Mayor Jerry Sanders is asking the City Council on Monday to clarify the intent of Proposition C in order to stem the criticism that the measure could outsource public safety jobs such as police, firefighters and lifeguards to private companies.
In addition, he is expected to tell the council that he wants to memorialize a ban on outsourcing public safety jobs in a city charter amendment that voters will weigh in 2008.
Sanders spokesman Fred Sainz said Monday’s resolution, if passed, would make it clear that the mayor does not want to contract out those city services.
“Any talk of that continues to be a political red herring that’s aimed at misinforming voters on this issue,” Sainz said.
The spokesman said Sanders is also planning to solidify his stance by including the restriction into the legislation that would enact the ballot measure if it is approved.
Opponents of Proposition C, which would allow businesses to compete for the work currently performed by public employees, have pointed out that the measure could allow the city to contract out its public safety duties in order to save money.
Here is what anti-Proposition C activists wrote about the proposal in the ballot argument.
Under Prop. C there is no prohibition on contracting out police protection, fire protection and lifeguard services. These essential public safety services should not be managed by private companies who care more about their bottom line than our safety.
Proposition C supporters sued over that argument, saying the skeptics were misleading voters because outsourcing public safety jobs could not legally happen. City Attorney Mike Aguirre had rendered that same opinion earlier, but a Superior Court judge let the ballot argument stand last month.
Some of the proposition’s foes said they aren’t expecting the mayor to outsource those services, but say the public should know about the measure’s far-reaching possibilities.