Subst. Amnd: Towing dispatch/mgmt RFP (item #5, 5/21 Agenda)

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Don Zimmerman
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Subst. Amnd: Towing dispatch/mgmt RFP (item #5, 5/21 Agenda)

Post by Don Zimmerman » Mon May 18, 2015 2:59 pm

Below is my proposed substitute amendment for city staff's Item #5 Resolution.


RESOLUTION NO._________________ (DRAFT)

Whereas, the Austin City Council’s Public Safety Committee (“PSC”) heard extensive testimony on March 23, 2015, regarding Request for Proposal (“RFP”) EAD0119REBID, in which Austin Police Department (“APD”) would delegate to an independent company the total management of dispatch, towing, and impound services throughout Austin; and

Whereas, a crucial policy decision of delegating towing services management to a third party contractor was implicit in the RFP, a policy of significance to constituents that was not approved by elected City Council members; and

Whereas, an additional $25 fee for the new third party dispatch service was proposed on top of an already-high Austin towing fee schedule; and

Whereas, many local Austin towing company operators expressed objection to the RFP because of perceived favoritism that the proposal would benefit only three local towing companies; and

Whereas, there is consensus that new software tools – especially transactional-based Software as a Service (“SaaS”) for towing operations, to provide virtual real-time data to the public, using GPS and other appropriate technology, regarding towing operations including location of towed vehicles, and dispatching algorithms based on GPS data – are of great benefit to the City irrespective of whether such new software is utilized by APD dispatch or a third party company; and

Whereas, there may be consensus that early “first responder” tow truck travel to a crash site – prior to officer arrival and assessment of the crash scene – may most dramatically improve response time to clear away accidents, and that new software tools could optimize tow company service rotation utilizing GPS; and

Whereas, a vast majority of local Austin towing companies desire re-writing the RFP with a focus on more inclusion of local company input and better Austin constituent service; NOW, THEREFORE,


The City Manager is directed to redraft the “management of dispatch, towing and impound services” RFP following a formal public hearing conducted by the PSC, with significant testimony from towing SaaS software experts, at least a dozen leading Austin tow operators, APD dispatch experts, and other vested stakeholders.

The City Manager is directed to extend the Southside towing contract for non-consent tows, as is, until August of 2016. If Southside is not interested in extending the current contract for non-consent tows, as is, then the City Manager is directed to release an RFP similar to the existing contract covering the period from September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016, review the bids, and recommend who to award the bid to.
Don Zimmerman
Council Member District 6 (northwest Austin)