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City Council to Vote Saturday on Outsourcing Police, Recreation Services

The future of Half Moon Bay's law enforcement and sports programs will be decided this weekend.

Five months of speculation over the future of Half Moon Bay's police and recreation services will end Saturday afternoon, when City Council members will vote whether eliminate their own agencies and hire outside providers in an effort to balance their budget f0r the upcoming fiscal year.

The city began  to both departments shortly after the November general election, when a 1% sales tax increase failed at the polls. It was estimated to bring in $1.4 million each year.

Police Services

In November, council members identified the police department as a chance for cost savings. Its budget, about $3.5 million, is the city's largest expense.

At the council's request, Half Moon Bay Interim Police Chief Lee Violett in January asked San Mateo County law enforcement agencies to submit proposals to take over the city's service.  both turned in bids.

City staff  that the council enter into negotiations with the Sheriff's Office (see PDF of staff report attached to the right of this document), at an annual savings to Half Moon Bay of $509,723. Pacifica's proposal, according to the report, would save $80,171 each year. Neither estimate includes one-time transition costs.

Some areas now run by Half Moon Bay Police were not included in the proposal submitted by the Sheriff's Office, like the Narcotics Task Force, Animal Control, and communication dispatch services.

One-time transition costs include retirement benefits and vacation day cash-outs, among other things. They also include about $200,000 to relocate and reconstruct the department's radio tower and equipment if the current police station off Kelly Avenue is retired.

Sheriff's deputies already patrol unincorporated Coastside areas from a substation in Moss Beach.

Recreation Services

Council members also will vote whether to authorize City Manager Laura Snideman to negotiate with San Carlos to provide Half Moon Bay's recreation services. City staff project the move will save more than $187,500 each year.

Half Moon Bay issued a request forfor its Recreation Department in January. Proposals came in February from San Carlos and Make Me A Pro Sports, a private for-profit company based in Hayward. The company has held contracts with Half Moon Bay to provide sports programming since 1995. (For a copy of submitted bids, see the PDF article attached to this piece in the media box to the right).

City staff has recommended that San Carlos receive the contract for Half Moon Bay's recreation services. Current department staffing levels, made up of Recreation Supervisor Dirk Alvarado and Recreation Administrative Assistant Caroline Weigandt each working 3 days a week, are "unsustainable," according to the city's April 2 report (see document attached to the right of this article).

San Carlos' proposal offers 15 open hours at Half Moon Bay Recreation Department's current location at Ted Adcock Community Center. Staff also would be available by phone during business hours.

The San Carlos Parks and Recreation Department employs 15 full-time staff members and anywhere between 50 to 100 part-time contractors and employees, with the exact number varying by season.

The special city council meeting will be 1 p.m. Saturday at , 535 Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay.

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