A few months ago I published the first in a series “Put Lake Forest First” that demonstrated that the City spent 95% or more of our money outside the City. The first article covered spending in July 2012 and that was followed a few weeks later by articles about spending in August and September. The results –
• July – 5%
• August – 2%
• September – 4%
So it makes sense that we revisit City spending. In October the City of Lake Forest spent $2,470,277.20. Here’s a list of the top recipients (excluding utilities) for the month of October, along with their city.
• GMC Engineering, $388,543.57, Tustin
• Synoptek, $149,065.17 Boise, Idaho
• Land Forms Construction, $121,415.07, Laguna Niguel
• Spectrum Care, 105,964.86 LAKE FOREST
• CREF Pacific Vista, $103,500.81, Goleta
• Marina Landscape, $49,090.15, Anaheim
• Griffin Structures, $31,440.00, Laguna Beach
• RBF Consulting, $30,457.00, Irvine
• Athens Services, $25,709.88, City of Industry
• The PM Group, $20,816.33, LAKE FOREST
• Shelterclean, $12,755.00, New York
• Anderson Penna, $11,040.00, Phoenix
• Penco Engineering, $11,162.67, Irvine
Note that Lake Forest had 2 businesses in the list of top recipients, with a total of $105,964.86
Here are the other Lake Forest businesses and how much they were paid in October -
• Ameci Pizza, $182.47
• Bagels and Brew, $1498.57
• Din Ho, $560.00
• El Conejito $703.06
• Elite Automotive, $1926.88
• Kids Imagine Entertainment, $650
• Lake Forest Floral Design, $48.49
• Monogram Magic $203.53
• Outback Steakhouse $6211.63
• Peppinos $422.13
• Saddleback Signs, $134.69
• Smart Stop Storage, $2388.41
• South Coast Trophy, $495.53
• Spectrum Awards, $1750.94
• Studio Printing $3458.49
• Team One Janitorial $4915.00
• US Too Gymnastics $571.50
• Valvoline Oil Change, $110.78
Of the total $2,470,277.20 spent by the city of Lake Forest in October 2012, $131,769.02 went to businesses or people in Lake Forest – 5%. Of that amount, 82% went to a single company (Spectrum Care).
This 5% figure seems to be consistent in all the studies I’ve done in recent years. Often it is less than 5% but I can’t recall a time it was over 5%.
As I’ve said before, there is no excuse for such a small percentage of our money being spent on our people and businesses. While we all accept that utility bills and personnel expenses go to companies in other cities, and that some of our major contractors do not have local addresses, there are still millions of dollars being spent on office supplies, maintenance supplies and workers, instructor fees, entertainment expenses, etc. on people and businesses outside our city when there exist people and businesses within our city who could provide a comparable service at a comparable price.
Hopefully the new City Council will elect to “Put Lake Forest First” and put in place a system that will funnel a greater percent of our money to our people and businesses. I'm especially hopeful that newbie Adam Nick will lead the charge in this direction. On his website Adam says -
"Establish a “Lake Forest Comes First” program whereby when all other things equal, the business that is located in Lake Forest is awarded the contract assuming a qualified contractor is available in the city and they have submitted a proposal for consideration."
Whether we put it first or it comes first, let's get started.