The City of Pembroke Pines, Florida has privatized its building and planning department:
Pembroke Pines City Commissioners have approved a five-year contract with Fort Lauderdale-based Calvin, Giordano & Associates (CGA) to administrate the city's building and zoning department.
The second largest city in Broward County, Florida with more than 150,000 residents and one of the fastest growing cities in America, Pembroke Pines had maintained a sizable building and zoning department primarily due to their tremendous surge in growth.
Many U.S. municipalities are opting to outsource services to private contractors such as CGA over the past several years. CGA, which has provided services to the public sector for decades as a core business, has gained considerable recognition for delivering a wide scope of services for three dozen municipalities and public agencies, including Weston, West Park, Surfside, Sunny Isles and Loxahatchee Groves in South Florida. As a contract services provider, CGA offers engineering, traffic engineering, surveying, construction management, inspection, planning and zoning, landscape architecture, emergency management, and geographic information system services.
Most recently, CGA received a municipal services management contract with the City of Dunwoody, a newly formed municipality in DeKalb County, Georgia. Dunwoody contracted with CGA for finance and administrative services.
Yet another example of a municipality thinking big on privatization, bundling services together rather than outsourcing functions and activities in bits and pieces. And judging by this Sun-Sentinel blog post, it wasn't an easy decision. The city is facing a large budget shortfall and opted to outsource after public employee unions rejected concessions that would have forestalled privatization. For more on this and other Broward County-area municipal privatization initiatives, see this May post.
Pembroke Pines just also happens to be the home of another noteworthy privatization story—the South Florida State Hospital, a state psychiatric hospital that was literally and figuratively transformed by privatization. Read about this tremendous privatization success story in Anthony and I's May op-ed.