The Newport Beach City Council directed city staff about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday night to move forward with negotiating a contract to outsource the city's trash service.
A roughly two-hour discussion before the 4-3 vote highlighted two main opposing concerns: the desire for the city to save money in the face of looming pension costs versus the widespread appreciation residents hold for their current trash service workers and the quality of service they provide.
Council members voted for city staff to investigate the proposals submitted by the top three private companies that wished to provide the work.
Tony Petros, Rush Hill and Ed Selich voted against the action, while Mike Henn, Leslie Daigle, Nancy Gardner and Keith Curry voted for it. The companies are CR&R;, Ware and Rainbow, respectively, as ranked by an independent consultant with the company HF&H.;
Moving forward, staff members will gather more information on each of the three company proposals for automated service, rather for service provided by hand as it is done now.
Staff will then return to the council at a later date with the additional information and for final approval of a single contract.
Tuesday night’s decision came after city staff guaranteed the council members and residents in attendance that the 16 full-time garbage haulers currently employed would be offered another job if the decision was made to contract with a private company to provide trash pickup.
The agreement to keep them on in some other capacity, if the workers so desired, was made in a closed-door session earlier Tuesday evening.