How to REALLY save money on dispatch Brookville and others…

The argument Brookville is using to justify splitting from the Regional Dispatch Center and buying dispatch services from Englewood is saving money. Early termination fees will cancel the savings making this “cost saving move” a non-starter according to the Dayton Daily News today:

Brookville is considering breaking from the RDC to join Englewood’s dispatch center at a cheaper price. Last year, Brookville paid $98,213 to the RDC, but Englewood has offered dispatch services to the city for $48,000 a year on a three-year contract.

“I’ll go back to my council and see what they say next Tuesday,” said Brookville city manager John Wright. “The whole thing (moving to Englewood) was to save money. Now, I’m not.”

via Brookville’s dispatch change would be costly move.

But if the citizens of Brookville really wanted to save money- they’d simply merge with Englewood. From the facts page of the City of Brookville site:

The Brookville Police Department serves a population of 5,289 (2000 census) and covers a land area of 3.3 square miles.

via City Of Brookville – Departments.

Englewood is exactly 2x as big by geography and 2.5 times as big by population:

The population was 13,465 at the 2010 census…  the city has a total area of 6.6 square miles

via Englewood, Ohio – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Throw in the throwback of Butler Township:

As of the 2010 census the population was 7,894.

via Butler Township, Montgomery County, Ohio – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

And we add all those up and we have a population of 26,648 – which is what the minimum population should be in order to have to support a police chief- as well as all the other offices that each of these fiefdoms carries- a city manager/township administrator, director of finance, mayor, council, trustees, economic development people, zoning etc.

We could eliminate over 100 taxpayer paid jobs that deliver service at a ridiculously high overhead rate.

Dispatch isn’t what’s costing the people of Brookville too much- it’s the entire pride issue of having a city.

For all the talk about taxes being too high and government being too big, we could start by changing the rules that govern jurisdictions in the State of Ohio to cut the costs and overhead considerably by forcing larger size standards to be required to receive any State tax dollars. We’d see instant savings and hopefully- weed out a whole bunch of micro-managers who only have jobs due to our insane system of partitioning up our state- which dates back to the Northwest Ordinance of 1785 that divided up our state into the boundaries we’ve stuck with for no good reason.

That’s how you save money.

 

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14 Responses

  1. d page March 15, 2012 / 10:20 am
    Nice thought, but I believe state law requires localities wishing to merge must be contiguous. Brookville and Englewood are not.
  2. David Esrati March 15, 2012 / 10:39 am

    @D page-

    ah, details- throw in Clayton too:

    The population was 13,209 at the 2010 census… 18.6 square miles

    via Clayton, Ohio – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Then we’re at 39,857and a real powerhouse…  (realize that boroughs in NYC have smallerlarger populations) .

  3. David Lauri March 15, 2012 / 10:45 am
    David E, you couldn’t have really meant “realize that boroughs in NYC have smaller populations,” could you?
     
    From Wikipedia, the 2010 census figures for NYC’s boroughs:

    Manhattan: 1,585,873
    The Bronx: 1,385,108
    Brooklyn: 2,504,700
    Queens: 2,230,722
    Staten Island: 468,730

  4. David Esrati March 15, 2012 / 10:50 am

    @David Lauri- thanks- I did mean larger populations-  the idea of a city at 40,000 is still a bit of a joke. But, then again- the former Mayor of Wasilla Alaska was competent to be a governor and even a VP candidate:

    7,831 at the 2010 census. Wasilla is the largest city in the borough and a part of the Anchorage metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 364,701 in 2008.

    via Wasilla, Alaska – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    I guess being Mayor of Brookville is a stepping stone….

  5. Hall March 15, 2012 / 11:06 am
    Look at Lima OH (my hometown). Population of just 38k according to wikipedia. And you suggest it shouldn’t be a city ?
  6. Dad March 15, 2012 / 11:22 am
    When we moved into Celina in 1961, it was a city with just over 6,000 people. It had a police department, but the county sheriff was really the law of the town. The only other cities in Mercer County were Coldwater, Fort Recovery and Rockford. Mendon had pretensions.
  7. David Esrati March 15, 2012 / 11:36 am

    @Hall- Lima is the URBAN city- in a rural county.  We need to reel in the straphangers- where population density is high.

  8. Hall March 15, 2012 / 11:42 am
    Also, you might want to check the history between Englewood and Clayton. A merger will NEVER happen between them. Maybe Clayton and Brookville could though.

    Back to the original topic though: Why does it cost DOUBLE to use the services of the regional dispatch ? That’s the bigger question.

    Finally, and I posted this at FB on the DDN’s posting of this story:

    Then Feldman says “She also said all the municipalities involved initially overstated the number of dispatch calls they take”. Surprise, surprise, the county administration didn’t VERIFY before they invested in something ?  

  9. Brian March 15, 2012 / 6:33 pm
    Clayton and Englewood should merge, despite any political grudges behind our own northwest power elite…    While you’re at it, add in Phillipsburg and Union.  And if we have Vandy we should have Butler Twp too.
  10. Allison March 16, 2012 / 1:36 pm
    Talk about a fifedom, “Applegate” and “Union”.
  11. truth March 29, 2012 / 9:34 pm
    Look at why Brookville went to the RDC to begin with.  Big wigs with the Sheriff’s Office happened to live in Brookville, Majors, etc…and had their hands in getting Brookville to join the RDC from the get go.  With that said, Brookville’s contract states they are exempt from the termination fee due to when they signed a contract.  That was an agreement from the get go and is what sweetened the pot in the first place.  Now the county, RDC, is going back on their word and has to “check the contracts” according to a recent council meeting.
     
    You also need to look at the increased costs of mergers between cities and townships.  Many fail (Trotwood/Madison for example).  The Vandalia and Butler Twp. merger was shot down a decade ago for a few reasons.  1.  Butler Twp didn’t want it because they don’t want an income tax.  Second, it was going to cost Vandalia a fortune to provide the same level of service to Butler Twp.  Considering the County takes care of some major expenditures in the Twp…roads/snow removal/etc…
     
    You are never going to convince a surviving municipality, that joining forces with Montgomery County or Dayton for service is the answer.  Cities with the RDC are figuring that out real quick.  What would have happened had these entities sold off police or fire services instead of simply dispatch?  It is all relative.  Riverside, Butler, Brookville, etc…hmmm…wonder why they are leaving?  I don’t want the jackasses at the county level of government running my city and I sure as hell don’t want a version of Mayor McHat running the show either.  Unfortunately, the geniuses that elected Dayton officials would have a pretty good say so at imposing their will on the suburbs, setting everyone up for failure.
     
    The only reason those in the City want regional services is to better their own, not improve the suburbs.  Typical liberal mindset.  From those to those.  Not going to happen and won’t happen.  Hall asked the question, “Why does it cost DOUBLE to use the services of the regional dispatch ? That’s the bigger question.”…easy answer…the county is subsidizing their services through the suburban income and input.  Precisely why further regionalization will create the same issue.  Dispatchers aren’t getting raises, much of the RDC and aspects of the RDC are grant funded…so why the increase?  Logic states because MCSO can’t pay their own bills and they can’t manage properly what they already have.
     
    I am all for regional COOPERATION when it comes to development and sustainability of certain things.  I am completely AGAINST regionalizaion of services that directly impact safety and property values.  I have said time and time again…Why has the northern region figured it out?  Regional dispatch between suburbs, wastewater treatment, water service….?  Why is it that they can figure it out and keep all parties happy, but the core can’t?  I will leave that for you all to figure out on your own, while you continue to look at the suburbs as a way out to support the failing core.
  12. Hall March 30, 2012 / 4:36 pm
    @truth: The RDC doesn’t seem to be aware of the lack of a termination fee in Brookville’s contract. The DDN article linked above in fact says they voted to enforce the termination fee (seemingly it’s negotiable — bad idea if they let someone out without enforcing it and then try to enforce it another city) and not waive it.
  13. truth March 30, 2012 / 10:48 pm
    Correct…and that is where the problem lies.  Brookville officials have even said that a buyout cost was not part of the original contract.  So, if the RDC and the core is serious about “regional cooperation” they would have 1. agreed to a price and 2. would be willing to release Brookville if they weren’t happy with service.  Having your “customers” by the balls without providing the lecel of service expected isn’t what regional government is about.  The termination fee went from 180k to 200k without reason.  interesting…

    If you are confident that you are going to provide a level of service that is expected, you don’t need buyout clauses.  Neighboring agencies that dispatch for others have yearly contracts, not long term contracts with buyouts, terms, clauses, etc.  If the RDC can’t provice service and entities leave, they need to be prepared to lay off employees.

    This situation was predicted before the RDC even came to.  Inability to project costs, insufficient means of accountability with service issues with contract agencies, etc…

  14. Hall April 2, 2012 / 1:26 pm
    It’s been a while since I read the original news story but I don’t recall the Brookville had any complaints about the service they were receiving. It was all a matter of cost, nothing more. Englewood was willing to do it for HALF the cost.

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