(The following opinion piece written by Clare Crawford, executive director of the Center on Policy Initiatives, ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune on July 25, 2012.)
Four times, the city of San Diego has pitted city workers against private companies in a competition for the continued responsibility to provide an essential city service. All four times, the city workers have proved that they – as U-T San Diego put it last week – “provide taxpayers with the best bang for their buck.”
The evidence is in. Given the chance, city staff can figure out how to do their work at a lower cost than private, for-profit companies can.
It’s time for the city administration to set aside assumptions that privatization saves money and find out whether more savings are possible by allowing city staff to compete for work that is now contracted out.