Seven candidates. Three open city council seats.
With Election Day drawing near, we’re giving voters the opportunity to get to know their candidates for Glendora city council. Every week until the election on March 8, we’ll ask the candidates a question and give each candidate the opportunity to answer and speak their mind. Have a question you want the candidates to answer? E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or tell us in the comments.
This week’s question was submitted by a reader.
Editor’s Note: Six of the seven candidates submitted answers to this week’s question.
The number of third party company services in Glendora concerns me, most notably services for parking tickets and trash collection. What do you think of the services of our third party contracts? Are there any of them you support? Are there any services you believe should not be outsourced out and should stay within the city? Why or why not?
I support the outsourcing of some of the services that the city provides for its residents. When services are outsourced it's because 1) They can be done more efficiently and better by an outside company and 2) They can be done less expensively. Our city outsources many jobs including traffic tickets, trash pickup, landscape and construction work. I'm an advocate of keeping our government (at all levels) small and efficient. Outsourcing helps accomplish that.
I think we need to look at every way we can be more efficient in delivering services and reducing the cost of doing business. Many cities contract out these types of services.
It comes down to some very basic principles that include an extensive background check to determine the history of the company and how well they have served the communities they currently have contracts with: Does the company share the same values and service expectations that we currently have in Glendora? How much will it cost and will we save money by contracting out the services. And finally, is the contract in the best interest of the people of Glendora?
From what I have experienced as a homeowner, I am pleased with the parking and trash collection services we have. The nice part about contracting out services is normally there is a performance clause in the contract that allows the city to express their dissatisfaction with the services and if not corrected the ability to dismiss the company if they do not improve.
I believe that ALL contracts must go out to bid and then reevaluated on a yearly basis; I would never put on a roof and only talk with one roofer. As a possible cost saving method, the outsourced contracts could be revisited and then analyzed to see if it would more cost effective to keep the job within the city. I believe that when jobs remain in the city, as opposed to outsourcing everything, the employees tend to care more about the community. The most important thing to remember is that the council is spending the peoples' money and that money must be spent wisely.
By comparison, the City of Glendora utilizes a relatively small amount of contract services. Many local cities contract out for far more non-core governmental services, such as maintenance, auditing, legal, road construction, garbage collection, water treatment, engineering services, and others. The issue when considering additional contracts for Glendora is the fact that we already have an existing work force performing the function. If you were creating our city organization from scratch, it would be one thing, no one displaced, no one affected, just a matter of securing the best quality service for the best price… but that’s not the case.
Even if it could be proven to be more cost effective, while still maintaining quality, to move an existing function to a contract, there would still be a significant human cost to that decision. As long as Glendora can afford it, local control will always be favored by her citizens.
I do believe that outsourcing some services can be beneficial to the city. A cost analysis, plus researching how effectively a service can be provided must be looked at on a case by case basis. Athens, for example, has been a great partner for the city of Glendora in many ways.
During the late 1990s the state enacted legislation demanding that recycling reach over 50 percent and then over 75 percent or be fined $10,000 per day. Athens was innovative with their MRF (Material Recovery Facility) to do the recycling to keep Glendora in compliance to the legislation. There does need to be a check and balance in place to make sure that pricing and service levels are not taken advantage by any company.
We currently outsource, tree trimming, street sweeping, parking control, trash collection, and the Glen Oaks golf facility. I support all of these contracts. They have reduced our costs substantially and improved our efficiency and therefore the services we provide to the community.
I do not believe that our police services should be outsourced. The most important function of our government is to protect the health and safety of our citizens. Our police department provides these protections in an exemplary manner.
As a municipal government we should continue to explore all options reduce our costs and increase our efficiency in all other areas. Our taxpayers deserve no less.