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Costa Mesa to appeal injunction that stopped city from outsourcing

October 18, 2012 |  9:38 am

The Costa Mesa City Council has voted to appeal a court injunction that temporarily stopped the panel from privatizing some city services.

The council voted 4 to 1 Tuesday to appeal a ruling that has prevented the city from outsourcing workers to private companies until a lawsuit filed by employees is heard, the Daily Pilot reported. Councilwoman Wendy Leece dissented.

The state Supreme Court can hear the city's petition or let the lower-court decision stand, said attorney John Alexander Vogt, private counsel representing the city.

The injunction was issued in May 2011 after the Costa Mesa City Employees Assn. filed a lawsuit against the city.

Costa Mesa appealed the Superior Court decision, saying it was imperative that the city begin its outsourcing plan, but a three-judge appellate panel upheld the lower court's ruling until the lawsuit is resolved, saying in part "job loss is always a serious matter, and in this post-recession era of high unemployment, it cannot be taken lightly."

The council majority voted to appeal that decision at the urging of other general law cities that were affected by the appellate court's published ruling, the city announced.

Critics say the move is the latest attempt to advance a smaller-government political philosophy.

"It's so clear that [Mayor Pro Tem Jim] Righeimer and the council majority are much more focused on their broad political agenda than what's best for the residents of the city of Costa Mesa," said Orange County Employees Assn. spokeswoman Jennifer Muir. "It's just disgusting."

The OCEA represents more than 100 Costa Mesa employees who are suing to block the outsourcing plan.

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-- Lauren Williams, Times Community News

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