Source: Michael C. Van Milligen, Public Administration Review, Volume 72, Issue 6, November/December 2012
….I have been the city manager of Dubuque, Iowa (population 57,637) for almost 20 years. During that time, every department has had to conduct a rigorous and thorough formal process to review its operations. The process included a seven-member team of employees. This set process was conducted to determine whether the department was -operating as efficiently as possible: how did other cities -operate a similar service, and what were the -privatization and partnership opportunities? The process focused on efficiency and effectiveness to improve -outcomes. Having a formal evaluation process that involved department employees ensured that there was -sensitivity to how changes would affect existing employees and would also consider the structure needed to manage a new service delivery model.
Comparing fiscal year 2013 with fiscal year 1981, the city has 31 (5.3 percent) fewer full-time employees today. This is in spite of the fact that the city has added many new and expanded services, such as separate weekly recycling collection, combined countywide public safety emergency communications, geographic information system management, a neighborhood development specialist, a workforce development coordinator, a Multicultural Family Center, a horticulturist, 16 additional police officers, a Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, Bridges Out of Poverty, a city-owned ice arena, and other activities.
The city of Dubuque has privatized the operation of the Five Flags Civic Center, Grand River Convention Center, Jule Transit System, and Dubuque Ice Center. The city partners with Dubuque County on landfill and recycling operations through joint governance of the Dubuque Area Solid Waste Agency…..