County & City still at odds over hiring practice

May 15, 2013

Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners still aren't happy with the City of Cincinnati's responsible bidder program for Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) construction projects.

The board is drafting replacement language and, to show he means business, commissioner Chris Monzel is considering a restraining order forcing the city not to award any MSD contracts until the issue is resolved.

The key issue is a clause requiring companies bidding for sewer work to have certified apprenticeship programs with graduates.

Paul Bricking of Howell Contractors says that effectively rules out non-union companies and smaller crews.  

"We would actually have to eliminate one person from the crew and replace them with an apprentice... removing an experienced, trained, qualified employee and cut their family's income to replace them with a new, untrained, unexperienced employee," he says. "Not only does it create safety concerns, the entire concept does not increase jobs. It simply replaces or exchanges them."

Commissioners will take up the issue again Monday.