The Latest Budget Blow: Managed Competition Delays

The Latest Budget Blow: Managed Competition Delays

Photo by Sam Hodgson

Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin, pictured in 2010, told the City Council recently that delays in implementing managed competition could translate into an additional $3.9 million shortage in the city's day-to-day budget.

 

The city’s budget deficit appears to be steadily climbing.

The city’s budget analyst said Monday delays in implementing managed competition could translate into an additional $3.9 million shortage in the city’s day-to-day budget next year, adding to the likely $40 million budget gap officials already identified.

And while former Mayor Jerry Sanders had assumed savings for this year, those could fail to fully materialize too, Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin said at Monday’s City Council meeting.

San Diegans approved an update to the city charter to allow competitive bids for city services in 2006. More than six years later, only one contract has been fully implemented. That follows plenty of legal wrangling in court and negotiations with city employees, who have won all of the contracts so far. Some work agreements are still being negotiated with the city’s employee unions. A handful of other contracts are still in the works.

Mayor Bob Filner’s take on managed competition further complicates matters.

Filner has said he’s not convinced the process actually results in savings. Last month, he told U-T San Diego he wanted to put a hold on managed competition and scrutinize contracts the city has approved.

“I almost want to call it mismanaged cuts, not managed competition,” he told the newspaper.

Filner’s view of managed competition holds weight. The mayor can choose whether to forward potential projects or services to be bid on to Council.

Last month, Councilman Kevin Faulconer wrote a memo to Filner urging the new mayor to allow the process to continue to ensure savings outlined in Sanders’ budget projections.

“Any delay in implementation could cost the city millions of dollars that would otherwise be directed toward core city services and future budget uncertainties,” the councilman wrote.

Francisco Estrada, the mayor’s liaison with the Council, said at the Monday meeting that Filner had nothing to do with the delays in implementing the fleet management contract, which mostly involves repairs and regular maintenance of city vehicles. That contract had been projected to save the city $4.2 million annually. The delays occurred under Sanders’ watch, Estrada said.

He also emphasized, as Filner has recently, that the former mayor’s budget predictions haven’t panned out.

“The financial picture that was posed by the previous administration as they were leaving office appears to have been very rosy and we’re starting to find there were some issues with the budget as a whole that have started to call into question whether or not we are going to be at a deficit at the end of this particular fiscal year,” Estrada said.

With that in mind, Filner is trying to get more information about managed competition contracts before he proceeds, Estrada said.

To do that, he said Filner has asked City Auditor Eduardo Luna to review the fleet management contract, which Filner has publicly panned. It’s not clear whether Luna has agreed. He had been set to examine the city’s publishing services contract regularly scheduled as part of the managed competition process.

Faulconer and fellow Republican Councilmembers Scott Sherman and Lorie Zapf, all of whom support the measure, argued it’s too early to evaluate the contract for city vehicle repairs because it hasn’t been fully implemented yet.

“The delay for an audit on something we haven’t even started yet frankly makes no sense to me,” Zapf said. “Let’s move this forward.”

Tevlin acknowledged the timeline for the managed competition projects may have been overly optimistic.

Still, she said, the delays could hit the budget hard.

“What we’re really concerned about is if (managed competition contracts) don’t get implemented fairly soon you’re not going to see those savings that we’re counting on for fiscal year 2014, 2015, 2016 and so on,” she said.

Lisa Halverstadt is a reporter at Voice of San Diego. Know of something she should check out? You can contact her directly at lisa.halverstadt@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0528.

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Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa Halverstadt is a reporter at Voice of San Diego. Know of something she should check out? You can contact her directly at lisa@vosd.org or 619.325.0528.

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14 comments
Todd Dubler
Todd Dubler subscriber

The problems in the city are many, and it isn't really the city departments per se. I believe city employees can performs most if not all services cheaper than contractors. The problem as I see it is there are too many employees that do not do their job, or perform poorly at their job, but get to keep their job even if it means shuffling from department to department within the city. Dicipline is nearly non existant, or so insufficient that it does not discourage bad behavior or performance. If the city wants real reform, they need to start diciplining underperformers and problematic employees with real dicipline designed to convert them into good productive employees and ending their employment if they don't or can't convert.

whowantstoknow
whowantstoknow

The problems in the city are many, and it isn't really the city departments per se. I believe city employees can performs most if not all services cheaper than contractors. The problem as I see it is there are too many employees that do not do their job, or perform poorly at their job, but get to keep their job even if it means shuffling from department to department within the city. Dicipline is nearly non existant, or so insufficient that it does not discourage bad behavior or performance. If the city wants real reform, they need to start diciplining underperformers and problematic employees with real dicipline designed to convert them into good productive employees and ending their employment if they don't or can't convert.

Frank De Clercq
Frank De Clercq subscriber

I'm with you, I'll take UPS any day. Why, because they pay their workers a living wage, health care, and benefits. Fed Ex could care less. The Greedy 1%'rs would enslave a child in a third world country, and pay them $3.00 per week to take care of their business, just so long as they could make more profit. Pathetic!

Frank De Clercq
Frank De Clercq

I'm with you, I'll take UPS any day. Why, because they pay their workers a living wage, health care, and benefits. Fed Ex could care less. The Greedy 1%'rs would enslave a child in a third world country, and pay them $3.00 per week to take care of their business, just so long as they could make more profit. Pathetic!

Frank De Clercq
Frank De Clercq subscriber

Remember the one thing that the GOP doesn't want.: Oversight and regulations. That would prevent them from fleecing the taxpayer! Case closed.

Frank De Clercq
Frank De Clercq

Remember the one thing that the GOP doesn't want.: Oversight and regulations. That would prevent them from fleecing the taxpayer! Case closed.

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

As for our new “Hizzoner”, he’s been very explicit on his goals, which include killing “managed competition”. I’m with him on that one, because it’s rigged in favor of city employees, and it‘s no wonder they have won all the competitions to date. Where we part company is that Filner wants no competition with city employees, just stop whining about costs, Mr. taxpayer, and pay up! I’d prefer what the city attorney suggested a couple of years ago, that the city has the right to outsource without going through this cumbersome charade. Let’s do it.

toulon
toulon

As for our new “Hizzoner”, he’s been very explicit on his goals, which include killing “managed competition”. I’m with him on that one, because it’s rigged in favor of city employees, and it‘s no wonder they have won all the competitions to date. Where we part company is that Filner wants no competition with city employees, just stop whining about costs, Mr. taxpayer, and pay up! I’d prefer what the city attorney suggested a couple of years ago, that the city has the right to outsource without going through this cumbersome charade. Let’s do it.

Craig Nelson
Craig Nelson subscribermember

I'll take Fed Ex and UPS , you get to keep the post office and TSA.

Craig Nelson
Craig Nelson

I'll take Fed Ex and UPS , you get to keep the post office and TSA.

Blake Lawless
Blake Lawless subscribermember

If one were to look at the "agreed to" provisions of the managed competition initiative that was aproved by voters OVER SIX years ago, One would quickly notice foot-dragging, and many attempts to make the process so ponderous that any service that made it through this process was so compelling there is no question as to how the results would go. The inertia of getting any reform in this area is almost insurmountable.

BlakeX2
BlakeX2

If one were to look at the "agreed to" provisions of the managed competition initiative that was aproved by voters OVER SIX years ago, One would quickly notice foot-dragging, and many attempts to make the process so ponderous that any service that made it through this process was so compelling there is no question as to how the results would go. The inertia of getting any reform in this area is almost insurmountable.

Frank De Clercq
Frank De Clercq subscriber

The list goes on and on. It's all about the rich man getting richer while the working man gets forced into slave wages. The reason manufacturing jobs have gone overseas is because of corporate greed. Living wages and benefits are to much to pay, so 'the man' just outsources the jobs to 3rd world countries where they can exploit children and pay them $3 a week. Thank God for Mayor Filner. Maybe we can send managed competition to China, Vietnam, and Minamar! Carl DeMaio would do well in China!

Frank De Clercq
Frank De Clercq

The list goes on and on. It's all about the rich man getting richer while the working man gets forced into slave wages. The reason manufacturing jobs have gone overseas is because of corporate greed. Living wages and benefits are to much to pay, so 'the man' just outsources the jobs to 3rd world countries where they can exploit children and pay them $3 a week. Thank God for Mayor Filner. Maybe we can send managed competition to China, Vietnam, and Minamar! Carl DeMaio would do well in China!