Dublin City Council members want to continue cooperation with other Central Ohio communities, but aren't interested in signing what's been dubbed an "anti-job poaching agreement."
Dublin City Council members want to continue cooperation with other central Ohio communities, but aren't interested in signing what's been dubbed an "anti-job poaching agreement."
Council members this week decided against legislation being considered by 12 other jurisdictions that would govern how Central Ohio communities use incentives to lure companies within their borders.
Dublin City Manager Marsha Grigsby has been meeting with leaders from Bexley, Columbus, Gahanna, Grandview Heights, Grove City, Groveport, Hilliard, New Albany, Obetz, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall and Worthington, and working on rules that would curb the practice of luring companies from one community to another with incentives – a practice sometimes termed as job-poaching.
The group has been working to lure new jobs to the region instead of moving them from one community to another.
The agreement originally intended to make any community that practiced job poaching share revenue from the move with the community affected, but Grigsby said that was removed.
"We realized we probably wouldn't make much progress," she said.
Per the draft agreement, Dublin would still be able to offer incentives to keep a business in the community, Grigsby said, and could offer incentives to bring a new company into the region.
The only major change for Dublin under the draft agreement would leave the city unable to offer incentives to any business from a neighboring community that was interested in moving.
Westerville has decided not to participate in the agreement, Grigsby said, but Gahanna has approved legislation. Other communities are considering the agreement, she said.
Councilwoman Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher said she valued the cooperation among central Ohio communities, but was concerned about signing such an agreement that could limit Dublin's development.
Some companies move not because of incentives, but because what the community offers.
"Really, why most companies move is because the amenities of the community are strong for the workforce they are looking for," she said.
Councilwoman Cathy Boring also expressed concerns regarding enforcement and interpretation of the agreement.
"I'm very hesitant," she said.
Mayor Tim Lecklider said Dublin already practices many of the rules in the draft agreement.
"Dublin doesn't poach," Lecklider said. "We haven't poached and it's not our practice."
When a company from a neighboring community approaches Dublin, local officials contact that community, Lecklider said.
"I think Dublin has engaged in good practices," he said, "but this strikes me as lowering our bar."
Grigsby said she'll continue to participate in the joint meetings, but will not sign any agreement or propose legislation regarding the anti-job poaching agreement.