Local News

Jan 14, 2014 9:40 PM by Pearce Bley, KSBY News

Arroyo Grande City Council votes on charter ballot measure

The Arroyo Grande City Council is meeting to hear recommendations from a city charter advisory committee. The council will decide whether to place a measure to become a charter city on the November ballot.

Arroyo Grande is currently classified as a general law city. City officials say changing to a charter city will give more local control to the city and allow them a stronger influence on election procedures, contract bidding and purchasing goods and services.

"This provides us some degree to get out from under that pressure of having to respond to every law that comes out of the legislature regardless of whether it's in the best interest of cities," said Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara.

The Prevailing Wage Law will be a major issue in the charter city debate in Arroyo Grande. Neighboring Grover Beach included a measure on last year's ballot to become a charter city. If it had passed, the city would have been exempt from paying the prevailing wage to local workers. However, the measure failed to pass by four votes.

California state law currently defines prevailing wage as the hourly rate in the local labor market that most workers are paid for their services.

Local labor union members tell KSBY that they are worried if the prevailing wage is removed, middle class workers on the Central Coast could be negatively affected.

The Grover Beach City Council will vote next Tuesday on including a charter measure on this year's ballot.

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