Woodstock City Council votes against prevailing wage law

WOODSTOCK – For the second time this month, the Woodstock City Council voted against the prevailing wage law at its meeting Tuesday.

The prevailing wage law requires all contractors and subcontractors for works built by any public body with public funds to be paid the hourly rate set by the Illinois Department of Labor for that county.

Mayor Brian Sager and RB Thompson were the two members in favor of approving the prevailing wage, while council members Daniel Hart, Maureen Larson, Mark Saladin, Joseph Starzynski and Michael Turner voted against the law.

The votes were the same at the June 2 City Council meeting.

Turner said Wednesday that voting against the law takes a “principled stand” against the imposition of the law.

“The state is forcing us to vote a certain way, which is ridiculous,” Turner said. “The second thing is that the law costs taxpayers far more than what the market rates would be for many projects.”

State law says the council must pass the prevailing wage by June 30 of each year, Sager said before Tuesday’s meeting.

Although the council did not pass the prevailing wage, the city must follow prevailing wage laws.

“We don’t believe there would necessarily be a direct impact on the community for not passing it,” City Manager Roscoe Stelford previously said.

At the June 2 meeting, Sager said council members take an oath to uphold the laws of the state of Illinois, which include the prevailing wage law. He said the opportunity to change this law is through the state Legislature.

The council will “work with the state Legislature to define the manner in which prevailing wage rates are established for given areas of the state to ensure that those wages are in fact competitive and appropriate,” Sager said before Tuesday’s meeting.

Last year, the council voted against the prevailing wage at its first meeting in June, and voted for the law at its second meeting, Stelford said Wednesday.

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