It’s a heady night here in Fremont. There are about 60 burly guys in orange who could lose their jobs if the City Council approves a cost savings plan that would include outsourcing their maintenance and street sweeping jobs.
One street sweeper just told me that the city has recently spent more than $1 million on four new street sweepers and a vactor, which is used on storm drains. That’s more than half the city’s fleet, this guy said.
I’ll have to check with the city about the sweepers, but I’ve already identified one way they can save money around here. I just raided a food spread in a conference near City Council Chambers. The cashews hit the spot, but the city could have saved $3 per bag by serving peanuts instead. That’s the kind of prudence that keeps me just barely solvent.
A lot of the speakers — and there are lots of them — don’t seem that interested in the maintenance guys. They’re more concerned about a cut to the city’s Human Services Department which provides services to the poor.
Rodney Clark runs a shelter for battered women. He says he moved to Fremont “because it’s a model city.” A model of what, he didn’t say. Anyone who has suffered through general plan discussions this past year knows that Fremont is a model of “how an auto-oriented suburb can evolve into a sustainable, strategically urban, modern city.”
The big burly guys here want to know if Fremont will also become a model of outsourcing, but right now the council is only talking about the Human Services Department and not the 60 human beings in front of them that soon could be unemployed.
Now they’re talking about street sweepers and maintenance guys. First phase of outsourcing would happen quickly and spell the end of 14 employees saving the city between $500k and $700k.
Looks like we’re ready for the Council to make some decisions, which is good because it’s time for me to stop looking at online photos of Foxy Knoxy.
Council will move ahead with outsourcing the jobs. First comes a request for proposals. Layoffs will be phased starting, and I’m not clear on how many workers are at risk of losing their jobs. Back to Foxy Knoxy.