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The Mayor’s Office has no cost saving estimates on which to base any decision to put a city service through managed competition which could ultimately lead to privatization of a city service.

And let’s not play games here; unions are not opposed to managed competition when there’s a fair playing field. The current negotiated proposal is short on specifics on what the Mayor’s Office will provide employees to ensure that those who are most familiar with providing the taxpayer with quality services can continue to do so. The current Business Process Re-engineering effort is an appropriate process to undertake to achieve greater efficiencies and reduce costs. But be aware that the city of San Diego work force has been doing more with less than any similar-sized municipal work force.

As the last year has revealed, city employees continued requests for the tools necessary to more efficiently do their jobs were denied for years which has created many of the problems Mayor Sanders wants to fix. Remember the alleged problems with the inventory of city-owned real estate which lead to the department head’s removal? Remember how months later revealed that there was not really an issue at all with the inventory, only with a few parcels out of thousands? Real Estate Assets employees proved that even without the requested staffing and technical upgrades, they still provided the citizens with quality work. Will a fully-staffed private contractor be that resourceful or will they buy the top-of-the-line resources and pass those costs along to the taxpayer as a new fee?

If there are savings that can be achieved through the more efficient delivery of services, don’t you want those savings to be used to enhance that same service, or offset the cost of other city provided services? With a private contractor, those efficiencies will turn into profit for that contractor and will produce nothing additional for the taxpayer.

Frank De Clercq

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