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Mayor Sanders proposed the Managed Competition initiative, Proposition C , as part of his reform package to change the culture and operations of City Hall.

Proposition C will give the mayor the ability to identify city departments with the potential for more efficient management and permit competition between qualified outside providers and city departments that can’t currently be outsourced.

Why is this necessary?

The San Diego City Charter, written in 1931, currently prohibits contracting of services performed by city civil service employees.

The greatest benefit of managed competition is the process that it creates. Periodic review of service, management and performance levels based on objective, measurable criteria occurs at every successful private and non-profit organization.

Unfortunately, we can’t expect governmental entities to hold themselves to the same standards unless we, the taxpayers, demand it.

Managed competition gives city workers, and their managers, an incentive to find better, more efficient ways to deliver services to residents. I’d bet that there are hundreds of city employees that have had excellent ideas for improving efficiency over the years; but by no fault of their own, they were not given the incentive or opportunity to present their recommendations, or they were simply ignored by mid-level managers.

If you need an example of a successful managed competition program, you need look no further than the county of San Diego. The managed competition program performed by the county, operating for a decade now, has saved taxpayers millions of tax dollars while improving services.

In fact, Proposition C is already working at the city of San Diego. That’s right! The incentive of being forced to compete is already having an impact on city operations. City departments are lining up for Business Process Re-Engineering because they know they could be exposed to competition.

Much more to follow on why you should vote Yes on Proposition C…

LANI LUTAR

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