CORPUS CHRISTI -- The Chamber of Commerce held a town hall meeting at Del Mar College to get public feedback from business small and large on the city's street user fee.
On Tuesday, the city council voted in favor of hiring a consultant that will conduct a survey with the purpose of coming up with a fair formula for businesses. However, another option was brought to table by a local business that says there shouldn't be a fee at all.
Dozens of people including business owners and some city council members gathered for A town hall meeting. Among them former state representative Raul Torres, who, as a small business also has a stake in the matter of the street user fees.
After about 2 hours of discussion on what formulas to use and how to calculate a user cost for businesses, Torres suggested another option for officials to consider. A consulting company called Lean Six Sigma that uses a method to cut costs from a city budget, mostly by eliminating jobs.
"The idea is to reduce the size of government and make it more efficient for the taxpayers," Torres said.
He says this method worked in Irving, Texas where the city was able to trim 20 million dollars from their budget in 2007.
"The experts at Lean Six Sigma say that the city budget can be trimmed by twenty five percent, at 275 million at 25 percent you're looking at 60 million dollars we can cut right off," Torres said.
Torres says he's reached out to every member on city council including the mayor but hasn't got any feedback. City council members present at the meeting say the city manager has considered Lean Six Sigma but it's simply not practical because the city does not operate like a manufacturing plant where advanced technology can replace paid workers.
Still Torres is hopeful that after bringing up the option publicly will peek business owners interest.
"If in fact we can do this at a reasonable cost less than the cost of the study then why not do that first before you go around imposing a fee," Torres said.