SALISBURY, MD – 2010 Wicomico County Executive candidate Joe Ollinger has proposed saving Wicomico, and Maryland, taxpayers approximately $11 million in the construction of a new James M. Bennett Middle School. In a letter to the editor in today’s Daily Times, Ollinger argues that the county council should demand that the state allow the school to be built under a “competitive wage” rule rather than the normal “prevailing union wage” rule.
Will the state allow this? Of course not! However, Ollinger’s suggestion is feasible and the county council should demand that the state support it AND that incumbent County Executive Rick Pollitt endorse it. Taxpayers have a right to know that that their tax dollars are being used to line the pockets of BIG LABOR.
Here is the text of Ollinger’s letter:
If the state of Virginia built a similarly designed school as Wicomico County’s proposed new Bennett Middle School, it would cost $11 million less than what we will pay in Maryland. Why? Virginia pays a "competitive wage" rate for such projects, while our state government mandates a much higher rate, called "union prevailing wage."
Therefore, we Wicomico County taxpayers have the privilege of forking over $73 million for the new BMS rather than $62 million.
The Wicomico County Council, for the benefit of its citizens, should courageously lead an effort to waive this "union prevailing wage" rate requirement for the BMS project. In pursuit of this waiver, it should rally support from our county executive and our Eastern Shore state delegation.
Governors, such as Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, have caught the attention of the entire nation with their successful battles with unions in lowering their states’ costs. Maybe our County Council, by fighting for this waiver, might ignite a statewide movement to stand against the unreasonable costly demands of unions.
Even if our council fails in this effort, it will expose to voters those elected state representatives who are more interested in wastefully pandering to unions rather than lowering the cost of government for their constituents.