Wednesday, October 12, 2011
A preliminary list of street and sidewalk maintenance jobs that Mayor Jerry Sanders wants private industry to bid on was unanimously approved by the City Council's Rules Committee today.
Council President Tony Young and Councilwoman Sherri Lightner expressed reservations about the plan. City employees also will be able to bid on the work.
Young said he had been generally supportive of the "managed competition'' process but "this one here is one that gives me pause.''
Since "potholes and politics are so closely connected,'' Young said he was reluctant for the council members to stick out their political necks for a private firm that may not have the city's best interest at heart.
Lightner said "there are a lot of moving parts'' to the plan, many of them vague.
The full City Council will need to approve the list before the mayor's office can seek bidders.
Among 19 functions are:
minor asphalt repair,
sidewalk tripping hazards,
maintenance of traffic lane markers and re-striping,
graffiti removal, and
The winning bidder would be responsible for keeping records and providing personnel and equipment during storms or other emergencies.
More complicated jobs are handled by the Public Works Department, or other city entities, and are not part of this bidding process.
Managed competition is already under way at the Miramar Landfill. The city's publishing unit was the first department to complete a competitive bidding process, which was won by city employees.
No public speakers objected to the idea of competitive bidding on street maintenance, like they did last month concerning the bidding process at the dump.