Voters have one week to decide on several issues on Arizona's May 18 Special Election. One of the issues facing voters here in the City of Yuma is Prop 400. If the proposition passes, it would change the wording in the City's Charter and allow it to award local projects to local contractors simply because they're local. Currently, the company that presents the lowest bid gets the project. Under the proposition, City Council will have the authority to choose local companies over those from out of town. This includes city improvement projects, construction, equipment, and professional services. Critics say prop 400 is unconstutional, limits competition, and will drive up the total cost of projects, meaning more money out of taxpayers' pockets.
David M. Martin, president of the Arizona chapter of Associated General Contractors. He says, "Bottom line is local preference is unconstitutional. Regardless of whether its local or not local, contractors will pump money back into the community through staying in hotels, renting cars, etc."
Supporters disagree. They say it will help them compete with out of town firms and keep money in the community.
Doug Nicholls, owner of Core Engineering Group says, "The state of the construction industry is pretty dismal right now. We've got companies 60 to 80 percent reduced in force. Anything we can do to help out the Yuma resident and put them to back to work. Prop 400 will help keep tax dollars in Yuma."
Yuma voters will get to decide on if Prop 400 is best for them during May 18th Special Election.