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Amid recession, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank consider sharing some city services

May 16, 2010 |  7:41 pm
http://www.burbankleader.com/content/articles/2009/11/03/news/blr-curfew110409.jpgFaced with multimillion-dollar budget deficits brought on by spiraling revenues and escalating employee costs, Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena are considering consolidating a wide range of services and programs to save money.

Early discussions focus on the viability of joint police dispatch, consolidated technology services and achieving economies of scale by buying a variety of products -- paper clips as well as brake pads -- together. Long-term ideas include a bus service linking the three cities.

The goal was to pull inspiration out of desperation, officials said, as they tried to weather the worst recession since World War II.

Plans build on thriving joint operations that have saved the cities millions of dollars, such as Burbank’s Magnolia Power Plant, a police helicopter program and a regional communications center that serves 875,000 people over 134 square miles.

Even as they stress that the ideas are in their infancy, officials say it won’t be easy, as regionalizing services means a reduction in staff.

“I think we have tremendous relationships with Burbank and Pasadena, and in the past we’ve had a number of areas where we’ve cooperated effectively,” Glendale City Manager Jim Starbird told the Glendale News-Press. “There can be more areas, though. And in these times of budget pressure, there is enough critical mass to get over some of the organizational resistance that might arise.”

Read the full story here.

-- Christopher Cadelago, reporting for the Glendale News-Press

Photo: Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena jointly operate Bob Hope Airport. Credit: Burbank Leader