Annapolis' parking garage workers plan to pack City Hall for a showdown on their jobs tonight.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on a contract that would transfer management of Annapolis' off-street parking to a new company.
Employees for Park America Inc., the Philadelphia-based company that has run the city's lots and garages for more than a decade, fear they will be fired or forced to take a significant pay cut. They alsohave expressed concern that they will lose medical benefits.
In agesture toward the employees, the council turned over the contract to its Finance Committee for a closer review.
Union leaders pleadedwith the committee two weeks ago to delay hiring a new management company. But the committee decided to recommend that the contract be approved.
The city administration structured the bid request to savethe most money, a move that undercut unionized Park America, which was still managing the city's parking 2 1/2 years after its last contract had expired.
The administrative glitch was discovered in November after a complaint from Towne Park Ltd., a small, Annapolis-based valet parking company. Towne Park, a non-union company, won the new contract by submitting the lowest bid.
In other business tonight, the council will review a proposal to open a newspaper recycling center in Eastport.
The city decided to hire a private vendor after Giant Food stopped its newspaper recycling program Jan. 1, said John Patmore, director of public works.
Three companies bid on the proposal, with Eastern Waste Management submitting the low bid of $8,300, hesaid.
The newspaper recycling center would be opened behind the Eastport Volunteer Fire Station on Jefferson Street.
Many city residents have called City Hall to complain about their newspapers pilingup in the last months.