Saving Taxpayer Money~Councilmember Gary DeLong

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Councilmember Gary DeLong

Councilwoman Schipske doesn’t understand the facts…again.

In her blog yesterday she claims that the purpose of outsourcing street sweeping is so private contractors can contribute to political campaigns.  Actually, I think it is just the opposite.  Councilwoman Schipske has taken so much from the unions that she puts their interests before her constituents.  After all, all I am asking for is an analysis to determine possible financial benefits. Gerrie is adamantly opposed to this and to having an open mind.

Nevertheless, this week I have an item on the Budget Oversight Committee meeting agenda to request an analysis to determine if it is possible to reduce our City’s street sweeping costs.

Click here to review the item.

Due to the need to address the City’s pension and deferred maintenance obligations, it is imperative that the City look at alternative ways to deliver services.  It is my understanding that other cities have realized savings of 30% to 50% by outsourcing this service.  Some of the local cities that have contracted out this service are Carson, Downey, Glendora, Lakewood, Newport Beach, Paramount, Pomona, etc. And yesterday, Councilwoman Schipske published the following comments in her blog:

1. Our city employees who bring a tremendous source of revenue to the city now are to be replaced by private sector contractors that undoubtedly will take from the city the very profit we realize in these services.

Apparently Gerrie doesn’t understand how outsourcing works.  The City must make a finding that profits will INCREASE in order to migrate from city employees to the private sector.

2. Now you won’t find bidders for the more mundane less lucrative services such as libraries and parks.  Nah.  There isn’t a lot of money connected with them.

That’s right.  Why would the City outsource a service if it didn’t provide a significant financial benefit to Long Beach residents?

3. Luckily the voters of Long Beach were wise enough to vote for a Proposition L which requires that the City Manager make a finding that the services being selected for outsourcing cannot be done cheaper by city employees. And every Prop L study has shown that they are.

Actually, the City has outsourced a variety of services and has received HUGE savings.  We saved over $1 million annually by outsourcing median maintenance a number of years ago, and have saved millions of dollars annually by privatizing our golf course operations (American Golf Co.), Lighting (City Light & Power) and Resident Weekly Recycle Collection (Waste Management).

4. Watch the bouncing ball as it goes crazy following the numerous suggestions to contract out Long Beach city services to the lowest bidder.

Once again Gerrie is mistaken.  The services would be contracted to the HIGHEST bidder.

In 1808 Thomas Jefferson stated “It is better for the public to procure at the market whatever the market can supply; because there it is by competition kept up in its quality, and reduced to its minimum price.”

I believe in today’s challenging economic climate the City needs to consider every possible alternative to deliver services more cost effectively and efficiently.  Call your Councilmember and let them know if you think the City should be looking at every way possible to save taxpayer money, and stop worrying about sacred cows.

Gary DeLong

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