Pacifica’s City Council is on a mission to streamline operations by focusing on best practices and government efficiency.
“We’re revamping some stale systems and finding better ways for efficiency,” said Mayor Len Stone.
A big part of that effort includes conducting an efficiency analysis on the City’s police department.
In a 3-2 vote, City Council approved last week a consultant's contract to review the efficiency of the police department. The study is expected to take three months and cost $34,500. The city will pay for it by not putting money into the motor pool replacement fund this year. A screening committee chose Matrix Consulting Group and Management Partners.
Councilmember Mike O'Neill and Mayor Stone voted against it.
“I commented at the council meeting that I thought the police chief should conduct an efficiency analysis before the City hires an outsider,” said Stone. “If the chief's analysis was insufficient, we could move another course of action.”
Still, Stone says the Council is committed to providing quality police service in the most efficient manner possible with a responsibility to the taxpayer.
“We had a slight difference of opinion as to the first step, but I think we all agree on the goal,” he said.
Approximately $8 million a year is spent on the Pacifica Police Department, which is more than 30 percent of the general fund budget. It’s a fiscal reality that has forced local government across the Peninsula — from Millbrae and Half Moon Bay to San Carlos — to opt for a cheaper, more efficient regional approach to law enforcement by using the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. Stone said City Council is working on looking for “efficient” options and their “cost effective” measures so that Pacifica can learn from them.
In addition to examining the Pacifica Police Department’s efficiency, City Council members will meet tonight for a study session to review and streamline their commissions and again on Saturday for a new goal setting session in part to maximize cost recovery and look at new policies about transparency in local government.
“We’re simply cleaning up how we operate to become more efficient,” said Stone. "We are doing everything we can for efficiency in the police department because that's our biggest expenditure."
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