Costa Mesa Controversy: To Outsource City Council Services Or Not?

June 6, 2011

According to statistics, Costa Mesa, California saved a bundled in legal fees after outsourcing city attorney work n 2004 financial year. The public legal duties were outsourced to Jones and Myer law firm.

Over the five years that Costa Mesa has outsourced to Jones and Myer, it has dished out $4.7 million. In contrast, data released by the city reveal that the city paid about $7.5 million for doing the work in-house.

Despite the fact that costs tend to vary profusely each year, savings of an average of $550, 000 was observed, reports the DailyPilot. This data does not include judgments or settlements.

Costa Mesa city unveiled the data after intense controversy regarding the City Council’s stand to outsource several city services. The Council argued that it would save the city in the long run.

One of the worries for Costa Mesa’s city executives is maintenance of pensions for the next five years. However, employee additions to pensions have gradually tempered the increases.

Nonetheless, there are critics who say that Costa Mesa will save by keeping services in-house, and that this will ensure cost efficiently. Skeptics also believe that outsourcing does not guarantee cost savings.

The city will send out a number of request forms in order to find service providers for a sizeable portion of its jobs. This will include projects in street sweeping, code enforcement and telecommunications. The City Council will collect bid proposals in summer. Toward September, maintenance and telecommunications staff will know if they still have a job.

From the employee’s side, they are not willing to wait it out. Employees in the aforementioned department have already left, while others are considering leaving. Adding to the heat in employment, police officers told the DailyPilot that their Department is also slated for cutbacks. This means officers are also planning to leave.


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