Since then, Newport's trees — and its residents — haven't noticed much of a difference, and the city saved some money. I imagine that would be the case for at least some of the services that the Costa Mesa council is exploring to privatize.
Besides — and here I'm agreeing with the super-majority and, I'm guessing, dissenting Councilwoman Wendy Leece — the city probably has no other option for balancing its budget in the long term than privatizing a sizeable chunk of city jobs — and ridding itself of skyrocketing pension liabilities it won't be able to meet in the not-too-distant future.
The quality of the services may or may not suffer, but Costa Mesa residents simply might not have a choice.
Quick side note: For those lobbying to save the city jobs, you'd do well to come up with a budget plan taking into account the looming pension bubble that will put Costa Mesa in good financial health five and 10 years from now, not just in 2011-12.