The city council of cash-strapped Santa Paula is considering privatizing trash-pickup services. If they went that route, they'd sell their trucks and equipment, sell franchise rights to a private garbage company, and lay off six workers--part of a growing trend in the city.
The city is moving away from using city employees for municipal services to hiring outside private contractors who will do the work for less money.
Public employees and their unions aren't pleased, naturally.
"Why would the city be putting so much at stake including workers' jobs, money that would stay in the local economy, a system that works like it's supposed to, and even supports other city services?" asked Danny Carrillo, work site organizer for Service Employees International Union Local 721. "What is the motive? The quality of services only goes down and you lose control."
What is the motive? "The city is moving away from using city employees for municipal services to hiring outside private contractors who will do the work for less money." Is there some sort of mystery to that?
Private companies are cheaper and more efficient. Taxpayers won't have to pay for bloated public employee benefits. There just simply aren't public funds any more to continue going down that road.
Carrillo and city workers don't understand the reason for gutting the refuse division. The division is a self-sustaining, enterprise fund -- separate from the general fund, where the city is facing the massive deficit."There are better options than just outsourcing," Carrillo said. "You are risking people's livelihood. There's no need to do this."
It seems pretty obvious to me....The city has a $1.2 million shortfall in a $10.2 million budget. Selling the garbage trucks and equipment would generate $1.1 million in one-time revenue, and the city might be able to make a few hundred grand annually by selling franchise rights. Finally, they'd save money on personnel costs.
I admire unions' attempts at pretending that municipalities and states aren't going bankrupt and trying to will the gravy train to start up its engine again. But it's not happening. You had a good run, but I'm sorry to say it's over.