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Pushback: Vista City Council votes to oppose state on outsourcing options

Councilmember Amanda Rigby: “I see this as an issue of local control.”
Councilmember Amanda Rigby: “I see this as an issue of local control.”
Carla Miles

Pushing back against arguments from State officials on the matter of outsourcing, councilmembers for the City of Vista opted last night to send a letter in opposition to HR29, the California State Assembly legislative resolution which slams the municipal prerogative to outsource public services and assets.

On the dais, the most passionate about the matter seemed to be Amanda Rigby. The council woman stated clearly:

“I see this as an issue of local control.”

Councilmember Cody Campbell said some of the concerns that he had revolved around the workers. To quote:

“Some of those concerns that I have for some of those services that we outsource, including our janitorial services, our park maintenance services, (are) the average hourly wage that we actually wind up having those hard working individuals be paid. And I‘m concerned about that. And one of the things that I would actually request is that staff comes back to the council, or provide something separately, (with) an hourly breakdown of what outsourced employees of those companies make providing services here in the city. Um, I actually oppose this particular (council) resolution against the assembly resolution and will be writing a letter of support in favor of this individually.”

Rigby's remarks included this:

“I appreciate councilman Campbell’s discussion on what the outsourced companies and contract companies are paying and the way they treat their employees. That’s laudable, but the issue here is providing local control for the government of the City of Vista. And the resolution and their intent to bring it into an amendment or a legislative action in sacramento is an issue of local control and trying to take away the ability of the city to best manage city funds and city services. And in every aspect that we do contract out we try to get the best, highest quality service and goods that we can at the best price available in the marketplace locally using local workers when possible and local products when possible.”

Remarks from the other officials on the dais were also made in the discussion. While Mayor Judy Ritter, following Rigby, said simply "Well said. I agree with you,” Councilmember Dave Cowles stated:

“This is a complex issue. In general, I am very strongly supportive of the public employment for public services and public work we do for our city residents. I think that gives us the authority and direct control over how those services are delivered. However, there are many things that we’re required to do as a city that we really can’t deploy a full-time staff with the full cost of the deployment of the department, and we just have to issue contracts for sporadic needs … that we need to have done. I think, in my opinion, Vista has done a pretty good job of protecting our public employees to provide the best public services to our residents.” Cowles added:

“I think this (HR29) bill is probably a little too restrictive to allow for us to maintain our local control, and I would just hope that our council preserve our high quality public employment system. So I don’t support the statewide initiative or resolution to restrict how we run our city.”

Deputy Mayor John Aguilera, who had previously made a motion to tell the State via official correspondence from the city council on their opposition to the outsourcing resolution, again motioned with Rigby seconding. The council voted, officially adopting the recommendation to reject House Resolution 29.

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