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Tables Turn for Councilman

By Jorge Casuso

After eight years on the City Council - two of them as mayor - Councilman Paul Rosenstein will take the lessons he has learned sitting behind the dais to lobby for the county's electrical union.

On Friday, Rosenstein, who has announced he would not seek a third council term in November, hung up his work tools to take on the full-time post as Political Action Director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11.

His duties for the local IBEW - which represents 6,000 electricians countywide -- will range from representing the union before legislative bodies to educating the membership on political issues and how to be more effective in the political process.

"I have insights into how legislators think when they make decisions," said Rosenstein, who has also served on the City's Planning Commission.

Rosenstein said he will be "totally absorbed" with the upcoming local, state and federal elections, for which he will make recommendations for endorsements.

"We share the same issues with everybody else in the country - to make sure the economy remains stable and to secure the future of social security and medicare," Rosenstein said.

High on the union's agenda is getting the state to license electricians (those who serve a five year apprenticeship are certified, but not licensed) and making sure government agencies get quality work and labor peace when they contract low bidders.

Rosenstein said his new job came as a surprise, but he is looking forward to the challenges.

"The labor movement has really come alive," Rosenstein said. "There has been a resurgence. A spirit of crusade has returned to the unions."

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