From the daily archives: Wednesday, October 20, 2010

By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council decided to table an item regarding the debated agreement with On Site Labor and the City.

Last June, the City of Calexico declared a fiscal state of emergency and took steps to erase the $5 Million dollar deficit. The previous Council decided to layoff all temporary, part-time, permanent part-time and probationary employees to erase the current budget deficit and balance the budget. Councilman Bill Hodge requested that an item be put on the agenda to terminate the contract with On Site Labor owned by Robert Herrera and bring back union employees that were given a 30 day layoff notice.  Councilman Hodge said that this is the right thing to do since the City did not look for other avenues before going for layoffs.

He mentioned that other cities eliminate the contract workers before going for releasing City Employees. Hodge made a motion to terminate the contract with On Site Labor and gave direction to staff to bring back employees on a case by case. The motion was granted 4-1 with Mayor John Moreno voting against it.

Last Tuesday, in an item requested by Councilman Daniel Romero and prepared by Human Resources Director, Rosalind Guerrero, said that on September 7, 2010 the Council approved a template contract for professional services when seeking the services of a temporary contract employment services provider. The City of Calexico is currently using the services of On-Site Employment Services through a 60 day contract agreement to provide temporary staffing for the Redevelopment Agency. The report stated that a one year agreement with On Site Labor has provided the required insurance certificates and endorsements as specified on the agreement approved by the Council.

Councilmember Hodge questioned why this item was not put to bid to allow other staffing firms to work with the City of Calexico that have a good track record and not just to monopolize the City with On Site Labor like it’s been done with the City for many year.. Human Resources Director Rosalind Guerrero said that going on to bid could be a possibility but going to bid will make the city work exclusively with that firm. After some deliberation and comments by the Council, they voted to table this item until some clarification is done as a requested from Council members Hodge and Hurtado. Castro, Hurtado, and Hodge voted in favor to table the item. Moreno and Romero voted against it.

In other items, the Council gave direction to re-start the Junior City Council and have the youth of Calexico involved in City politics. Councilman Hodge requested to bring back the Junior Council at the last meeting. The Junior Council was created in 2003 but was discontinued due to lack of quorum. The goal of the Junior City Council is to get the youth involved in government and make recommendations to the Council representing the interest of local youth.

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