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California Competitive Cities: A Report Card on Efficiency in Service Delivery in California's 10 Largest Cities

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Abstract:

Consumers turn to objective third-party reports for information on many of the goods and services they purchase. Likewise, citizens often turn to guides and report cards that evaluate how their governments perform on readily understood measures. Money magazine rates the best cities in which to retire. Fortune magazine rates the best cities for business. Governing magazine grades cities on how well managed they are (but does not look at service efficiency). The U.S. Conference of Mayors rates city livability. Many other guides and report cards evaluate various city attributes. Yet none of these reports examines how efficiently cities deliver services-- what resources does it take to pick up the trash, fix the streets, or provide fire protection? Do some cities use more or fewer resources than others? This Competitive Cities Report Card is a first attempt at filling that gap.