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Learning to be leaner Allison K. Sampite | Sat, Feb 19 2011 12:00 PM

At a public meeting held in the Chula Vista library's auditorium Wednesday night, City Attorney Glen Googins and Assistant City Manager Scott Tulloch discussed current city-related issues.

Tulloch said as the city has suffered severe budget cuts to departments and public services, it is reacting to them by collaborating with Goodrich Corp., a local aerospace manufacturer, to improve productivity with less staff.

According to Tulloch, the recreation centers were among those to take the biggest hits and city staff is looking at ways to provide the same services at less cost to taxpayers.

Currently, the city is working with nonprofits, the YMCA and school districts to utilize youth to help supervise the effort of these programs.

Tulloch said the city is also looking at ways to share resources with other cities in order to cut back on spending.

Currently, City Manager Jim Sandoval is working with city officials from National City, Imperial Beach and Coronado to provide different services to tax payers at a lower rate. Tulloch calls it "savings by consolidation."

Tulloch said he'd like to see the city do a better job capturing sales tax. One of the problems with Chula Vista capturing its share of sales tax is the fact that it's a bedroom community, meaning many people live here but work, eat and shop elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Googins discussed the essence of his first 70 days in office, which he said has been focused on providing support to city staff. "We need to evaluate what to do with the revenues and advise council appropriately," he said.

Googins said an alternative to bringing money into the city is to charge for services the city used to provide for free. In addition, the city is looking to outsource jobs, although he said this option would require a more extensive analysis.

Another alternative Googins said was effective and would save the city money is volunteerism. "We're trying to encourage and nurture volunteer efforts," he said.

Although volunteer efforts can cause new risk and insurance for the city, Googins said it is a healthy option.

Googins also said the City Attorney's Office is looking at creating a strategic planning process to evaluate what they are currently doing and how to do it better. "I thought it was appropriate to self-critique in providing services to other city departments."

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