Steve Mensinger discusses his ground breaking ordinance called COIN

(Civic Openness in Negotiations) that is transforming how municipalities nationwide will negotiate contracts in the future.


Civic Openness in Negotiations (COIN)

Steve Mensinger is  the author of Civic Openness In Negotiations (COIN) ordinance that shined a light on public employee labor negotiations, Steve is redefining the expectation of city transparency with the taxpayers.

In 2012, the Costa Mesa City Council passed the Civic Openness in Negotiations (COIN) ordinance that brings more transparency to labor negotiations with public employee associations. You can read the staff report here, the ordinance here, and a sample of the independent financial analysis of the cost of the current employee contracts that will begin each negotiation here.

This PowerPoint presentation, given to the Assn. of California Cities-OC, provides a basic primer on COIN.

This PowerPoint presentation on COIN was prepared by Richard Kreisler, the city’s labor negotiator.

This PowerPoint presentation on COIN was prepared by Richard Kreisler, the city’s labor negotiator.

When the Costa Mesa City Employees Assn. contract expired in March 2013, the city completed an independent fiscal analysis of each employee benefit and posted it on the city’s website more than 30 days before negotiations began. You can find the analysis here.

Among COIN’s requirements:

  • The city must hire an independent negotiator (in Costa Mesa, prior councils had an executive level public employee handle the negotiations).
  • Before contract talks with an employee association begin, an independent economic analysis must be done on the fiscal impacts of each contract term and the results of that analysis must be made public 30 days prior to negotiations.
  • Each council member must disclose if he or she had any communications about the negotiations with representatives of the employee association.
  • As negotiations begin, the City Council must report publicly after closed sessions any prior offers and counter offers and their fiscal impact to the taxpayer.
  • Any meet-and-confer-related bargaining positions received or made by either side that are no longer being considered must be disclosed.
  • Before the City Council can vote on an employee contract, it must be discussed at at least two City Council meetings and the proposal posted on the city’s website at least seven days prior to the first meeting.