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Outsource street sweeping, finance committee agrees

Original post made on Dec 5, 2013

The Palo Alto Finance Committee voted unanimously to back outsourcing street-sweeping services, but with a few caveats that would help save employees' jobs.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 9:59 AM

Comments (9)

3 people like this
Posted by Jim H.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm

For the 7 employees that will be transferred to other positions in the city, are these currently open positions or are new positions being created? If the latter, then the savings is eliminated, and actually the overall costs will increase. Looking at the city's website, there are a total of 21 job openings. Doubtful that the former street sweeping employees qualify for 7 of those positions.

8 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Every time the city does something like this, they may save some money to begin with ... that's the sweetener ... then a few years later something they did not take into account in the contract comes back to bite all of us in the butt in terms of higher costs or lower service.

This always seems to be about awarding sweet deals that have the city over a barrel in some amount of time to private interests ... and I think it's BS. The mindless privatization over everything is not really helping anyone but the well-connected in Palo Alto, certainly not the average Palo Altan.

4 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm

It's ridiculous that Marc Berman says the city has wanted more efficiency with staffing and cuts a lower end job that residents need and pay for.

Where's the efficiency and accountability with all the contract positions, all the new management positions, and all the paid consultants!?

Look at how fat the city managers office and the permit center, Develeopment Center, has become with all the new positions. Will city council even acknowledge that and address it?! Or just pat theirselves on the back for saving a few hundred thousand at residents expense, when one or two of these wasteful high end positions start around $120,000 plus a year!

Weekly, why not run an article on the new positions created over the last two years?

6 people like this
Posted by Retired Staffer
a resident of another community
on Dec 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm

For an ESTIMATED savings of $295,000 the residents of Palo Alto lose 50% of their street cleaning and gain a dirtier El Camino.

5 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm

How about outsourcing the City Council?

Cutting the service, but not the monthly charge, is outrageous and insulting to our intelligence.

5 people like this
Posted by s
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Those new street sweepers that are saving Palo Alto so much money are not doing a good job. When they go down Vernon Terrace the go down the street at 30 miles per hour and nothing is picked up just spread around.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2015 at 11:03 pm

Although I am generally in favor of outsourcing some city services as it would make sense that a business specializing in something like streetsweeping would do a more efficient job, I have not found this to be the case with our Greenwaste experience.

As an example of efficiency, the same business that operates in say Mountain View and Menlo Park also working in Palo Alto would make sense on paper, but the reality is that when it gets bigger it does not provide better service. They just make more cost cutting measures that cuts efficiency and thoroughness.

However, if our sweeping is reduced to every two weeks instead of every week it may mean that if a car is parked or a trash can is left out too long, then that area would not be swept until a month has passed.

If we are going to make the sweeping days less often, then it seems imperative to ensure that the sweepers can get along the curbs. There will have to be no parking on sweeping days. Sweeping days will have to be posted visibly to ensure that nobody, residents, permit holders, workers of any type, etc. are parked on the streets.

Can Palo Alto do this? I doubt it. I doubt that people will stop parking on sweeping days unless they get ticketed. Who will do the ticketing? How much would it cost? Probably not worth the savings if money has to be spent putting up signs and someone has the job of giving tickets.

1 person likes this
Posted by DD
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2015 at 9:06 am

Ten or so years ago, a fall storm washed many loose leaves into the storm drains, then in to the creeks which flow to the bay. Several of the creeks (Adobe, Matadero and ?) flow into the flood basin. All the leaf matter then collected in the flood basin and started to decompose. The decomposition process of the leaves also robs dissolved oxygen from the water which suffocates the aquatic life. There was a truck load of dead and rotting striped bass and rays which were pulled out of the flood basin by ranger staff. Do your part to protect the aquatic life of the creeks and bay by collecting yard waste for proper recycling.

7 people like this
Posted by Sophomoric
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2015 at 9:13 am

This is so repetitively stupid. The city is being penny wise and pound foolish AGAIN! This penny-pinching coats serious dollars, and the quality of service is flushed down the toilet to boot!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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