The city will not have an outside consultant analyze its police and fire departments.
The city commission voted 5-1 Monday night against hiring the International City/County Management Association to analyze the efficiency of its safety services.
City commissioner Dave Waddington dissented. Commissioner Kim Nuesse was excused from the meeting for an out-of-state teaching assignment.
Julie Farrar, who led the charge against the analysis from its outset, kept her comments brief, and the commission followed her lead.
"I'm not going to rehash everything I've said since March 22," Farrar stated. "A (request for proposal) was not put out. It's money we do not have. If we're going to do something like this, we should put it out for bid."
The safety services analysis would have cost $63,500 and has generated a lot of debate within the last few months.
As opposed to call volume -- the statistic that most departments use -- the association has a unique software that measures the amount of time officers are actually working, consultant Leonard Matarese previously said.
Identifying a police or fire department's workload is paramount to making staffing decisions, he said.
"How can you make a proper decision without all the facts and data?" he asked.
Some of the commissioners who voted against the analysis, including Pervis Brown and John Hamilton, said they weren't opposed to an independent look at the city's safety services but said the city needed a full-time manager and department heads before proceeding with it.
Without the proper leaders in place, the city would have trouble implementing the recommendations of the analysis, they said.
Former city commissioner Bob Warner, who gave a profanity-dotted speech opposing the study, said if the city did the analysis, it should be put out for bid.
"I think it'd be kind of illegal," Warner said of allowing the study without putting it out for bid.
Interim city manager Don Icsman said the city didn't legally have to bid out the analysis. The agency offers a unique service with its workload software. He compared it to paying for a lawyer or financial consultant: If a person or company offers a specialized service, the city does not need to bid it out.
Jerry Garrett, representing the local chapter of the NAACP, spoke in favor of the analysis.
"The ICMA proposal provides the tools and the resources needed to make the critical decisions regarding our public safety forces," he said. "For far too long, we have let the status quo -- with questionable tools and comfort and familiarity -- dictate the direction of our public safety forces. This commission has the opportunity of new tools to guide us and move us forward."
Hamilton said he might consider some type of analysis in the future. But the interim fire and police chiefs and interim city manager were reasons to vote against the study.
"I can see the point where we do need somebody on the outside to look at this," he said, "but I don't think the time is right."