Compromise is key word in MSD debate

Feb 6, 2014

Build 513 supporters rally outside the County Administration Building.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Several dozen people rallied outside the Hamilton County Administration building Thursday calling on County Commissioners to open bidding on several Metropolitan Sewer District projects.

Build 513 supports the City of Cincinnati's Responsible Bidder Ordinance, which among other things requires contractors have a 5-year record of graduating apprentices.

Council Member Chris Seelbach says, "I've been willing to compromise on Responsible Bidder for two years now. I've made many substantial compromises. We're just asking the county to actually understand the concept of compromise. You don't always get everything you want."

Hamilton County Commissioners say they are willing to compromise but the 5-year requirement has to go.

Commissioner Greg Hartmann issued a workforce development plan in January that aims to meet some of the city's goals.

Seelbach says Hartmann's plan doesn't go far enough. "Any kind of compromise cannot be these aspirational goals. That just says that we want the status quo to continue; that we like the idea but we don't want to enforce it. Any solution has to be an actual change to the status quo."

Earlier this week, Commissioner Chris Monzel also spoke out on this issue.