Outsourcing: Quality dips, good workers lost
I read with interest Mr. Scott Bradshaw’s scathing column in The Citizen expressing his opinion of the outsourcing of city services to private contractors.
It appears that this effort to save taxpayers’ money has gone awry and is an unmitigated failure.
I am not surprised. Outsourcing is nothing new and it has become clear that when it is done, quality goes down and cost goes up. AND, good and faithful employees of the city are lost.
Even the most casual observer can see the difference in the maintenance of the public areas in the city.
It would appear that the free market, at least in this instance, is not more efficient than properly run city public works.
Once the contractors have their contracts they have no compunction about raising their fees and in a squeeze the quality of their work goes out the window.
Over the last few years the Peachtree City Council has systematically dismantled what was once a very good public works system that effectively and efficiently maintained the city public areas.
There is a principle involved here. Private companies exist to make a profit. When push comes to shove their first loyalty is to their owners, not to their customers.
Conversely city employees are responsible to the city and are held accountable for their work. Of course they get paid, but there is no need to make a profit and it is much easier for the city to control cost and quality.
In the ordinary course of business where the public welfare is not involved, private enterprise is appropriate. However, where the public interest is involved and the taxpayer is footing the bill, private enterprise is not necessarily appropriate.
The taxpayers have a right to be well represented by elected officials and the outsourcing of city services is not in their best interests.
I intend to vote against every incumbent City Council member at the first opportunity. If Mr. Bradshaw is right, and I suspect he is, we would be well served by discontinuing outsourcing and return to traditional methods of managing public works.
I would like to thank Mr. Bradshaw for this thoughtful and well-stated column. I have read many of his previous pieces and have a great deal of respect for his views. Is there anyone else in this community that knows more about it’s inner working and hidden mechanisms than he? Thank you, Mr. Scott Bradshaw!
Peachtree City, Ga.