A disagreement is brewing between Orange County and cities that use its services on a contract. For the county, it’s better to have multi-year deals, but cities like the flexibility of renewing yearly.

However, the situation demonstrates the power of supply and demand. As more cities look to the County to contract services, the County is able to better position itself. So in previous years, when cities were presented with yearly contracts, this year they will receive paperwork that commits them to no less than five-year deals.

Some services actually work on a twenty-year contract. Those contracts, in the eyes of some, are untenable. However, the longer-term contracts allow the County to budget resources to pensions and other costs more effectively.

Currently, 12 cities in the County contract some services from the County.

From the Orange County Register:

If cities want to continue contracting with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, they may have to make a longer commitment.

Police and fire services tend to be sacred cows, with cities rarely opting out of contracts or changing agencies.

But in recent months, a number of Orange County cities have looked for alternatives, requesting proposals from outside agencies and studying whether there are cheaper public safety options. County officials are now looking to cement agreements with contracting cities and will ask them to ink longer contracts.

Read the full article here.