The Costa Mesa city council has decided to ask the state’s highest court for their opinion regarding potential outsourcing. The plan, which sparked an uproar and protracted legal battle, would shift many services from city employees to private contractors.

By a vote of 4 to 1, the Council decided to test its outsourcing authority at the State Supreme Court, after a lower court upheld an injunction that prevented the City from moving forward with the outsourcing process. However, the court’s decision showed them a possible way forward. The opinion opened the door to issuing RFPs, accepting bids, and evaluating offers.

Because of the potential harm to employees, the courts have stayed the immediate outsourcing plans. According to the judges, “job loss is always a serious matter.” In this case, the larger question is whether or not Costa Mesa, a general law city, may outsource so many functions to private industry.

That point could be rendered irrelevant by the city’s proposed Charter that would specifically give it the authority to contract out for services.

Read the full story at the Daily Pilot.