Award <$35,000 Contract to Outsource Business Licensing - YES
One function of our local government is to issue licenses for local businesses, which is intended to protect public health and safety by providing a mechanism (revoking a license) for the Town to shut down businesses that break the law or endanger residents.
Traditionally, business licenses have been administered by member of the Town's Finance Department staff. However, the recent retirements of two Finance Department staffers, including the one who handled business licenses, created an opportunity to rethink how we administer business licenses.
I voted to accept staff's proposal that we outsource business license processing to the same consultant the Town uses for sales tax consulting, HdL. This move will free up 40-60% of the time of the new staff member replacing the one that used to handle our business licenses (before she retired), effectively netting the Town another "half an employee's" worth of work at a net estimated cost of about $20,000 per year. Given the workload of our Finance Department staff and their salaries, that deal works out in taxpayers' favor.
As always, outsourcing a governmental function to a third party is intended to save taxpayer money and/or improve service to residents. We will keep a close eye on the consultant's performance in these areas, and revisit this decision if it doesn't seem to be meeting these goals.