Think of this conflict as a high-stakes chess game, with master players on both sides of the board.
The question at the battle’s heart: Does a city have the right to contract out to improve services and save taxpayers’ money?
The city says yes. Its employee union says no.
And while the Big Issues are pending in Orange County Superior Court (you may recall that the Costa Mesa City Employees Association sued to stop Costa Mesa from laying off workers whose jobs might be outsourced, and won an injunction forbidding the city “from contracting with a private entity for any of the services that are performed by CMCEA members or laying off CMCEA members as a result of such contracting” until those Big Issues are decided at trial), the city is pressing the issue hard, trying to force its opponent into moral checkmate.
Last week, even as the legal maelstrom swirled,