Category Archives: Licensing

Colton City Council to seek costs to outsource with county agencies

Source: Michael J. Sorba, The Sun, December 8, 2010

COLTON – The City Council will seek the costs to outsource police, fire, code enforcement and animal control services. Earlier this year, the same proposal was voted down 5-2. The new direction is likely the result of November’s election, which changed the makeup of the council, said resident and Planning Commissioner Gary Mitchell….The idea to outsource started early this year when the council unanimously decided to hire an outside firm to audit the police and fire departments. A budget the council unanimously approved in June suggested outsourcing would be one option to help close a $5 million deficit that would come with the loss of a utility users tax. The audits, presented to the council in July, estimated outsourcing public safety services or merging with neighboring fire agencies could save between $2.3 million and $8.2 million. Fire Chief Tom Hendrix and Police Chief Bob Miller have stated the figures in the audit are either inflated or based on general information available on the Internet, and don’t reflect the actual costs the city would pay if it contracted with outside agencies….The council is engaged in contract negotiations with all labor unions and is seeking concessions to minimize layoffs. But officials have said that if no agreements are met regarding concessions, 16 police positions, nine firefighters and eight employees from other departments will be laid off….Based on the audit’s estimates, and the fact they cost $169,870, the city needs to seek hard figures, said Councilman Frank Gonzales, also elected in November without safety union support….City Manager Rod Foster said Wednesday city staff was given authority to immediately contact San Bernardino County’s administrative office to obtain the costs.

Workers, residents speak out against closing Building Department

Source: Steve Wiandt, Falls News Press, November 21, 2010

Cuyahoga Falls — Some union officials, residents and contractors spoke out against the administration’s plan to close the city’s Building Department Nov. 15 at the City Council meeting. … City Service Director Valerie Wax Carr said the city’s Building Department has ended the year in the black only four times in the last 20 years and because of that has to enter into an agreement with the county to provide enforcement of state building codes in Cuyahoga Falls, at no cost to the city.
Update:
Falls Council backs measure to dissolve building department

Jacksonville may hire private company for building inspections

Source: By Matt Galnor, Jacksonville.com (FL) Posted: May 4, 2010 – 5:54pm 
 
About 85 Jacksonville building inspectors could be the next group of city employees replaced by private contractors. A city committee will decide Thursday  whether to send out proposals to see if any businesses could provide the same service at a lower cost to taxpayers.

 

…. The continued look to the private sector is a disturbing trend for Nicholas Dix, regional director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “The solution is not going to be to make a lot of private companies rich and put a lot of city workers out of a job,” said Dix, whose 1,900-member union includes the computer technicians and some of the inspectors.

Should Kansas Privatize Some State Agencies?

Source: Jennifer Bocchieri, KAKE (KS),  Monday, November 30, 2009

Would the state be better run if private companies took over? That’s the thinking behind a new push to privatize certain state agencies.

How much money would it save and how would customer service change? From the Drivers License and Tag offices to state prisons, those are questions legislators could consider during the upcoming session.

Allowing private companies to take over agencies like these, some say, could save the state a lot of money and it’s at least worth a look.

 

Editorial: Bonita City Council got it backwards with fee privatization

Source: Naples Daily News (FL), Sunday, November 30, 2008

Call it a textbook example of how not to do it.

Some six months after privatizing its building department to save money, the city of Bonita Springs adopts a fee schedule that does the opposite. It actually costs most applicants more money — up to 10 times more for someone installing a spa.

Worse, the formalization of the fee schedule comes after the privateer has been assessing fees that have been drawing complaints from elected officials, consumers and contractors.

Private firm to handle Bonita Spring's permitting

Source: Jennifer Misthal, News Press (FL), May 22, 2008

Developers and builders will have an easier time working in Bonita Springs once a private firm assumes the city’s community development services.

With CH2M Hill, a Denver-based consultant, Bonita is promising a higher level of service, a shorter wait to receive permits and staff working in Bonita Springs, not Fort Myers.

After hours of debate, the Bonita Springs City Council Wednesday voted unanimously to hire CH2M Hill to handle its permitting and building inspections for $1.5 million.

No privatization for license bureau

Source: By Natalie J. Ostgaard, Crookston Times (MN), Thursday, November 16, 2006 1:37 PM CST

A unanimous vote by the Polk County Board of Commissoners Tuesday determined that the license bureau in the Polk County Courthouse will remain open, though a few changes may be in store in the near future. Commissioner Bill Montague made the motion to keep the license bureau running under the county.

……. The board had considered divesting of the county’s role in operating the bureau, instead allowing a private business to take over. However, in consulting with state officials, Auditor-Treasurer Jerry Amiot – under whose umbrella the license center currently falls – said they offered no guarantee that the state would approve a different Crookston site should the county-run center close.

Old patronage system in Missouri sparks new investigation

Source: By STEVE KRASKE and DAVE HELLING, The Kansas City Star, Sat, Apr. 15, 2006

Federal authorities are investigating Missouri’s network of license fee offices and how they were awarded to political supporters of the Blunt administration, The Kansas City Star has learned. The federal involvement is the second to come to light in Jefferson City recently. FBI agents also have begun interviews involving lobbying practices in the state Capitol, The Star revealed Thursday……… Blunt last year privatized the last 11 state-run offices in the system, meaning that state workers no longer operate any fee offices, including the one in downtown Kansas City. Blunt said the change would serve customers better while saving the state money. Those who run the offices are independent agents who contract with the state. Since Blunt took office, another wrinkle was added to the system: private umbrella companies hire workers for different offices and handle the offices’ cash flow. The company in the Kansas City area is called KCFA Management.

License offices cloaked in mystery

Source: By Jo Mannies, St. Louis POST-DISPATCH, 04/18/2006

Missouri’s fee offices, which have long been a sitting governor’s most lucrative way to reward political allies, have again touched off controversy. Amid unconfirmed reports of a federal investigation, both major parties attempted Tuesday to put their own spin on how Gov. Matt Blunt has doled out the state’s contracts for the 183 offices, which dispense drivers licenses and vehicle plates. The debate is expected to heat up in a few weeks, when state Auditor Claire McCaskill’s office releases its audit on 11 of the largest fee offices, which used to be branches of the Department of Revenue. …… The state Democratic Party and a prominent party activist, Roy Temple, have assembled a list of the firms from state corporation records. Temple has posted many of those records on his blog site, firedupmissouri.com. The lack of official information has frustrated McCaskill. Her audit, to be released in May or June, will deal largely with the transfer of the 11 branch offices into private hands.