Carrollton Environmental Services Divisions Declared Competitive
| The Community Services & Environmental Quality Divisions
were declared substantially competitive on February 14.
| Division members sign a 3-year service agreement with the
City Manager's Office to continue to provide savings to residents.
The City of Carrollton Community Services and Environmental Quality Divisions of the Environmental Services Department have been declared substantially competitive, a distinction given to city departments that deliver high quality services at the lowest cost to Carrollton residents.
The road to gaining this certification included competitive benchmarking and analysis of staffing, service levels, facilities and fleet, technology, best practices, and costs of service. The Managed Competition process identified a number of enhancements expected to produce more than $13,800 in new cost savings for the Department and will increase staffing by two full-time employees, one in each Division.
“Managed Competition provided the framework to re-engineer our strategies and procedures, focused on delivering the best value to the community,” Environmental Services Director Scott Hudson said. “These hard-working men and women continue to demonstrate their commitment to efficient, effective public service.”
Throughout the benchmarking process, similar divisions in comparison cities such as Denton, Frisco, Grand Prairie, Lewisville, Plano, and Richardson provided crucial information against which Carrollton could evaluate its own services. The results were more than encouraging as overall, the Community Services and Environmental Quality Divisions are more efficient in their use of funding and staffing than the comparison cities. Additionally, these divisions provide a significantly broader range of services to meet customer demands, following a schedule tailored to meet community and City Council concerns. The extent to which team members are cross-trained to support specialized functions is also a particular strength. The Carrollton community further benefits from the organizational decision to house both the Neighborhood Partnership and Community Development Block Grant programs in a single office, a departure from the benchmarked cities.
A far-reaching improvement brought about through Managed Competition was the replacement of obsolete operating software with a new system that will integrate operations, increase efficiency, and provide greater transparency within both divisions. Automating the permitting and billing notification processes has allowed for customers to receive information more quickly and staff time to be better utilized. And internal reporting/tracking, second notice alerts, and interdepartmental partnerships have all been either revised or enhanced as well.
“The Divisions have formed a long-term focus on three critical areas: becoming a lean, efficient operation; providing outstanding customer service by protecting community health, safety, and sustainability; and exceeding compliance standards by maintaining strong partnerships with other City departments, community stakeholders, and state/federal regulatory agencies,” Hudson said. “The service enhancements discovered over the last two years complement those ongoing efforts.”
With the changes made, the Department will be able to continue to increase efficiency and transparency through the use of field technology and improved software, maximize the use of funding for housing rehabilitation and neighborhood enhancement, increase the frequency of food establishment inspections based on risk in accordance with FDA guidelines, and provide better customer service through the use of updated operating procedures and checklists that ensure uniform application of standards and consistent processes.
An essential element of the Managed Competition program is a philosophy of continuous improvement in all city operations according to Tom Guilfoy, Director of Managed Competition, Strategic Planning, and Organizational Development. “The process has strengthened Carrollton’s Environmental Services Department and positioned the various operations to continue to provide the very best value at a competitive cost. This translates to higher quality services for our citizens.”
The Community Services and Environmental Quality Divisions signed a three-year service agreement with the City Manager’s Office at a small ceremony on Tuesday, February 14 at City Hall.
“I am proud of the Community Services and Environmental Quality Divisions’ hard work and accomplishments,” City Manager Erin Rinehart said. “This is the first service agreement I’ll sign as City Manager and it means a lot that it’s this group of dedicated individuals. Having gone through Managed Competition in my previous role as Workforce Services Director, I was able to supply some guiding information at the start of this journey so that department members could become acquainted with the process—and now, they’ve experienced their own success.”
For more information on Carrollton’s Environmental Services Department, visit cityofcarrollton.com.