Phoenix Efficiency Committee Saves Taxpayers Another $5 Million, Continues Searching for Spending Cuts

There's been much squawking in Phoenix about the need to outsource, to privatize and to slash government costs -- and it was a pledge that many of the six mayoral candidates made as they ran in the first leg of the Phoenix election.

Now that the field of candidates in the mayor's race has been narrowed to two -- Wes Gullett and Greg Stanton -- both continue to say they will work to scale back various elements of city operations.

What might get overlooked is that Phoenix officials are already working to whittle away at municipal spending.

Here's what they boast so far:

This fiscal  year, Phoenix will outsource $477 million, the highest level in the city's history.  The number of full-time, non-public safety positions has decreased by more than 1,203.

And they aren't done.

The City Council Finance, Efficiency and Innovation Subcommittee approved hiring a chief innovation officer and switching to same day collection for garbage and recycling waste.

Consolidating the garbage and recycling collection will save Phoenix taxpayers another $5 million over five years.

City officials point out that it makes is more convenient for residents since they will only have to put the cans out once a week instead of two. And it reduces operation and maintenance costs by eliminating of 12 collection routes -- and of course, eliminates the use of the trucks and drivers.

The decisions made by the Finance, Efficiency and Innovation Subcommittee will be considered for approval by the full City Council before they become official.