Thursday, June 28, 2007

Outcome of Joint meeting on Police Consolidation

On Saturday, June 23rd, the Town Councils of Fairfax and San Anselmo held a joint meeting to discuss the issues related to police consolidation. The meeting was facilitated by former San Carlos and San Anselmo town manager Mike Garvey, and was also attended by the Town Managers, Police Chiefs and Police union representatives of both towns. The meeting was an opportunity for both Councils to come to a concurrence on what goals are shared by the Towns with respect to considering sharing services for cost effectiveness in both police departments. The Councils agreed that the four most important issues are:

  1. Long-term financial effects
  2. Maintain/improve quality of service
  3. Buy-in from stakeholders - Council, community, staff, unions
  4. Explore sharing Town services, starting with Police.

The Councils then listed all of the components a shared service model must have to be accepted and successful. The following ideas were solicited from individual Councilmembers:

1. Save money and not cost more money

2. Equal to or better than current – If more costly, then must be self-supporting, and identify revenue source

3. Maintain 24/7 facility in each Town

4. Maintain/preserve community policing

5. Reflect common goals and beliefs

6. Allow local control by each Town

7. Have the support of staff

8. Fairfax Measure “F” diligence

9. Analysis of the current ordinances and policies of each Town for conformity/differences

10. Analysis to include cost distribution.

Members of the public added the following must have components to the discussion: (1) incorporate green principles/sustainability; and (2) assurance current community-oriented services will continue.

The Councils then listed the following components that a shared service model must not have, which were two items:

1. Must not cost more money

2. No layoffs.

The meeting concluded with the formation of a Joint Shared Services Subcommittee, made up of the following four Council Members – Fairfax: Susan Brandborg, Lew Tremaine; San Anselmo: Peter Breen, Ted Freeman. The subcommittee’s first charge will be to formulate the parameters for a request for proposals for a consultant to study all possible cost-savings opportunities between the two police departments. The two Councils agreed that any cost-savings model with respect to the police departments could also apply to exploring cost savings through joint ventures between other town departments as well. The first meeting of the subcommittee has been set for Monday, July 2nd at 5 p.m. at the San Anselmo Town Hall conference room.