How to not increase local taxes, fees

Oregon local government officials take note of Sandy Springs, Georgia. “Indeed, the experiment in Sandy Springs, Ga., has proved that local governments don’t need hundreds of public employees to function. Sandy Springs, a fast-growing town of more than 80,000 residents, has only four public employees who are not involved with public safety. Except for police and fire, virtually every government function has been contracted out.”

Thus reports the Reason Foundation‘s former director of government reform Geoffrey F. Segal in a June 19, 2007 Tampa Tribune commentary. Segal continues, “In its two years under private management, Sandy Springs hasn’t needed a tax hike or a fee increase, the government has become more responsive, the service quality has improved, and so has customer satisfaction. The residents love it.

“In fact, this model has worked so well that two other Atlanta-area communities adopted it last year, and several others are considering a similar approach.”

Print out Segal’s article. Get a few others on the topic from the Reason website. Pass them along to your favorite city councilor, county commissioner or journalist. When appropriately applied, the principles guiding Sandy Springs government could produce similar results throughout Oregon.

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 16 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    Sadly this will never happen in Oregon because the people are too ignorant, too entrenched, too beholden to special interests, etc.

    Of course contracting out to the private sector works. It works every single time it is tried. That’s why the public employee unions will do everything they can to make sure nothing is ever contracted out. They don’t want the success to rock their boat.

    All you have to do if you don’t believe this or understand it is take a look at the post office. They use FED EX as one of their own primary carriers – because THEY CAN’T DO THE JOB THEMSELVES FOR LESS. It is as simple as that. And guess what, FED EX employees are doing just fine…better, even, that postal employees.

    People who don’t undertand this are so out of touch with reality that I do actually feel sorry for them.

    • David from Eugene

      Jerry

      By Law in Oregon, public out sourcing does not go directly to the private sector it goes first to the non-profit sector.

      • Jerry

        Fine – that law should be changed. It is nonsense.

        • David from Eugene

          A coalition of small businesses and unions has been trying to do just that for a number of years. The changes they have been asking for is to limit the program to those non-profits that employee the severely disabled (the same people the legislature intended to benefit) and to have the statutory requirements enforced (in the 30 years of the programs existence, DAS, the oversight agencies, has never conducted a compliance audit). But every time there is a public hearing the non-profits fill the hearing room with “clients” who have Down’s syndrome or Developmental Disabilities to testify in support of the program and the Bill dies in committee.

  • Gienie

    Contract labor aka “outsourcing” is a brilliant idea. I wish they would do it in government schools… we spend so much money on administration alone.. “education” becomes secondary.

    The idea is to control people by centralization… like the unions and government employees etc…… it’s evil socialism at best, and it’s just plain wrong!

  • CRAWDUDE

    The problem you run into wuth contracting out is that no one ever seems to keep track of what the savings are. The DOD went to contracting much of it’s depot maintenance years ago but conviently choose to not track the money savings. Last numbers being thrown around was that it cost twice as much to out source, plus they lost all the experienced technicians that had worked on these parts for decades, who were replaced by the lowest bidder.

    This type of program may work but it’s a situational and locational rule not a guarantee that it would work well everywhere or for every department.

    • DMF

      I could work anywhere, I think. But as with any business, there is a necessity to know where the money goes. Since they conveniently chose to not track the money savings, nobody knows do they? Any body can throw around any numbers, but that doesn’t make them correct. If the experienced technicians were replaced, it just goes to show somebody wasn’t watching the pot. Outsourcing is fine, but brain power must be used. After all our heads were put on our shoulders for something besides keeping our ears apart. What did they do, just turn their backs on the situation after they outsourced? I don’t mean that to be a smart alec, I do wonder.

      • CRAWDUDE

        What ends up happening is that 50% of the replacement parts recieved are bad, which causes the unit to order replacement for them. These are at a higher priority so the have to come in over night service vastly increasing the shipping bill. Plus the bad part and the bad replacement part have to be shipped to the depot from there to the outsourcing company that didn’t repair it correctly in the first place. Times that by the Army, Navy, Air Force and reserve/guard units and you can start getting the picture. Had they not outsourced the qualified technicians would still be repairing the parts correctly and all the excess shipping bills would be moot.

        The above is just my small part of the outsourcing iceberg. Many othe apects were out sourced at the same time and undoubtedly suffer the same short comings.

        • CRAWDUDE

          Now, there are plenty of positions outsourcing can work for, IM’s, admin. positions, etc….As the old saying goes, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

          • DMF

            Ok, you answered my question. and you are correct there is a lot of outsourcing that can still be done. you have a point where defense is concerned and truthfully I don’t see them as a government agency as such. not splitting hairs. So many of our agencies, I think could still do a lot by getting it out of government. Obviously Sandy Springs GA still kept their fire and police which isn’t the same as OLCC for example. ok

          • dean

            DMF….
            “Defense” is not a government agency as such”? Please do explain. Do you mean Blackwater or Lockhead?

  • David from Eugene

    The problem with out sourcing by public agencies in Oregon is that there are fifty odd non-profit corporations employing the disabled who effectively get first call on out sourcing contracts they are interested in. Should they be interested in providing the outsourced service they get the contract and then the State Department of Administrative Services establishes the price. A price that is mandated by law to recover all of the non-profit’s cost in providing the service.

    Should one of these non-profits decide to provide the service, private sector firms do not even get to bid on the contract. They do not get to challenge either the contract or the price that DAS sets. It also does not matter if the DAS set price is higher then the price private sector charge for the same service, public agencies have only one choice pay the non-profit or keep the service in house.

  • CRAWDUDE

    Now, here is a little place we could cut budget payouts with a little law enforcement. Note: these numbers only reflect school budget expenditures, I think we can safely say that at least a billion dollars a year are syphoned from our yearly budgets by illegals.

    Population Change

    Oregon’s population increased by 20.7 percent between 1990 and 2000, and by 7.9 percent between 2000 and 2006, bringing Oregon’s total population to approximately 3.7 million.

    Approximately 28 percent of the total population increase between 2000 and 2006 in Oregon was directly attributable to illegal immigrants.

    Estimates put illegal alien population in 2005 at 139,000, which 15th in the U.S. for the FAIR estimate. This number is 54% above the U.S. government estimate of 90,000 in 2000, and 434% above the 1990 estimate of 26,000.

    According to an estimate of the Pew Hispanic Center, in 2005 there were an estimated 125,000 to 175,000 illegal aliens living in Oregon This estimate ranks 17th among illegal alien populations in the United States for the PEW estimate.2/

    2004 estimates were that the taxpayers of Oregon spent $401.8 million per year on illegal aliens and their children in public schools.

    • dean

      CD…aren’t those illegal aliens for the most part working and paying taxes? Wouldn’t you have to factor that into your math?

      • Jerry

        No, most illegals are not paying taxes. They are an overall drain on our economy due to medical costs, incarceration costs, crime costs, etc.

        • dean

          Jerry…those who are here working are paying taxes unless they are completely under the table. It may be that on balance they pay less than whatever services they are getting. But I have seen studies that support their paying more than they get back, especially when you factor in social security and medicare.

          My point is that CD’s number shouldbe adjusted to account for whatever they are paying in, which has to be more than zero.

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