Here's the actual language:
Authorizing and directing the Mayor to add a Restrictive Covenant to the deed conveying City owned property concerning the Marina District project to Dillin Riverfront Properties, Inc. requiring the use of unionized workforce for any and all construction and development on this property forever by Dillin Riverfront Properties, Inc. and any successors; and declaring an emergency.
SUMMARY & BACKGROUND:
Ord. 307-08, passed by City Council on May 20, 2008, authorizes the City to convey title to its property in the area along the Maumee River between Marina Drive and Main Street to Dillin Riverfront Properties, Inc. to be improved in accordance with the Master Plan. The Marina District project will have a beneficial effect on the economy of the City of Toledo in terms of jobs, investment, revitalization of a former brownfield and other positive effects.
City Council desires to add a Restrictive Covenant to the deed requiring Dillin Riverfront Properties, Inc. and any successors to use unionized workforce for any and all construction and development on this property forever. NOW, THEREFORE,
Be it ordained by the Council of the City of Toledo:
SECTION 1. That the Mayor is hereby authorized and directed to add a Restrictive Covenant to the deed conveying City owned property to Dillin Riverfront Properties, Inc. for the revitalization of the area along the Maumee River between Marina Drive and Main Street with respect to the development of the Marina District project.
SECTION 2. That the Restrictive Covenant shall require Dillin Riverfront Properties, Inc. to promise to use unionized workforce for any and all construction, reconstruction, enlargement, alteration, renovation, or development of or on all or any part of the land covered by this deed. This Restrictive Covenant shall apply to Dillin Riverfront Properties, Inc., heirs, successors, and assigns forever.
As we discussed on Eye On Toledo last night, (podcast of June 16 show), only 15% of Ohio's 2007 wage and salary workers are represented by a union, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even if - and it's a big if - Toledo has triple the state numbers, union workers are less than half of the workers in the city. When you deduct all the public employees who are unionized, I'm certain that the union workers in Toledo are a small minority of the Toledo workforce.
If Councilman Szollosi really wants to "protect the local workforce," as he stated during the meeting, he'd be as interested in protecting ALL workers and not just a small number of them.
Larry Dillin is ready to start construction on the Marina District and this requirement comes way past the 'last minute.' Dillin says it will kill the project - and he is someone who has used, and continues to use, local union labor on his projects. Mayor Carty Finkbeiner says that same thing. And they're right.
Are our elected officials so stuck on stupid that they will finally be able to kill a project that has taken years to actually come to fruition? Can they not stand the thought of actually being successful with something that they must come up with a deal-breaker just before the construction actually begins? Are they that self-destructive or afraid of success that they do not realize the seriously negative impact this will have?
Oh - and according to the Clerk of Council, Council has never passed a deed restriction like this one, so it will be a first, if approved.
But it doesn't just impact the Marina District. It sends a very strong negative message to all businesses in the area - and to those that might be considering starting or re-locating a business here. During my search yesterday for the numbers of union workers in Toledo, I had a discussion with several economic development officials. All of them said that the issue of unions is one of the top five issues business representatives ask about this area. We have a reputation for being a 'strong union town' and many business owners have a concern that they will be targeted for unionization if they come here. Legislation and laws like this one just reinforce that image and drive job providers away.
This ordinance had its first reading last night. It was not referred to committee. It will be on the next council meeting agenda for either a second reading and/or vote.
Call City Council and tell them this is a terrible idea and shouldn't get their support: 419-245-1050.