LaBonte urges some privatization as Auburn council considers budgets

AUBURN — Mayor Jonathan LaBonte spoke up Monday for privatizing several city functions as a way to save money.

City councilors reviewed five department budget requests during Monday workshop meetings before and after their regular meeting. They reviewed staff requests from the following departments: Health and Social Services, Assessing, the City Clerk, Finance, Human Resources and Information and Communication Technology.

LaBonte said he was bothered that most of the departments were asking for more money than they received last year.

"We've seen several departments come in so far asking for a 10 percent increase in spending," LaBonte said.

City Manager Clinton Deschene will work with department staff to trim requests and come up with his budget, which he is scheduled to present to councilors early in April.

"There will be cuts, but I want to hear what everyone has to say first," Deschene said.

LaBonte said he wanted to talk about privatization.

"The only way you save money is to do things differently," LaBonte said. "If that means we no longer have an assessing office, and people can't walk in off the street and talk to an assessor, that may be the amount of government people can afford."

LaBonte argued for privatizing several city functions, including the entire assessing department, and functions in the Finance and Information Technology departments.

"I don't if we've looked at this before or if they are open to it," LaBonte said. "I'm not smart enough. I can use Twitter, but if you asked me to build a model to privatize IT, I could not do it. But we need to be really creative if we want to move aggressively."

Councilors are scheduled to continue reviewing staff budget requests. Deschene said he thinks councilors will meet multiple times in the coming weeks, including on Thursdays, to continue their reviews.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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Comments

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

I rest my case, right out of the useless mayors mouth

LaBonte said. "I'm not smart enough.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

What does this fool think, it will all go away??

That once you privatize it that the cost will subside. Look at the private prisons that got sold to buyers and the states have to pay them to run those places, using increases off the taxpayers and making profits on top of all that.

Who ever is pissing this privatizing into the Mayors ear probably has buyers to do the same, make profits and still increase and bill the taxpayers after the the sale.

Once you let the car out of the garage you no longer have control of who drives it and cracks it up and sends you the bill since you have to fix it. You are still screwed....

Better suggestion is to remove the Mayor and find someone that wants to fix it without selling assets that you still have to tend over, since it is still the cities problem, no matter what.

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