Aldermen still mulling outsourcing options
A week after hearing the first phase of departmental outsourcing recommendations, aldermen requested time to seek more information about some of the city’s options.
At the Monday, Jan. 31 meeting of the Rockford City Council, aldermen used a voice vote to look further into leasing city vehicles and how to best assess street sweeping services.
Meantime, a motion to seek bids on outsourced ambulance services was not passed.
Ald. Carl Wasco (D-5), Ald. Venita Hervey (D-5) and Ad. Doug Mark (R-3) would not second the recommendation brought by Ald. Pat Curran (R-2).
Hervey told the council she would not second the motion because she is the chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee, while Mark and Wasco said they wish to look into the matter further before moving too quickly.
Hervey said the council owes it to the taxpayers to exhaust all options before making decisions about emergency medical services.
The city is currently searching for ways to close the gap on a $5.5 million budget deficit.
Ald. Bill Robertson (I-14) was absent.
Last week, Monday, Jan. 24, the council heard the first phase of an outsourcing report by Chicago-based consulting firm Baker Tilly.
The firm was hired last year to recommend in-house programs the city could convert to outsourced services. According to the firm’s recommendations, Rockford could save more than $10 million per year by outsourcing medical services, street sweeping and the Head Start program.
The firm recommends the city sell old vehicles and lease new ones rather than purchase a fleet.
Baker Tilly also recommends reducing the minimum number of firefighters on each truck to three. The possibility of that option, city officials mentioned last week, could be delayed until after collective bargaining with International Fire Fighters Association 413 has been completed.
The second phase of the Baker Tilly report includes outsourcing recommendations in the city’s finance, human resources and legal departments.
The Rockford City Council meets in open session every Monday at 6 p.m. Meetings are in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, downtown.
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