OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

“Republican” Chi Charlie Nguyen Cost Taxpayers Over $2.5 Million Dollars For ONE Project!

Posted by Dave Everett on July 21, 2022

Over my career I have worked with several non-union construction groups. With each organization the message to elected officials has been essentially the same, “If you restrict 80% of the construction workforce from working on your projects, your costs will go up.” It is obvious to anyone who has taken Economics 101. Unfortunately, this message was ignored by Republican Midway City Sanitary District Director Chi Charlie Nguyen. The Project Labor Agreement that Nguyen and his colleagues passed in 2021 has now come back to cost Midway City Sanitation District taxpayers over $2.5 million dollars – and that is just for ONE project!

Midway City Sanitary District does not post its agenda packets (including staff reports for agenda items) on its website. So information is limited, but it appears that last April, all 5 Midway City Sanitation District Directors voted to approve a Project Workforce Agreement (PWA) with Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council for their District Addition, Solar and Remodel Project. (https://www.midwaycitysanitarydistrict.com/files/a5114e8c1/04-20-2021_agenda.pdf)

In September 2021, the Midway City Sanitary District (MCSD) began accepting bids to build additions to the Midway City Sanitary District offices and a remodel of the Midway City Sanitary District offices. The original bid deadline was September 14, 2021, with an estimate of $2,800,000.

On October 5, 2021 the board rejected all bids. The board voted to advertise for bids again on December 7, 2021. Director Tyler Diep expressed concern that the the qualifications were too restrictive and they wouldn’t get enough bids. (https://www.midwaycitysanitarydistrict.com/files/b434a88f8/12-07-2021_minutes.pdf).

Diep was correct. After several more rounds of bidding, the estimate is now $4,650,000 and the bids that actually came in were even higher than that! The following six (6) Bids were received:

1. $5,401,240.00
2. $5,499,483.00
3. $5,607,231.00
4. $5,656,235.41
5. $6,745,218.74
6. $7,210,000.00

So if the initial bid estimate was $2.8 million and the MCSD accepted the lowest bid now available, the PLA will have cost the district $2,601,240 (about $2.6 million.)

If the MCSD accepts the highest bid of $7.21 million, then the PLA will have cost taxpayers over $4.4 million.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time Chi Charlie Nguyen has refused to defend taxpayers. Last year Councilman Chi Charlie Nguyen made a motion to approve a ballot measure keeping a 1% sale tax rate hike artificially high for another TEN YEARS! Thankfully, he failed to get enough votes. (https://voiceofoc.org/2020/08/westminster-council-again-fails-to-act-on-sales-tax-measure-as-financial-crisis-looms/.)

“But why should we hold Chi Charlie Nguyen responsible if all 5 Directors voted for the wasteful, discriminatory Project Labor Agreement?” you might ask.

To me, the answer is simple. You expect liberal politicians like Sergio Contreras or Andrew Nguyen to overspend and waste taxpayer money. It is part of their political philosophy. Tyler Diep has already come out as a PLA supporter in cities like Anaheim and Garden Grove. Mark Nguyen did not vote for the PLA because he was appointed to the Board of Directors on September 7, 2021 to fill the vacancy left by Director Margie Rice who passed away on July 25, 2021. 

You do not expect taxpayer rip-offs and overspending from Republicans like Chi Charlie Nguyen.

Unfortunately, Midway City Sanitary District voters can’t hold Nguyen accountable until November 2024. However voters in the City of Westminster will only have to wait a little over 100 days to hold Chi Charlie Nguyen accountable for his special interest deal that wasted over $2.5 million taxpayer dollars.

With rising inflation and gas prices, Chi Charlie Nguyen’s waste of our tax money could not come at a worse time for taxpayers. And who knows how much waste he will be responsible for when the final inflated contract is awarded.

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