LETTER: City ‘should renegotiate their contract for animal control services with RASKC’
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]
A proposal was made by City Manager, Mike Martin at the April 15, 2013 Burien City Council meeting to extend the contract to CARES until 2016. This extension would also give CARES an additional $50,000 per year and a 3% COLA to each of their three employees. Since CARES counts phone calls differently than RASKC, the number is highly inflated compared to other cities, something RASKC took into consideration when coming up with a cost for Burien to contract with them.
I believe that the City of Burien should renegotiate their contract for animal control services with RASKC (Regional Animal Services of King County). The City of SeaTac with a 2011 population of 27, 430 (Wikipedia) recently got a contract for animal control services from RASKC for $107,000 per year. The cost of a contract with RASKC is based on several factors: the number of calls received, the number of animal intakes, minus license fees, a percentage discount and a reduction shared by cities in the group (the most compelling factor in the reduction of fees). Apparently the City of Burien decided to break with RASKC before negotiations even began last time around. That’s how Burien ended up with CARES.
Since Burien’s contract with CARES expires in 2014, the timing is perfect for Burien to negotiate a contract with RASKC as its contract with the cities it serves is up for renegotiation at the same time. If Burien negotiates well with RASKC during this open contract time, it could have a contract with the county that offers so much more than CARES can ever hope to provide for less money. The people and the animals of Burien will be so much better cared for.
But what appears to be happening is that Mike Martin is trying to extend the contract with CARES to 2016 rather than opening it for bid in 2014, as should legally be done. Burien will then be locked out of being able to even consider a return to RASKC because they will have missed the negotiation date. Sitting at the negotiation table with RASKC does not mean that Burien must join RASKC, but it does make Burien eligible for the discounts should Burien want to return.
It is my belief, for the people and the animals of Burien, that the contract with CARES should be kept only until it expires in 2014. Then the contract should be open to a competitive bid process as required by state law. Burien should sit at the table during the RASKC negotiation process so that if RASKC can produce a better or more competitive bid for animal control services, Burien will qualify for all of the dicounts that SeaTac and other cities got the first time. According to the county, negotiations start now.
Seattle, WA (formerly Area Y)
[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our ~90,000+ monthly Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil and, pending our review, we’ll most likely publish it.]