Outsourcing Police May Offer Up‐Front Short Term Gains But…
RE: “Dispatch service officially gone“, The Mirror, November 19, 2015
The outsourcing of dispatch of the Midland Police Service is not a surprise as it reflects Midland Council’s stated commitment to find savings in its operations by pursuing outsourcing and privatization of municipal services. This change will save taxpayers $250,000 per year, but the real costs to the community go far beyond a line on the budget document; a service reduction, and 8 well paying jobs gone from the community.
While I applaud the efforts to minimize the impact of this service reduction by making improvements to the access of the police station after hours, the loss of the 8 jobs is most worrisome and costly to the community. These 8 jobs are worth far more than $250,000 to the community than the savings this move represents. Every business in town feels the impact of every single job loss because people cut back on spending, move away to find work, and there is a lesser demand overall on business services.
Job creation and economic development have been identified as priorities by this Council and yet there have been several well paying jobs eliminated already in the overall municipal operation. It is far more beneficial to the local economy that tax dollars be spent on salaries to provide jobs and services than paying for severances.
Lastly, outsourcing and privatizing public services has been proven to offer up‐front, short term gains, but it is a costly choice for the long run especially after all assets and infrastructure have been disposed of; something for Midland Council to keep in mind while it considers disposing valuable assets and services such as the Midland Police Service and Midland’s own Public Utility company, MPUC.
Editor’s Note: You may also be interested in this revelation… click to read the article about how the Economic Development Corporation’s co-chair publicly supported the outsourcing at the OCPC hearing.
Councillor, Town of Midland 2006 – 2014