Parking enforcement to get an update

Parking enforcement is about to get a boost into the 21st century.
It's probably bad news for Downtown employees who live in constant fear of parking citations, but under a $1.4 million contract expected to receive the City Council's approval tonight, Affiliated Computer Systems, Inc., will be operating an integrated parking management system that will involve using handheld devices and license plate readers to track down and punish parking violators.

The proposed contract is part of City Hall's plan to move forward with recommendations for Downtown parking contained in the Walker Parking Study, which recommended raising hourly and monthly rates.

The contract would be for a year of service, including parking permit management, after which City Hall could opt to bring the function in-house.

Santa Monica currently issues more than 300,000 parking citations annually, generating more than $16 million in revenue, a City Hall report said.

The proposed contract with ACS is part of a $2.2 million spending package included on tonight's consent agenda.

The Big Blue Bus, meanwhile, will continue to outsource security services to a private operation under a plan expected to receive the City Council's approval tonight.

The council approved a contract extension with U.S. Security Associates to provide security at the Big Blue Bus facility in February worth $177,000, and tonight is being asked to approve $336,000 for an additional year of services. Hiring the firm costs 46 percent less than the $602,089 City Hall estimates it would cost to bring security operations in-house, according to a City Hall report.

Maintenance work at BBB headquarters is conducted 24-hours a day, so security guards are necessary at all times, city officials said. To avoid confusion, the guards' uniforms will be different from the uniforms worn by city of Santa Monica police and safety employees. They will carry pepper spray, walkie-talkies and cell phones.

The council is also being asked to approve an additional $33,500 for Tiller Consulting Group Inc. for actuarial services related to City Hall's self insurance programs.

The additional amount will bring the firm's contract to $83,429 and will last through 2012. It will also expand the scope of work to include an update of City Hall's insurance charges cost allocation methodology.

The council is also being asked to approve a contract worth $346,667 for tires for heavy-duty vehicles. The proposed contract with Tarulli Tire Inc. is for the remainder of this fiscal year and the following two fiscal years.

Also on the agenda is a $120,000 contract with Advanced Battery Systems Inc. for heavy-duty batteries for Big Blue Buses.

The council is also expected to adopt a resolution opposing the statewide ballot initiative known as Proposition 16, an initiative being backed by Pacific Gas & Electric that would require a two-thirds vote before a public agency could enter the retail power business.

According to a City Hall report, the passage of the initiative would make it more difficult for local agencies seeking to generate renewable energy in excess of state-mandated standards to provide electricity to customers. Santa Monica does not have its own electricity provider, but considered establishing one in 2001 and may consider the option in the future, the report said.
Affiliated Computer Systems Inc.
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