Toledo City Council members are divided over Toledo PLA legislation.

This week, The Toledo Blade reported Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson tried to push through legislation mandating that construction projects that cost at least $100,000 and are funded solely by the city be subject to a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) through the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council.

The ordinance was presented to Council members during their normal 4 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, May 26 and subsequently placed into a committee for further review.

Councilman Mike Craig, a Democrat, felt the ordinance could drive business away from the city. As reported in The Blade, he said, “Who gives the sole right to a union to negotiate project labor agreements with the city? … This will grind projects to a halt until the unions get everything they want.”

Democratic Councilwoman Lindsay Webb disagreed with her college and stated PLAs save the taxpayers money because they help get the projects completed efficiently.

During a committee meeting later in the week to discuss the ordinance, councilmembers learned it is similar to a policy implemented by Lucas County, that Commissioner Pete Gerken says has been very successful.

Hicks-Hudson believes approving the PLA is important to keep taxpayer dollars in Toledo and also to bolster economic development in the community.

The Blade reported Craig remained outspoken against the PLA proposal. He said, “Allowing one entity to negotiate all labor projects within the city is too proud.”

A third Blade article on the subject said the Mayor plans to change the ordinance by narrowing the scope of the ordinance, so only construction projects exclusively funded with city money would be eligible.