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Pacifica City Manager Mum on Move to Kibosh Police Outsourcing Plan

Pacifica's top administrator won't say who pulled the plug on a proposal that would have saved the cash-strapped city an estimated $1.5 million annually, referring questions to city attorney.

City Manager Stephen Rhodes declined to comment when asked whose decision it was to pull the plug on a proposal to farm out law enforcement services to the sheriff's department - a move that according to the city's own estimates would have saved nearly-broke Pacifica $1.5 million annually.

Rhodes cited ongoing labor negotiations as the reason he was not disclosed to discuss the city's action publicly. He referred questions about the move to City Attorney Michelle Kenyon.

Kenyon did not respond to an inquiry made through Rhodes Monday afternoon.

A press release the city issued last week is all the information he said the city was willing to put out for now.

According to press release, 54.7 percent of 1,474 Pacifica residents surveyed "opposed the concept as a means to save the city money."

"I think the press release explains the process," Rhodes said.

The city's announcement was first reported by Pacifica Index, a blog that posted the city's press release.

"It states that it was the determination not to carry that proposal forward," Rhodes said.  "That's  as clear as it's going to be."

The proposal to outsource law enforcement services to the sheriff's department came up earlier this year. A consulting firm commissioned to crunch the numbers met with the city council in  on July 11.

The city's press release acknowledged that Pacifica faces "significant fiscal challenges," noting that approximately $800,000 will be left in the city's General Fund at the end of the 2012/2013 fiscal year.

Asked if the city's decision to scrap the plan was a surprise, Pacifica Police Chief Jim Tasa said "I just didn't know."

Tasa said his agency wasn't involved in the city's decision-making process.

"I think at some point you have to decide as a community, that if you want to remain a community, if you want to remain a city, there are some essential services that you need to have and I think public safety and public works are probably the primary ones that you want to retain."

 

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Lionel Emde August 22, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Thank you Mr. Rubin, and Pacifica Patch, for grilling our city manager in an attempt to get an answer. You're doing better than the Pacifica Tribune at asking the correct questions. The July 11 closed session meeting was illegal under the Brown Act, both in its content and its posting. A "consultant's report" on a public policy issue is NOT a proper subject for a posted "conference with labor negotiator." So now we get a mysterious press release, that dare not say its author, and it's: "Well, never mind, just foolin' ya about outsourcing the cops!" Coincidentally,the city council holds a closed session meeting starting at 5:30 PM this past Monday night before the council meeting, and then the secret press release appears on a local blog on Thursday. (Thank you, Pacifica Index) Ya think we might have another Brown Act violation committed at that meeting, whereby a public policy decision got made in closed session? It must be a coincidence. Yeah, the DA's office is the place to go, folks.
Michael G. Stogner August 22, 2012 at 04:15 PM
To the residents of Pacifica, I am a citizen who has no confidence in the leadership of our San Mateo County Sheriff's Office specifically Sheriff Greg Munks and Under-Sheriff Carlos Bolanos, I have personally asked by certified mail 5/14/2007 for both of them to resign. Now with that said, I live in San Carlos which has outsourced it's Police Department to the Sheriff's Office, I am pleased to report the transition has had no negative impact whatsoever it was smooth and professional. Also I think it has been a plus for all of our police officers. Bottom line it has been a positive experience. Hope this helps
Michael G. Stogner August 22, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Gary, I agree with you on your assessment of District Attorney Keith Sorenson, and I would add I think District Attorney Louis B. Dematteis was the BEST DA for the people of San Mateo County.
Gary Mondfrans for Pacifica August 30, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Does every feel as Hutch seems to that the full burden of Pacifica's ills are because of the public employees who work here. I've just retired as a Public Employee with the City & County, in my Department of Emergency Management were considered "essential" and were not given any furlough days due to fact that we functioned on -mandatory overtime-. In fact my paycheck was docked to supplement other City workers incomes who were shorter due to overtime. In Pacifica the Public Works Dept. get more calls for service than the Police Dept., source that Sunday Study Session I attended. I think that the City and public employees can come to an accommodation to met the needs of a sustainable future, but do you really think it fair to always put the blame on City Employees when the real problem is a failure to provide City leadership. Gary J. Mondfrans eMailto:Elect.Gary.Mondfrans@USA.com
hutch August 30, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Gary I'm glad you were finally honest in admitting your strong bias towards your Union brothers and sisters. I can understand your unwillingness to admit more cuts are needed to avert our possible bankruptcy. Unfortunately while we all appreciate our employees, a quick read of any paper will reveal city after city is being brought to its knees over unfunded pensions, wages and benefits that were won by giant government unions in the boom years. Annual pension costs rose by 2,000% from 1999 to 2009. They are now unsustainable. Here's some reading for you Gary in case you missed this today http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_21417781/democratic-lawmakers-release-pension-fixes

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