Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Cleveland Program Improves Service Quality through Competition

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Cleveland Program Improves Service Quality through Competition

Article excerpt

Would any citizen choose to pay more for services than he or she has to? Of course not. The old philosophy of tax and spend just doesn't work anymore--if it ever did. Yet, there can be instances within government where taxpayers pay more for services than necessary and still do not receive the highest quality of service for their money.

For many citizens, raising taxes is not an option for solving city budget problems. Some citizens bend if city government can promise that every penny of raised taxes will be spent wisely. As a result, the city of Cleveland developed an initiative called Cleveland Competes which strives to give taxpayers the best quality of service at the best possible price. Some detractors call this move "a drive for privatization."

However, Cleveland Competes actually seeks to bring competition to the monopoly of services controlled by government.

"Privatization is transferring work done by government to outside organizations. By contrast, competition helps to identify areas where government is weak and inefficient," said Cleveland Mayor Michael White. "By obtaining prices from private companies and using those prices we can benchmark for city employees and managers."

Cleveland Competes, however, does not create substantial layoffs. In fact, most cities that have initiated competition have been able to avoid layoffs significantly. "It's not asking employees to work for slave wages, " said the mayor, but "rather working within their rates of attrition."

Studies show that many government workers tend to earnmore than union workers in the private sector. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.