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July 15th, 2009 by Sierra Madre Weekly
Sierra Madre is considering contracting out “certain public safety services” – specifically Law Enforcement and Paramedic services.
Citing possible cost saving opportunities, Mayor MacGillivray and Council Member Don Watts previously requested inquiries to be sent to Arcadia, Pasadena, and the County of Los Angeles about “consolidating services, contracting services, or contracting specific operations within a department, specifically in the areas of Public Safety.”
Sierra Madre City Manager Elaine Aguilar said that this request is “really the first step in the process” of contracting out services.
The City Council authorized a formal request to Arcadia, Pasadena, and LA County on Tuesday July 14 at the City Council meeting.
Although the City Council originally had no intention to request quotes from other agencies regarding the possibility of contracting out the fire safety services, Sierra Madre Fire Chief Stephen Heydorff requested that the fire department be included in the request, for the liberty of being able to “selectively choose particular contracted services that would benefit [Sierra Madre]”.
A formal request, which consists of sending a letter to the agency expressing interest, allows Sierra Madre to determine the other agency’s interest in contracting with Sierra Madre, and to discuss which options are available.
It is hard to determine how much the Sierra Madre could save by contracting out its public safety services. By contacting the other agencies, proposals and studies can begin to determine the cost and potential savings.
A common concern among residents is their ability to conduct business 24/7 in the Sierra Madre Police Department station, located at 242 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
The Sierra Madre Police Department’s total budget in 2008 was $2,635,398, the largest expenditure of the City’s general fund. There are approximately 24 full-time members of the Police Department.
File Photos by Terry Miller