California City Touts Success of Same Group Aiming to Help Covington
The City Manager of Fremont, California wrote an op-ed in the Oakland Tribune to highlight his city's success in overcoming years of "budget shortfalls and painful decision" and notes that Management Partners, the same Cincinnati-based consulting firm that has been tasked with helping Covington find ways to stay financially solvent, helped Fremont in its effort:
As a result of many strategic decisions over the past several years, successful labor negotiations in fiscal year 2011-2012, and implementation of the council-adopted Strategic Fiscal Sustainability Action Plan and new budget principles, resources are once again becoming available to help address the city's long list of unmet needs.
In March 2011, the city engaged an outside firm, Management Partners, to conduct a strategic fiscal sustainability study and develop recommendations to allow services to be provided within the city's projected resource capacity.
Their report, which was presented to the City Council on July 26, 2011, identified ways to reduce costs and increase revenue to better align annual expenditures with current revenues.
In addition, the study presented 33 recommendations with suggested implementation time frames.
The piece goes on to describe some of the changes the city made based on Management Partners' recommendations including decreases in compensation, lower retirement and medical benefits for new hires, outsourcing park and landscaping maintenance to private companies, and a new police patrol schedule to help reduce overtime.
Full story: Oakland Tribune
Management Partners noted on its Facebook page:
Last summer Management Partners delivered a strategic fiscal sustainability study and implementation action plan to the City of Fremont to help them avoid the type of financial crises many jurisdictions in California are experiencing. A year later, as this column in The Oakland Tribune newspaper, written by the current City Manager, points out, Fremont is clearly on a financially sustainable track.
In Lexington, Management Partners' efforts were less enthusiatically received:
During Tuesday's work session, Martin referred to a 2008 report by Management Partners Inc. that compared Lexington's ambulance staffing levels with those of eight other cities, including Cincinnati and Louisville, all of which staff ambulances with two people — one who drives and one who cares for the patient.
"Based on industry practices that are nearly universal in our experience, and developed to assure the best medical care protocols, staffing three persons per ambulance is a needless expense, adding nothing to the quality of patient care," the report said.
However, several of Martin's fellow council members noted that ambulance staffing had been thoroughly discussed when the report was written, and they ultimately decided to keep three people to an ambulance.
"I'm really not sure how many ways we can beat a dead, running-at-large horse," Councilwoman Diane Lawless said.
Council members also noted that Management Partners, the group that compiled the 2008 report, was "not very well thought of" among cities that hired it.
Full story: Herald-Leader
PHOTO: Management Partners delivers its report to the City of Covington