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Outsourcing in Watauga already

September 11, 2011

I have been asked if the City of Watauga has any outsourced functions already.  I will strive to get a more complete answer to this, but for now, I can think of two examples off the top of my head.

The first is garbage pickup.  The city has outsourced this to CDW (if memory serves me).  I can only speak for myself in this regard, but I’ve been very pleased with the service since I’ve been here.  I’d be interested to know if you have any different experiences.

The second is that the city has outsourced the installation of sidewalks.  I’m 95% sure that this is the case, but I’ll try to confirm that.  About 1 year ago, the company which contracted for these services put sidewalks down the south side of the street on Hanson, where I live.  I was very impressed with the speed and quality of their work.  There’s a little creek with a bridge over it just west of the elementary school on Hanson.  They built a cool little “super-bridge” over it for the sidewalk and installed a chain link fence so that youngsters wouldn’t go over the edge.  I was very pleased with the work done.  Again, I’d be interested to know if you have had a different experience.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tommy Anderson permalink
    September 11, 2011 10:05 pm

    Outsourcing doesn’t mean cheaper, but it definitely means the city (thats us, the taxpayers) lose control of the entity in question.
    Why not use the word “privatization” which is what you really mean.
    What you really need is your own wacko radio show. But wait, Mark Davis has that covered.

    • September 11, 2011 11:45 pm

      Thank you for your comments. I agree with you that outsourcing doesn’t always mean cheaper. Many times it does mean that a great deal more flexibility can be had. Contracts can be renegotiated with greater specificity to cover failures to deliver an expected service as they expire. I would disagree with your proposition that the taxpayers lose control of the entity in question. The one paying the bill always has control. I’d be interested to hear why you think the tax payers would lose control.
      As I understand it, out-sourcing means that the city does the negotiating on behalf of the tax-payers. For example, trash service is negotiated by the city on behalf of the city. In contrast, I understand privatization would mean that the services would be available from independent companies and each taxpayer or subscriber would be responsible for negotiating a contract on their own. The difference is subtle perhaps, but significant. While I have proposed out-sourcing, I’d not be against privatization either. I think in the end, competition would allow lower fees and greater levels of service. It might take a couple of contracts to get it there, but I think it’s feasible to believe that would be the case.
      My own radio show? Hmmm. I hadn’t really thought of that. Really, I was just hoping to be able to keep more of the dollars I make and have a greater level of confidence that my roads and water supply are provided for. I still think 23% of my income to the government is excessive.
      Thank you for your comments.

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