DOWNTOWN — Faced 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 everything from paper clips to brake pads. Long-term ideas include a bus service linking the three cities.
The goal is to pull inspiration out of desperation, officials said, as they try to weather the worst recession since World War II.
Plans build on thriving joint operations that have saved the cities millions, 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 said it won't be easy, as the concept of regionalizing services means a reduction in staff.