Davenport takes first step toward CitiBus changes

Source: Devan Patel, Quad City Times, August 25, 2016

The city of Davenport will explore a regionalized management approach for its CitiBus service after the City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved staff beginning negotiations with Illinois-based MetroLINK. The council’s decision is just the first step before the city brings forward any contracts and agreements with MetroLINK, the major mass transit provider in the Illinois Quad-Cities. … In an Aug. 2 memo to Mayor Frank Klipsch and the City Council, Finance Director Brandon Wright cited four shortcomings with the city’s current approach, privatized management, along with his recommendation to shift course. Those shortcomings were:

  • high turnover rate in transit management
  • disconnect between drivers and management
  • lack of improvements to route system
  • lack of effort to regionalize transit services

Related:

Davenport approves six month parking enforcement trial with Per Mar
Source: Ashley Davis, KWQC, May 11, 2016

The Davenport City Council voted Wednesday night, to contract with Per Mar to provide enforcement for downtown parking. This would allow them to hire two Per Mar employees for the price of one city employee. On top of benefits for city employees, Brandon Wright, the city’s financial director says they pay them more than $60,000 to run downtown parking enforcement, but with the contract, they would have two Per Mar employees on staff, which would be paid the same, without benefits. … Rather than one city employee working for 40 hours a week for $30 per hour, a contract would allow two Per Mar employees to be on staff. Each would work 40 hours a week, and be paid $16 per hour. … Some members of AFSCME asked the council to reconsider during the meeting Wednesday night. “When you think you know what you want to buy and then you go and look at it, sometimes you find that the least expensive option was not what it appeared to be, or nor was it the best option for performance or reliability,” Terry Nixon, president of AFSCME Local 887, said. “We respectfully ask that you make the decision to hire a new city employee to perform these duties.” …

Privatize vs. unionize: City Council to take up debate
Source: Brian Wellner, Quad-City Times, May 10, 2016

As Davenport aldermen are poised to vote Wednesday to approve a three-year contract with private security firm Per Mar to provide enforcement for downtown parking, they heard from city finance staff Tuesday that outsourcing the job is the cheaper choice. … He said the cost per hour of service of an in-house employee is $29 to $34 whereas the outsourced worker would cost $16. At 40 hours, the total cost to do it in-house is $60,000 to $72,000 whereas the total cost to outsource is $33,000. The contract with Davenport-based Per Mar Security Services is worth $67,000 per year. …

Davenport may outsource parking enforcement
Source: Brian Wellner, Quad City Times, April 27, 2016

The Davenport City Council is poised to approve a three-year contract with private security firm Per Mar to provide enforcement for downtown parking. Aldermen heard details of the contract for $67,000 a year at a work session Tuesday and are expected to vote on it at the May 11 City Council meeting. While the contract is for three years, it includes a six-month trial clause in which the city can rate Per Mar’s performance and choose at the end of that period whether to back out. Davenport has money in its budget for the upcoming fiscal year to hire back a city employee to issue downtown parking tickets, city Finance Director Brandon Wright said. … AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan previously told the Quad-City Times that “outsourcing” the service “would diminish oversight because the city will no longer directly control the employees.”

Discussion continues on CitiBus changes
Source: Thomas Geyer, Quad City Times, April 7, 2016

Davenport aldermen will continue discussion on the city’s updated 2015 transportation plan that realigns many routes along major thoroughfares, trims hours on some days, but expands service to Sundays. For 2015, the CitiBus transit system ran at a $500,000 deficit, which the city is trying to mitigate or eliminate. The plan calls for the city to reduce seven full-time drivers to part-time. … Several AFSCME members spoke Wednesday about the lack of training and professionalism temporary employees of the security firm would have, and would likely not know how to deal well with the public. The city has been running a trial contract with Per Mar since January. Davenport Finance Director Brandon Wright said there has been more consistent enforcement in downtown parking.

Davenport opens up meetings, may privatize parking enforcement
Source: Brian Wellner, Quad City Times, April 6, 2016

Davenport aldermen are learning that a private local security firm may take over downtown parking enforcement. City department heads briefed aldermen in a series of meetings Tuesday afternoon that previously have been held behind closed doors. Parking enforcement was among the topics. The city contracted with Davenport-based Per Mar Security Services for a trial run that began in January. Davenport Finance Director Brandon Wright said results show more “consistent” enforcement of downtown parking. Previously city employees belonging to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees provided the service. … A contract with Per Mar for $67,000 a year is expected to be voted on by the City Council next week. The contract will first be heard by the Committee-of-the-Whole tonight. AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan said in a statement to the Quad-City Times that “outsourcing” the service “would diminish oversight because the city will no longer directly control the employees.” Homan said the union has met with the city to “explore” keeping the service in house.