City Council approves managed competition resolution

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The City Council approved a resolution to reaffirm support for the voter-passed competitive bidding process known as “managed competition” on Tuesday.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer offered the resolution in response to Mayor Bob Filner's halting of the program while he studies its impact. The document calls on the mayor to continue the program.

“The purpose of this resolution is to send a very clear message to voters that this council is committed to running an efficient city government, a government that is focused on reducing unnecessary overhead and delivering effective services for our neighborhoods,” Faulconer said.

He said managed competition, which was approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2006 but not implemented until about four years later, is a proven tool to cut government waste.

The five competitions that have been completed so far — in the areas of printing, fleet maintenance, landfill operations, street and sidewalk maintenance, and street sweeping — have all been won by employees of the affected departments.

Faulconer said the completed competitions resulted in $12.2 million in annual savings being identified.

Under questioning by Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who cast one of two dissenting votes, Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin said $9.8 million in managed competition savings were budgeted.

Emerald called Faulconer's figure a “misrepresentation” of the savings that have been achieved.

Councilwoman Myrtle Cole cast the other dissenting vote.

Francisco Estrada, the mayor's liaison to the City Council, said a review of managed competition could be completed sometime next month.

Council President Todd Gloria, who conceded to campaigning against the competitive bidding initiative, said employee pay cuts and reductions in trucks used by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department instituted several years ago caused his position to change.

“It's a tool, one of many we should be pursuing,” Gloria said.

The vote was 6-2. Councilman David Alvarez was absent.

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