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Mailbag: Costa Mesa should outsource

February 28, 2011

Because of the monopoly they have on providing services to residents, most municipal governments provide those services at too great a cost. If municipal governments had competition, free market forces would determine the cost of those services. That usually means they can be provided at a lower cost.

At Tuesday's Costa Mesa City Council meeting, it looks like the process of bringing competition into the picture will begin as the council is expected to give the required six-month notice to employees whose jobs may be outsourced. No doubt there will be an organized crowd at the meeting trying to intimidate the council into not outsourcing any work at all.

Here's a suggestion: Those Costa Mesans who want to pay more for services should be allowed to pay extra to make up the difference between what the rest of us pay in the free market and what such services will cost if the city continues providing them.

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In 2009, the per capita income for Costa Mesans was $35,356. Also in 2009, the average compensation for a Costa Mesa police officer was $ 174,397.80.

Here's the plain truth. Costa Mesa is broke. We have no money. We have to stop spending money that we don't have. We needed a "war footing" City Council to do what is necessary to change things. We now have that council.

If the city does outsource many services, I'd like to see a requirement that firms that get the work use E-Verify for their employees and that they not hire those illegally in the country; that contracts be short-term; that Costa Mesa firms and Costa Mesa residents be selected as much as possible; that present city employees be hired, if possible, by the firms doing the work; that firms doing the work have a strong "Costa Mesa First" philosophy in where they buy their supplies; and proper follow-up to ensure firms hired are complying with the contract.

M.H. Millard

Costa Mesa

City should be politically neutral

I'm disappointed in our Newport Beach City Council.

When Rush Hill was running for office, I was upset that the Orange County Republican Party was pushing Ed Reno for that seat. To me, it represented a choice between someone who had demonstrated devotion to the city through years of contributions, versus someone who seemed determined to advance a political agenda.

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