Carl DeMaio would like to introduce City Hall to the Yellow Pages.

Joined by Mike McDowell from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, former council candidate April Boling and the Yellow Pages, DeMaio addressed the failure of the city to implement the Mayor Jerry Sanders’ outsourcing program passed by city voters exactly 1,000 days ago. The program, called “managed competition,” was supposed to open up city services to outside, private vendors and potentially drive down costs, but not one city program or function has faced the music to date.

The copy of the Yellow Pages, which DeMaio twice brandished during his half hour press conference at City Hall, was to illustrate a point: Residents shop around.

“But in city government it is totally different,” DeMaio said, calling the city “a complete monopoly” when it comes to services like printing and automobile maintenance.

Further, DeMaio produced documents showing that the city has granted more than 1,100 hours of negotiation leave — at a cost of $124,000 — to city employees to discuss managed competition’s implementation.

So who’s to blame?

Not the mayor, DeMaio said, calling Sanders’ negotiating approach “very thoughtful, very patient and very committed.” DeMaio did call out organized labor, but heaped most of his scorn on “some city council members” who “have gone on record opposed to managed competition.”

Asked a couple of times to name names, DeMaio demurred, repeating the “some city councilmembers” line. Various administrative delays, legaland otherwise, also have beset the program.

DeMaio called on the city to examine at least 10 percent of its budget through the managed competition process next year. He said doing so could save the city 15 percent on each service.


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