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Privatization Study Finds Potential for City Savings

San Diego taxpayers could be saving between $80 million and $200 million annually if government agencies turned over more of their work to the private sector, according to a study released Sept. 12 by two conservative think tanks.

The report done by the San Diego Institute for Policy Research, established by former mayoral candidate Steve Francis, and the Reason Foundation identified 11 areas within San Diego city government that are ripe for managed competition.

These included copying and printing; vehicle maintenance; golf course operations; libraries; permit processing; environmental services (including trash collection and landfills); water and wastewater operations; information technology; facility maintenance; street maintenance; and parks and recreation.

“Our hope is that this report informs city leaders who may be looking for places to start and pushes them to think differently when it comes to the kinds of functions which they put through managed competition,” said Francis, chairman of AMN Healthcare Services, the locally based nurse staffing company.

Francis came in third place in the July 2005 primary election for San Diego’s mayor. In November of that year, Mayor Jerry Sanders defeated Councilwoman Donna Frye.

The full study is available online at www.sandiegoinstitute.com, and www.reason.org.

, Mike Allen

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