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Managed competition increases 2014-15 cost savings

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A city streets and sidewalks maintenance plan that outdoes the cost savings in the city employees managed competition agreement will "improve the overall condition of street pavement and surfaces," the new Mayor's budget team says. The alternative to managed competition that will add 14.00 full time psoitions to the maintenance workforce resolves street quality and work cost concerns for the work Kevin Faulconer made a top priority in his San Diego recovery plan.

Faulconer counts on the cost cuts accomplished earlier in four epartments using managed competition to continue to ease the city's cost burden. City employees' managed competition plans agreed on with the city will save 1 million dollars per year in budget costs in Publishing Services and 4 to 5 million dollars a year in Fleet Maintenance.The total annual savings in Fleet Maintenance depends on the work done after the managed competition plan is fully implemented by July 1st.

Another half a million dolalrs a year in cost savings is projected in Street Sweeping. Managed Competition plans have been only partially implemented in Landfill Operations, but might save the city as much as 3.5 million dollars a year.

The Prop C managed competition plan voters approved in 2006, and the city council restarted in 2011 had lowered cost burdens, but did not change the city's chosen workers. Before Faulconer's city team decided to use their streets and sidewalks alternative, shortly after the city employee proposal was approved, the city employees had proposed plans that won the competition between the San Diego team and independent contractors each time.

Meeting the city halfway on costs can make a cost savings proposal on city work fall short. The Mayor's 2014-15 budget proposal draws the line: "Competitive government is a government with processes in place to validate that service quality and costs are as good as, or superior to, any legitimate provider available."

The city has to spend a large amount of budget money on maintenance work on San Diego's streets and sidewalks during the 2014-15 budget year. Over 1.75 million dollars in general fund spending, and, close to a fifty million dollar share of the bond money the city will invest in capital improvement projects.

Raising the amount of work done by employees in Streets & Sidewalks Maintenance will cost $950,760 dollars in personnel spening. The work plan the city employee team hired two new workers to do will get taken out of the San Diego managed competition plan after the alternative in the Mayor's budget passes the city council.

This is a Center Line Policy Alert.