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Archive for July 1st, 2010

The city of Maywood has about 45,000 residents in a 1.5-square-mile municipality.   They lost their liability and worker’s compensation insurance for their 96 city employees, so they decided to outsource every position.  Some of the employees will stay on as contract employees and they have hired the LA County Sheriff’s Department to police the city (and laid off the 41 officers in the now former Maywood police dept.).

From CNNMoney.com:

“Odds are residents will see the same faces as in years past, just under a different administrative process,” said Magdalena Prado, the city’s community relations director, who is a contract worker and is keeping her post.

Maywood is billing itself as the first American city to outsource all of its city services. In an odd twist, officials say it can provide even better services because the shift will help it save money and close a $450,000 shortfall in its $10 million general fund budget.

For instance, the contract with the sheriff’s department costs about half of the more than $7 million spent annually to maintain the Maywood police department, Prado said. And patrols will be increased.

“Our community will continue to receive quality services,” Mayor Ana Rosa Riso said in a statement. “Maywood’s streets will continue to be swept, our summer park programs will continue to operate and our waste will be collected and hauled as scheduled.”

This is a great example of lean government – cutting costs and being creative.  Let’s bring more of it to Delaware!

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Delaware First Media went live about a week ago. The site can be found at http://delawarefirst.org/. The organizers behind DFM are former PBS news professionals. They have spent a couple of years building a business plan, developing supporters, partnering with folks like the University of Delaware, and getting funding. DFM is organized as a 501(c)3 — so what they get goes to the news.

So far, the product is great. Articles describing efforts in government to solve problems and articles asking tough questions of those efforts. It is news reporting like this that is really needed in Delaware. Short on editorial comment and long on detail from both sides. For instance, they opened with articles on a new effort to correct Delaware’s flawed Mandatory Minimum Drug Laws (Sidebar editorial comment: Unfortunately, this bill, HB 443, was torpedoed in the Senate by Senator Patty Blevins, who was angry that she wasn’t invited to participate in the drafting — you know, having the Police, the Attorney General, the Public Defender, private practice defense attorney’s, DHSS, and SURJ wasn’t enough without Ms. Blevins’ wise counsel. What’s a few more Delawareans subjected to extensive prison sentences when a powerful individual’s self-esteem has been hit).

The DFM site should be a regular visit by any Delawarean wishing to stay informed. I wish them great success — you should too…

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