Government Spending

"A city outsources everything. Sky doesn't fall."

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From the NY Times:

While many communities are fearfully contemplating extensive cuts, Maywood, [California] 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.

At first, people in this poor, long-troubled and heavily Hispanic city southeast of Los Angeles braced for anarchy.

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.

"We don't want to be the model for other cities to lay off their employees," said Magdalena Prado, a spokeswoman for the city who works on contract. "But our residents have been somewhat pleased."

Whole thing here.

HT: Blame it on Vanneman!

A few years back, Sandy Springs, Georgia did something similar. Read about it here.

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  1. The best part is that their corrupt, lawsuit-attracting police force (that used up half the town budget) was completely disbanded.

    1. From the attached photo we can also determine the PD used up half of the town’s food supply.

  2. I think an undersold part that the story missed is that there are economies of scale to education, policing and fire. How much more efficient is it to simply move school boundries in large school systems than expand a small town’s single high school. It’s amazing to see the difference between how local government services (towns) operate in the suburbs of Boston in contrast to Virginia where local governments are mostly the much larger counties.

  3. A city with an area of one square mile and a population somewhere between 30 and 50k still needs an assistant city planner? I think there’s room for more cuts.

    1. PHB: “The company has decided to outsource all of the functions that we’re not any good at.”

      [A great cheer goes up from the employees.]

      Wally: “When’s your last day?”

      Alice: “Uh-oh… They’re not good at knowing what they’re not good at…”

  4. “Jerald Bennett was on his way to the $2 seniors’ lunch at the bustling Maywood recreational center when another car made an illegal turn and almost rammed him. “It seems like that sort of thing is happening more and more,” he said. ‘They’re not patrolling the streets.'”

    There’s nothing like a to-be-sure paragraph chock full of confirmation bias.

    And I didn’t realize Maywood had police on every street corner to pull people over for traffic violations. Thankfully, we weren’t privy to Mr. Bennett’s rant about how many more of those damn teenagers are skateboarding on the sidewalks.

    1. I bet the age of the driver was 90 plus. Confused, drove by the cheap lunch, and just did a u-turn in the middle of the block. JB should be glad the old coot didn’t just put it in reverse in the middle of the street.

  5. At first, people in this poor, long-troubled and heavily Hispanic city southeast of Los Angeles braced for anarchy.

    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.

    OMFG!!!!!!

    They might want to consider doing this in Bell.

    1. I think Bell is who they are outsourcing to.

      1. That explains why Bell’s CAO, Rizzo the rat, makes $800,000 per year. He now has two cities, TWO fucking cities, to manage. All TWO square miles and 100,000 residents, oh my God, the increased workload. He needs a raise. After all, he could decide to exit to the private sector and double his salary.

        1. The scumbag resigned due to outraged taxpayers’ protests after reading the LA Times 7-15-10 article on Maywood and Bell’s corruption. Oh, and county prosecutors have opened investigations
          of the administrations.

  6. “Landlords said their tenants had begun suggesting that without city-run services they would no longer feel obliged to pay rent.”

    What kind of fucking assholes live in this town?

    “Well, Mr. Landlord, the library was closed, so I don’t think I’ll be paying rent. I know my lease says I still owe you rent, but I’m entitled to essential goverment services and, therefore, I won’t be making my contractually obligated rent payment.”

    1. Yeah, it’s kind of dumb — especially as the Los Angeles County Sheriffs handle evictions for the entire county.

  7. Most advanced democracies have some form of universal health care and haven’t been swallowed up by the earth. This is a fun game.

    1. The Abortion Who Posts is back.

    2. Most advanced democracies have some form of universal health care and haven’t been are being swallowed up by the earth debt. This is a fun game.

      There, fixed.

  8. I think Bell is who they are outsourcing to.

    Just read the whole thing. Doom awaits.

  9. Do what they did across the state, and suddenly California will be desirable again.

  10. The disconnect in these people amazes me. It works, but it goes against their statist beliefs, so it can’t really be working:

    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.

    It’s only working for now because this city was screwing up so badly. Other poeple shouldn’t try this seems to be the message throughout the story.

  11. Thanks for your nice posting!

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