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Third-party audit for Roseville shows efficiency, room for improvement

Consultant recommends further consolidation and reorganization
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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The city of Roseville operates efficiently and effectively but has room for improvement according to the results of a third-party audit presented during Wednesday's council meeting.

The audit was done at the recommendation of City Manager Ray Kerridge. The city paid Palo Alto-based Matrix Consulting Group $199,500 to conduct a six-month study, which included interviews with about 150 people and resulted in a 700-page report.

All city operations were studied with the exception of the fire department, which underwent an audit by a separate consultant.

Matrix President Richard Brady presented several strengths and weaknesses in Roseville's operations. He commended the city's emphasis on customer service, although development services could do better, he said.

"This city clearly has a strong tradition of providing customer service both internally as well as externally," Brady said.

He commended the city for pushing many services into e-government and for valuing its employees' development through training - although he said more cross-training of staff is needed.

The report identified the city's recent moves to centralize services as creating more efficiency, but also found this to be an area needing improvement. The consultant strongly recommended further consolidation and reorganization, particularly in central services, public works, engineering, and information technology and public information.

Brady said Roseville's staffing levels, in general, are appropriate. The report found they could improve the scheduling of staff related to preventative maintenance activities for the city's infrastructure.

Another suggestion involved the development of community policing, but Brady acknowledged that the city hired a new police chief during the audit and the police department "ended up developing a lot of the things we ended up recommending in this report."

Councilman John Allard praised the city for undergoing the audit and said it's unusual for government to look inward at operating more effectively and saving money.

"Wouldn't it be nice if we would do audits at the state and federal level on how government operates?" Allard said. "Imagine the savings and reductions in government we could make if we could just implement that."

Councilman Tim Herman commended employees for participating in the audit, which had a 78 percent response rate.

"Hopefully, throughout all the audit cycles, we continue to get that kind of response from our employees, to be engaged in the process and continue making Roseville the best place we can be," Herman said.

Here's a look at some other items approved during the March 21 council meeting:

Law and Regulation Committee creation: The council unanimously approved the establishment of a committee to review legislation and regulatory items and take positions on behalf of the city on state and federal legislation and policy matters. Committee members will be appointed at a later date. Estimated cost is $9,000.

Carnegie Museum improvements approval of plans: The museum was built in 1912 and needs to be retrofitted and brought into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A wheelchair elevator will be installed outside the building, two accessible vehicle parking stalls with be constructed and an underground draining system connecting to the city's storm drain system will be installed. The project should be completed by August for $250,000 from the Capital Improvement Project Rehab Fund.

Fiber optic project approval of plans: Existing stranded copper interconnect will be replaced with 20 miles of fiber optic cable as part of the city's Intelligent Transportation Systems Master Plan approved in 2005. Construction should be complete by September for an estimated $893,564. Of that, $101,449 will come from local Traffic Mitigation Funds and $792,115 in Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds.

Water meter encoder receiver transmitter purchase: The city will purchase Itron transmitters, which allow the Environmental Utilities Water Division to obtain meter readings via a remote radio read process. The estimated cost for the initial two-year contract is $593,628.

Jail cell rehab and preventative maintenance budget adjustment: The city has recently experienced an increase in the number of arrests requiring the use of "sober cells" Friday and Saturday nights. The locking mechanisms, jail doors, control panels and security intercom system need maintenance for a total cost of $60,000.

Purchase of vehicles: The city will purchase two 2012 Ford trucks and a closed circuit television inspection van for a total of $221,795, which is funded through the Auto Replacement Fund.

Application for sobriety checkpoint grant: Police department will request $12,838 in overtime pay and to provide supplies for two sobriety and driver's license checkpoints from the California Office of Traffic Safety. If awarded, the checkpoints will be conducted during two nationwide anti-DUI mobilization periods in the winter holiday period and Labor Day period. Both are associated with higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and injuries.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.