charter city, has the right to exempt itself from state requirements that workers on public projects be paid a prevailing wage. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to exercise the exemption.
However resident Cindy McMackin, who owns a large contracting company, spoke against the move.
"The best scenario happens when you have prevailing wage payers on the job, when you get the best skilled, the best-trained workers who do things right the first time," McMackin said. "It allows you to have cost savings, faster completion, higher safety and higher quality standards."
City Manager Dave Kiff countered that the move could help the city save money on less-complex projects including landscape and maintenance work.
The city still has the choice to require prevailing wage on complex projects.
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Is it a good move for the city to pay workers less than prevailing wages?