City Shelves Plan to Outsource Lifeguard Services

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Lifeguard services for two Newport beaches will likely stay in-house, according to a statement released Thursday by the city.

City lifeguards will continue to provide service to Big and Little Corona beaches, Newport Beach city spokeswoman Tara Finnigan wrote in the press release.

“We base every outsourcing consideration on the facts,” said Mayor Rush Hill in the prepared statement. “We look at our own service level and costs, we ask others to tell us how they would provide the service and at what cost, and we carefully analyze the responses. When our in-house staff can provide the best service most cost-effectively, we keep what we’ve got. I appreciate the sincerity of the proposers and thank our current staff for the good job they do.”

Lifeguarding was just one of many services the city considered and studied for possible outsourcing, according to the statement. The aim is to see if private companies or other public agencies can provide the same or better service at less cost.

The city issued requests for proposals for lifeguard services in late 2013 and received five responses. After reviewing the proposals, city staff will recommend not taking the process any further, the message explains.

“The cost proposals provided by two qualifying proposers were higher than the city’s current cost to provide the lifeguarding service in Corona del Mar,” Finnigan wrote in the announcement.

Street sweeping, beach trash collection, residential trash collection, and tree trimming have all been outsourced.

“As a result, the city has saved millions of dollars and city personnel numbers have been reduced by about 100 full-time positions since 2009. In several cases, services were not outsourced after proposals were analyzed – these include jail operations and now lifeguarding at Corona del Mar,” the statement reads.

For questions about the request for proposal process, contact the City Manager Dave Kiff at (949) 644-3001.

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