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Carrollton Animal Services Declared Substantially Competitive

Post Date:02/19/2015
competitive groupThe City of Carrollton Animal Services Division of the Environmental Services Department has 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 and operational benchmarking and analysis of staffing, facilities and fleet, technology, best management practices, and costs of service. The internal review process identified a number of service enhancements to Animal Services that are expected to produce more than $31,000 in new cost savings and budget offsets.

“We’ve seen some great improvements in how business will be run within the City’s Animal Services Division because of our managed competition evaluation process,” said Tom Guilfoy, Director of Managed Competition, Strategic Planning, and Organizational Development. “Animal services divisions in comparison cities like Arlington, Lewisville, and Plano gave us some crucial benchmarking information. For instance, Carrollton Animal Services is just as efficient and effective in the use of funding and staffing as comparison cities.”

Also, Carrollton Animal Services provides longer service hours with an on-duty officer available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the week. This provision meets customer service demands and follows a schedule consistent with community and City Council concerns.

And while other cities’ operations have similar roles in wildlife control, none operate mosquito control programs or egret nesting abatement programs as robustly as Carrollton does.

However, the assessment identified several opportunities for improvement. While Carrollton utilizes volunteers, comparison cities are further along in volunteer recruitment and retention. Similarly, the City receives significant donations to fund activities not provided in the budget, yet comparison cities’ operations show a number of opportunities for improved donations. These areas are chief among the 21 service enhancements to be implemented.

“Managed competition has allowed us to examine how we operate and has spurred us to continue to keep certain critical areas in our long-term focus,” said Carl Shooter, Animal Services Manager. “Our concentration is on keeping a lean, efficient operation, maintaining a very low euthanasia rate, and increasing extensive partnerships with animal adoption and rescue organizations. These service enhancements complement those ongoing efforts.”

Enhancements such as renewed public education outreach to provide schools and neighborhoods programs on pets, animal care, and wildlife; adjusted fees for impounding animals to shift the burden away from first-time events and onto those whose pets are frequently running loose in neighborhoods; a countertop customer satisfaction survey to track response to services provided; and upgraded software to replace an obsolete system with a web-based service, improving communication and performance measurement while significantly reducing paperwork.

“What I found by going through the Managed Competition process is that it is a simple, team-approach to reviewing our processes, procedures, and services,” said Senior Animal Care Specialist Joe Skenesky. “It was neat to see that we could make adjustments to ensure that we were offering the best services to the residents, the animals, and the City as a whole. The process was inviting and supportive of team input and direction.”

The Animal Services Division and the City Manager’s Office signed the three-year service agreement at a small ceremony on Wednesday afternoon at the Animal Services and Adoption Center.

City Manager Leonard Martin said, “I had absolutely no doubt this Division would be successful in our Managed Competition process. The staff is professional and compassionate and I know I never have to worry about them not performing at a high level or offering quality service to our residents.”
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