While I have not been a part of any discussions or plans involving consolidation, nor have I received a formal request to consider a consolidation plan, I believe the current economic conditions and everyone’s desire to find operational efficiencies make this the appropriate time to discuss the concepts of consolidation with the community.
How a consolidation is accomplished and configured, what entities are involved and the operational and organizational impacts require a thorough assessment and plan so that we as a community can make an informed decision as to what course is best in providing public safety in Collier County.
Today each of our public safety entities operates under separate governmental authorities with unique fiduciary, operational and organizational protocols. In order for the community to determine the best course of action, a thorough assessment and analysis of all these elements will need to be accomplished to determine all of the impacts, both positive and negative. Some areas that need to be considered include, but are not limited to:
• The staffing and service levels of each public safety provider as desired by the residents it serves
• How the various labor contracts, salaries and benefits of each public safety provider can be reconciled
• How to address the financial obligations and the ownership interests of real property and fixed assets of each public safety provider
Our community is already aware that I am committed to providing public safety services in the most professional and efficient manner possible. We have terrific fire, law enforcement and emergency medical service providers throughout all of Collier County. Together, no matter what the public ultimately decides, we will maintain the high level of service that our community expects and deserves in order to keep Collier County a great place and a safe place.