City staff wins fleet operations bid but will lose jobs

City News Service

City employees won the competitive bidding for fleet maintenance operations, with millions of dollars of budgetary savings coming at a cost of more than one-third of their jobs, Mayor Jerry Sanders and City Council members announced Thursday.

The fleet maintenance workers perform upkeep on more than 4,000 city-owned vehicles, including police cars, fire trucks and trash collection rigs, among others.

Their bid defeated two from private companies.

As a result, 92 positions out of a workforce of nearly 250 will be eliminated, according to Wally Hill, who runs the city's "managed competition'' efforts. He said he does not know how many actual people that includes, but he said the personnel department would likely be able to steer many of them to work in other departments.

"I want to applaud our employees for their creative, smart proposal,'' Sanders said. "The saving under this proposal are $4.4 million annually, or $22 million under the five years of the proposal.''

The proposal includes shutting down some facilities, using automated logistics systems and employing private contractors for certain supplies and services.

This is the second city function to go complete competitive bidding. The first, printing, was also won by the workers.

"Way to go, city employees,'' City Council President Tony Young said.

Councilwoman Sherri Lightner said the savings will be able to pay for city services, such as police, fire, lifeguards, libraries and recreation centers.

"The savings from managed competition are real and will help us balance our budget,'' Lightner said.

The city is also planning to bid out operations of the Miramar Landfill, street sweeping, and street and sidewalk maintenance.

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