A federal magistrate ruled this morning that Cincinnati's responsible bidder ordinance is invalid and that Hamilton County makes the rules for the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD).
The county owns the sewer system, but the city operates it.
The city and the county have been fighting for more than two years over the responsible bidder ordinance, which would force MSD contractors to have apprentice programs and pay into a pre-apprenticeship fund. Unions favor the ordinance, because many of them have apprentice programs.
The debate over who sets policy for the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSD) is headed to a federal judge.
"We're beyond the negotiation phase," says Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann.
Hamilton County Commissioners and the City of Cincinnati are at odds over several city-instituted hiring procedures. The county says the hiring rules are illegal under Ohio Revised Code but the city argues it has home rule which trumps the O.R.C.
Hamilton County Commissioners say they're willing to work with the city but when it comes to making Metropolitan Sewer District decisions, they're in charge.
In a resolution passed Wednesday the board agreed to set inclusion goals similar to the aim of the city's Responsible Bidder ordinance. The county says that ordinance is unfair. It also dislikes the city's Local Preference policy and says it's illegal.
Hamilton County Commissioners are growing increasingly frustrated with Cincinnati leaders over which entity gets to set hiring policies for the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD).
Commissioner Greg Hartmann is proposing the two sides come up with inclusion goals, incentive programs, and a way to support apprenticeship programs.
"I'm prepared to go to court if that's what it takes," says Hartmann. The local hiring policy passed by City Council is illegal and the responsible bidder program is flat out discrimination against non-union shops."