News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 06/18/2015
Subject :

City Recommends Outsourced Enforcement of Residential Parking Permit Program
Contact : Suzanne Mason, Assistant City Manager    650/329-2533
Claudia Keith, Chief Communications Officer    650/329-2607
Palo Alto, CA – City staff is recommending that the City Council implement its Downtown Residential Parking Permit Program (RPP) using an outside contractor for the parking enforcement of the pilot in an effort to get the program up and running sooner and with an experienced operator. The staff recommendation and contractor proposal will be on the City Council agenda for approval on June 29.  

The City currently has eight Community Service Officers who enforce parking, and the new program will not displace these current employees.  However, City staff is recommending that the Council outsource the work to a firm, Serco, with experience and training in similar residential parking programs in order to speed up its implementation.  Online permit sales for the RPP program are scheduled to go live in August.  

Serco has indicated it could have the enforcement program up and running in 60 days.  The City has estimated that using existing staff or hiring additional staff would delay the implementation of the program by up to a year that would be spent on training on new technology and redeployment of personnel.  

"This is a pilot program that will require a flexible, adaptable and changeable approach to staffing throughout the project," said City Manager James Keene.  “That is not possible using existing staff, and our community has been advocating and working on this program and expects to see it implemented as soon as possible.”  

The City has been negotiating on the outsourcing issue with labor representatives from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) since last December.  In March, the City declared impasse with the intention of bringing the outside contract to the City Council for approval in April.  However, in May, SEIU requested the matter be sent to fact finding, a state mandated process in labor relations with public employers and heard by a neutral third party, which occurred on May 29.  

The City received the fact finder's report this week, which does not recommend contracting parking services for the pilot Downtown RPP.  However, the fact finder’s recommendation is advisory only and has no binding authority.  

The City has indicated that it will evaluate alternative staffing options at the conclusion of the pilot including a transition to City staff operating the Downtown RPP with training opportunities for employees in their current assignments.   

To read the fact finders report, click here.  To read the City’s dissent, click here.