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Candidates: Outsourcing City Services

Candidates discuss third party contracts and which ones they support.

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 hazel.lodevicotoo@patch.com 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.

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?

Judy Nelson
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.

Joe Santoro
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.

Erica Landmann-Johnsey
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.

John Fields
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.

Jason Nagy
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.

Doug Tessitor
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. 

 

Virgil February 28, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Humm.....seems Yolanda has gotten a parking ticket or two from Inter-con based on her resentment comment. Would she feel the same if an officer wrote it? Pure speculation on my part. I too feel the city can do better that inter-con, but for other reasons. I would rather have enforcement the old fashioned way, by PD employees. PT cadets, community service officers and police officers. They are screened and supervised by the city. Can't say that for inter-con employees. Also, how much can the fines be reduced if outsourcing was illiminated? A few years ago a friend was directed to inter-con for a job interview. Twice the interviewer was not there at the scheduled appointment, and on one of those occassions two inter-con employees were seen engaing in behavior that would have subject them to severe discipline or termination if they were city employees. Now, don't jump to conclusions I am sure inter-con does have good employees but this is one reason why I want local control of hiring and supervising. It's one thing when you outsouce cutting the lawn, but not enforcement.
Yolanda Mckay March 06, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Virgil, yes I would feel better if tickets were issued by Glendora cadets, or Glendora parking officers. It is the fact that we are outsourcing good jobs and turning over enforcement to a private FOR-PROFIT company. That is why there is such unprofessionalism, poor treatment and compensation of employees by Inter-Con. My issue is transparency and the fallacy that we are doing this to save money. If anything, it was done to increase enforcement revenues, if that is the case be honest with citizens. I still think it is wrong for many of the same reason you do Virgil, the difference may be in how we get to the same results, resistance to a private company with it's own agenda (profit) patrolling the streets of Glendora; this is not in line with the spirit of community and quality of life issues Glendora espouses.
Yolanda Mckay March 06, 2011 at 07:57 PM
I appreciate your post Mr. Tessitor, but it does not give us the real picture, Inter-Con does not patrol our streets as a charity function we pay them I believe over a million dollars a year. Could you post that information. How much does the city get per ticket after Inter-Con expenses are added to the equation? How much is profit for Inter-Con per ticket. Are the Inter-Con fees tied to enforcement practice. Do they get paid more if they write more tickets?
Yolanda Mckay March 06, 2011 at 08:16 PM
P.S. Virgil, I have lived in the City of Glendora for 30 years, over the years I have received my share of parking tickets and as a law abiding citizen paid them without complaint. I started complaining as soon as I knew the city of Glendora had brought in a for profit company to avoid giving decent jobs with some benefits to a few unemployed citizens. This is all about putting the corporate profit above people. It is hypocrisy to claim our city's vision as a"progressive city representing family values" then to claim our values as "Educational, spiritual and humanitarian institutions." while we outsource parking enforcement to avoid paying a living wage. For what purpose? Show us the complete picture, what does it really save Glendora? Is it worth it? after all you get what you pay for.
Facts aka Campaign Manager October 14, 2011 at 07:26 AM
Judy, proud to say I voted for you in the spring but I'm now perplexed and curious about the upcoming achool board race: why should I vote for Cory Ellenson? How does his intern experience serve the city school board? Thanks.

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