Talk about the tail waging the dog.
The geniuses at the Clark County Commission postponed approving a $2.5 million contract to install 500 steel post barriers along the Strip to protect pedestrians from vehicles veering onto sidewalks, because three construction workers might have been shorted a couple of hundred dollars for work performed on a previous contract, according to the Las Vegas newspaper today.
It is all because of the state’s prevailing wage law that mandates public works projects pay workers what amounts to union scale, inflating the cost of such projects by millions of dollars and now delaying a public safety project by at least a few weeks over a petty dispute.
According the paper, the Nevada Foundation for Fair Contracting, whatever that is, complained that three, just three, concrete finishers performed jobs that under the law should have been paid at a higher scale — $6 to $7 an hour more. Of course, Tuesday was the first the company heard of the claim.
At $5,000 per post, called bollards, apparently the job is not as simple as digging a post hole and cementing in a steel pipe, but what government job ever is?
Local police would prefer there be no delay, but have no control over the situation, Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Larry Hadfield said.
“Although it would be optimal for these to be installed on time the LVMPD is not part of the construction of the bollards,” he said.
Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak was quoted as saying of the delayed contract, “That’s just the beginning, the next 500. We’ve got thousands coming after that, and I want to make sure the company is doing the right thing by paying their workers at the appropriate rates.”
Why should a dispute over a past contract delay a future one, especially over such a petty amount. In fact the head of the complaining organization was quoted as saying, “They basically got cheated who knows how many hundreds of dollars.”
Where are the liberals shouting: If it saves one life, it is worth it?