Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lean P3 Experiment in Florida

A city of of 65K in Florida is run on a lean budget with NINE full time employees.  Everything else is completed via P3s with the private sector.  Very interesting model.

Weston has had relied on contractors since its inception. The development that became Weston dates to the 1970s, and by the 1990s, residents started realizing they were a “donor” community that paid more in taxes to Broward County than they received back through government services.
Advocates started mobilizing a campaign for the community to incorporate in hopes of getting a better return on their tax dollar. Those same advocates believed they could sell voters on the idea of incorporation only if they were able to promise a tax hike wouldn’t be necessary. They believed they could achieve that by outsourcing city work.
“We were not looking to create a political dynasty,” says Hersh. “We were looking to create an efficient city.” The incorporation effort was successful, in large part because of the emphasis on contracting, and voters later codified that preference for in the city’s charter. It states that city must use contractors as opposed to city employees to perform traditional government services, unless four out of five councilmembers vote to make an exception.
Still, Weston has had to adapt. In 2007, it increased its number of employees from three to nine when a contractor sought to increase the cost of retaining some personnel in high-ranking roles. Weston officials realized it would be cheaper to bring them in-house, and they also felt it was important for senior management to have a sense of ownership over their positions.
“At the end of the day, your key management and decision makers, you want part of your team,” says Stermer. Today, Weston's nine employees include the city manager and two assistants city managers; the directors of parks and recreation, public works and landscaping; the city clerk; the city treasurer; and a communications director. 

Link to article
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