San Diego City Council makes good on Prop D reform: Opens managed competition

After four years of debate the “managed competition train” is about to leave the station. The first competitive bids between private companies and city workers for publishing services is about to begin.

KUSI's Steve Bosh was at city council for the big announcement.

The defeat of Prop D has put tremendous pressure on the Mayor and council to reform city government, reforms that will save millions of dollars instead of millions in new taxes.

On day one of this new council, Monday, a new Council President, and a new Council Member were forceful about carrying out the wishes of the voters.

“I'm very anxious to get promises that we made in regards to Prop D actually completed, and I'm gonna be supportive about being aggressive about that,” said the new Council President, Tony Young.

New Member Lori Zapf also voiced her enthusiasm “people elected me to be here, to act, and for all of us to find solutions to our problems, and I'm prepared to do just that.”

Council took the first step Monday to outsource a third of the city's computer services to save 10-million dollars. Tuesday, the council was asked to bid out “publishing services” under managed competition, where city workers will compete with private companies to deliver this service.

It's a baby step but a step the Mayor called significant.

It's still too early to tell whether this council will remain solid allies of labor and further delay actual “implementation” of managed competition.

The leader of the city's largest union pointed out that the city stalled the implementation of department efficiencies three years ago, efficiencies that would favor city employees in the bidding process now.

There were also concerns raised about the quality of the city's oversight on outsourcing. The council wanted more involvement in the process.
“The voters didn't ask us to give it to any old company that came off the street to promise they can do it for less, and do change order later,” said Council Member Todd Gloria.

Despite these concerns there was unanimous support to move managed competition forward.

Bottom line: this could be a lengthy process but this council is committed to implementing the reforms in Prop D and managed competition has the biggest savings.

Categories: KUSI