Costa Mesa City Council Votes In Favor of Outsourcing One-Third of City Services

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By the time the Costa Mesa City Council was finished with its farewells to its outgoing City Manager and City Attorney Tuesday evening, every seat in the council chambers was filled. More than 250 people had turned out for various items on the agenda, but the majority were there to be heard and witness the vote on the final item: outsourcing city services

One by one, city employees, those who represented them and members of the community stepped to the lectern to express their concerns. Some received applause; those who supported the move to outsource heard the hiss of disapproval.

Shortly before midnight, after all the voices were heard, the council pointed to the dire financial crisis, which Mayor Gary Monahan admitted was nearing "rock bottom." Councilwoman Wendy Leece voiced her support of the city employees, but it was to no avail, as the council voted 4-1 in favor of beginning to issue notices to city employees.

The evening didn't turn into the cage match some had anticipated, but emotions were high. Billy Folsom, a mechanic in Costa Mesa, was the final civilian to confront the council. The previous year, he was involved with a group that presented nearly 120 ideas of ways to cut costs, but he received a blanket "no" in response. The group then asked the council for suggestions of what it needed to balance the budget. The group met every suggestion, including wage concessions, pension reform and eliminating floating holidays. Now the council is asking for more.

After public comments were complete, Councilman Eric Bever was the first to react. "It irritates me," he began, alluding to the public response, before shifting blame to previous councils, specifically under ex-Mayor Sandy Genis, who was among the outspoken opponents to the move. Councilman Jim Righeimer wasn't fond of the "insinuations" made by the public, who worried there may be some under-the-table dealings with private companies that could be motivating the move.

In the end, the vote came swiftly, the four "Yes" votes declared confidently. The crowd rose and left the chambers just as quickly.

Afterward, Folsom stood outside the chambers, speaking with those who had sat through the marathon session. His disappointment and frustration was clear: "They're telling us, 'It's not your fault; it's our fault--but you need to pay for it.'"

The complete list of the city services identified for outsourcing by the City Council: 
Fire Department Operations
Street Sweeping
Graffiti Abatement
Park Maintenance
Parkway and Median Maintenance
Fleet Maintenance
Street Maintenance
Facility Maintenance
Animal Control
City Jail services
Special Event Safety
Information Technology
Telecommunications
Building Inspection
Reprographic
Graphic Design
Payroll services
Employee Benefit Administration


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17 comments
4shortcake
4shortcake

How do you outsource building inspections, animal control, etc.? Outsource them to who? Please explain exactly where these jobs are goinjg?

Mitchell
Mitchell

The irony here is that this outsourcing will no doubt lead to more illegal immigrant employment. City employees tend to be legal, but contractors use illegals, driving down wages and benefits and pocketing the profits. I've seen it in my own community - - -- park maintenance formerly done by Americans now down by illegals employed by a contractor. Of course this simply shifts costs up to the state level.

UserID4012
UserID4012

Outsourcing ends up costing the public more simply because the company hired to do the job is in business to make a profit. 4 examples of epic fail on outsourcing, government & private: U.S. Military outsourcing to contractors / Wisonsin's Scott Walker, as county executive outsourced security to Wackenhut / Boeing Corp's 787 Dreamliner / Edison Schools.

Outsourcing is a corporatist, republican - libertarian wish that usually turns out to be a nightmare for the rest of us.

Brian Says
Brian Says

there are far too many cities that have grown together with urban sprawl each with their top heavy overpaid bueracraciesthere is no longer a reason for them to exist anymorethey need to merge and eliminate the duplication of services and staffs before they ask people to tax themselves

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

Alan Mansoor was right: It is all the illegal wabs fault! They are the ones to blame for every callimity Costa Mesa and this nation is facing. Let's get them all deported. Then we can go after the communists and socialists (Obama). Then we can go after the Jews (Hollywood). Then we will go after the unions just like in Wisconsin and the Green Bay Packer owning commies.. Then we will get the cult Catholics followed by the non-coffee drinking Mormons. Then we will go after any American citizen who oposses outsourcing and corporate welfare.Middle class? We don't need no stinkin' middle class. It's not like America needs it.

ericincm
ericincm

Councilman Jim Righeimer wasn't fond of the "insinuations" made by the public, who worried there may be some under-the-table dealings with private companies that could be motivating the move.==============Hmm, I wonder why people would think that???

itiswhatitis
itiswhatitis

You just have to love Costa Mesa.

Not only is our council full of dead beats losers our planning commission is full of them also.

Jim $hitzpatrick and Rob DICKson are both inept.

Jackknife
Jackknife

MESSinger is a thug who in reality is a BIG PU$$Y!!! MESSinger was one of Mike Crookona 's hacks who loved to flash his fake bought & paid for badge.

Pigheimer is a crook!!! To bad the majority of CM residents are as stupid & ignorant as that piece of $hit MILLARD!!!

RPinSA
RPinSA

Part-time, at-will, non-benefited. Get used to hearing that phrase because it will describe the majority of public employees. It means 20 hours a week with no overtime, no vacation time, no sick time, no healthcare coverage and no retirement. All those perks are reserved for upper management only. Oh, and a wage freeze too.

You see, the city employee's main focus was to serve the community within a specified budget. With privatization, the employee's main focus is to turn a profit for somebody else, not for the city.

Got a dead possum in front of your house?"Call us on Monday between 10am and 4pm."Got a pot hole the size of a '53 Buick in front of your school?"Call us on Monday between 10am and 4pm."You're a contractor who needs a building inspection so that your clients can open for business on time and you can finally get paid?"Call us on Monday between 10am and 4pm. And our lunch is between noon and 12:30pm."

Welcome to the race to the bottom, folks.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

I wonder how much certain council members will reap from the companies selected to perform the work, (Righeimer) I also wonder if any of these businesses have ties to Facilities Management West?To me this is a west coast accomplice to WI. A continuing assault on Workers!People are not working=Tax income has declined=The city is in a financial mess, (like all US Cities)So it is the city workers fault.I am curious, have any City Management personnel Taken any Cuts?I would like to suggest the city council should be placed in a voluntary category and not be paid any wages. Are these City Council Members also going to receive (Taxpayer supplied) Pensions?

Gericault
Gericault

His name is Folsom......like the prison.

Mitchell
Mitchell

They mean 'outsource' in the sense of giving responsibility to hire these positions to a private contractor. The contractor will promptly reduce wages and especially benefits, show some saving for the city and pocket the rest. For any job that can be given to a non-English speaker, you bet it will be outsourced to an illegal.

Mitchell
Mitchell

The double irony is this Billy Folsom character seems to be one of the biggest Anglo illegal alien supporters in Costa Mesa. I hate to see anyone lose a good job with benefits, but if he loses his maintenance position to a 'outsourcing' shop that employs illegals, it would be an occasion for a little schadenfreude.

Kim
Kim

Wow, you would derive pleasure from his misfortune...sad for you. Billy Folsom is not a character. He is a man who supports all hard working people.The real irony are those who use the labor of illegals all the while professing they are the problem.

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