Of course, no one is surprised by this, from Brian Calle's column in the OC Register:
When contemplating the many reasons cities in California and elsewhere are venturing closer to bankruptcy, look no further than the relatively lucrative and often-unjustifiable salaries bestowed on municipal employees – and the lofty pension benefits attached to the high pay.
One of the latest examples comes from the California coastal city of Hermosa Beach, where some community service staffers who collect money from parking meters and manage their operations – positions once widely known as “meter maids” – are making nearly $100,000 a year in total compensation, according to city documents.
You don't need to hire Mitt Romney or Bain to know what the solution is:
[Mayor Pro-Tem Patrick] Bobko is pushing a plan to outsource the city’s parking enforcement operations, which he says will save money, reduce maintenance costs, relieve the city of accounting functions related to parking enforcement, increase efficiency and, perhaps most importantly, increase revenue and “reduce the city’s pension and salary obligations.”
There has been opposition to the outsourcing proposal from Hermosa Beach’s Police Chief Steve Johnson and Councilman Howard Fishman. Both expressed concerns about letting go full-time city staff. Bobko accurately characterized the resistance: “When you outsource, you take away union jobs.”
In this case, outsourcing parking-enforcement duties would benefit the taxpayers among Hermosa Beach’s population of slightly less than 20,000. For an example of how such a switch might work, Hermosa officials could travel about 45 miles south along the coast to Newport Beach, where the city successfully moved to outsource parking enforcement last year.
“We have seen increased revenues with the private company operating the meter program,” Newport Councilwoman Leslie Daigle said.
Since Newport made the move, the city “has seen a 24.4 percent increase in parking-meter revenues over last year and salary savings of approximately $500,000 from outsourcing parking meter operations,” according to Tara Finnigan, a spokeswoman for the city.