The city’s efforts to make use of the voter-approved measure allowing the city to privatize city jobs are delayed about a year, Mayor Jerry Sanders said today.

Instead of adhering to a timeline that estimated the city would begin soliciting proposals from outside companies and public employees beginning this summer — which was what Sanders said would happen days after voters passed Proposition C — the city appears one year behind.

By the same token, the citizen panel that will judge the competitions between private companies and city employees will be chosen by the City Council on Oct. 8. Sanders had earlier predicted the board would be rounded out by early 2007.

Sanders claimed the city’s bargaining with employee unions over the process delayed the schedule he released last November.

At a morning press conference, Sanders did note the progress the city has made to date. A guide that instructs how businesses can compete with employees for services is complete. Eleven city departments or functions have been streamlined through the business process reengineering method, and nine more in BPRs are in progress. He also said a consultant, Grant Thornton, has been hired to advise the city on the “managed competition” between businesses and municipal workers.

“We’ve made great strides in implementing the will of the voters,” Sanders said.

His new timetable would now mean that several of the steps leading up the farming out of city work — such as the selection of services to put out for bid, the review by a citizen panel, and the approvals of the board’s selections by Sanders and the council — would creep into 2008. That June, he will be running for reelection in the city primary.

The council’s Budget and Finance Committee is scheduled to hear a report from the Mayor’s Office on managed competition Wednesday at 9 a.m. Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin prepared a report on the issue this week, pointing out the delays and other concerns. Included in the critique is Tevlin’s worry that the cost savings found in various departments through BPR are being foregone because the Sanders administration is taking too long to get to get to the competition between the employees and outside bidders.


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