SD Rostra

City Council Approves Private Sector Competition for San Diego Landfill Operation

Faulconer makes motion to save millions of dollars through managed competition

Faulconer promotes taxpayer savings through competition

“We should line up managed competitions like planes on the runway at Lindbergh Field.”

This is a line Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer is fond of using when stressing the importance of competition for City services. Today, the City Council gave clearance for another plane to take off on its destination to save San Diego taxpayers money.

This afternoon, Faulconer led a City Council majority in moving forward with managed competition for City landfill operation. The vote, which passed 5-3 with bipartisan support, put into motion a bidding process between the private sector and City employees that could result in millions of dollars in annual savings for the City of San Diego. Faulconer, a long-time supporter of competitive bidding for City services, was one of the signatories to the 2006 managed competition ballot measure. Proposition C passed with over 60% of the vote.

Faulconer urged his City Council colleagues to follow the mandate set by San Diego voters.

Today’s vote should not be about politics. It should be about implementing the will of San Diego voters.

I am a strong supporter of managed competition, which simply lets the City ask, Who can perform a service better – the private sector or city workers? Competition for landfill operation can save the City millions of dollars each year in operating costs, and gives City employees an incentive to work more efficiently and effectively.

Let me reiterate the roles in the managed competition process. The Mayor determines which City functions are appropriate for managed competition and the Council determines the service level standards. A “No” vote could not only cost the City millions of dollars in savings, but also flies in the face of the managed competition guidelines the City Council approved.

City employees won the first managed competition bid for publishing services. We have City workers who are ready to compete. Let’s unleash their potential through competition and save taxpayers millions of dollars.

It is now time to move forward with competition. I urge my Council colleagues to focus on setting service levels today, and not on politics.

Mayor Jerry Sanders similarly called on the City Council to buck the status quo by voting to save money and promote efficiency.

Joining Faulconer in approving landfill service levels for the managed competition bidding process were Council President Tony Young and Councilmembers Carl DeMaio, Sherri Lightner and Lorie Zapf.

There are several other managed competitions for City services in the pipeline. The first completed managed competition resulted in City employees winning the bid for publishing services. It is projected to save $5 million over 5 years.

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