A City Outsources Everything. Sky Does Not Fall.

The New York Times

“While many communities are fearfully contemplating extensive cuts, Maywood says it is the first city in the nation in the current downturn to take an ax to everyone. The school crossing guards were let go. Parking enforcement was contracted out, City Hall workers dismissed, street maintenance workers made redundant. The public safety duties of the Police Department were handed over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.”

“Senior citizens were afraid they would be assaulted as they walked down the street. Parents worried the parks would be shut and their children would have nowhere to safely play. Landlords said their tenants had begun suggesting that without city-run services they would no longer feel obliged to pay rent.”

“The apocalypse never arrived. In fact, it seems this city was so bad at being a city that outsourcing — so far, at least — is being viewed as an act of municipal genius.”

Click the banner to read the rest of the story.  Thanks to Sue for the link.



Filed under Accountability, Government's Footprint

2 responses to “A City Outsources Everything. Sky Does Not Fall.

  1. Sueinmn

    It would certainly be an interesting follow up to see if a sizable savings was realized for the taxpayers.

  2. Gaye

    The federal government has been doing this type of outsourcing for years under the guise of utilizing private contractors to provide services that “are not inherently governmental.” This usually means building and grounds maintenance, food service, security, administrative services that do not require high-level security clearances, etc. The track record of this outsourcing is out there: costs did not go down, they just became hidden in corporations which had no duty to report publicly to the taxpayers. Accountability to the taxpayers became hard to track. Employees whose jobs were outsourced mostly went to work for the contracting companies. But the total number of federal employees seemed to go down. Of course! But the number of private contractor employees actually, when added to the federal employee numbers, increased the overall total workforce numbers. Under President Bush, if you added in the number of federal contractor employees, the “federal” workforce swelled in number in double digit increases. Huge grants have been given to the private contracting companies from which to pay their employees. And the private companies have lavished huge bonuses on the privately contracted employees–bonuses that are not given to federal employees. All this talk of privatization is a shell game…the oldest one around. If work exists, someone has to do it: public or private–it still needs to be paid for.

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