Thursday, December 10, 2009

Privatize this, Part 2!

It's been 18 days since I posted this, and 21 since Mike O'Brien's speech. (And more than a years since he first proposed the idea.) Nicole has blogged about it twice, including emails to city officials.

I feel like Keith Olberman's closing speech throughout the Bush Administration.

Today, Worcester Magazine's Jeremy Shulkin broached the subject of selling the City's parking resources.  I'm tired, cranky and don't really want to write about this, but here goes the quick quick version until I have more time and energy.

-Mr. Shulkin mentions that Harrisburg, PA had an offer for $215 million and rejected the deal. He also mentions discontent in Washington D.C. and Chicago regarding ticketing policies and high prices. Why doesn't he go into detail about these cities? Is it the limitation of the print media? Or is it because this seems to be a largely pro-privatization piece?

-Mr. Shulkin relies extensively on Rick Norment, the Executive Director of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of privatization.

-The NCPPP is an organization that relies on the existence of privatization (or their euphemism of Pubic-Private Partnerships). Where is the voice from the other side? How can Mr. Norment be the only expert quoted in this article?

Here's a few reasons why people mistrust privatization.

Eight links, minimal effort, three searches on Google that took nanoseconds and then some reading.


Nicole said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

I think it's also important to note that Worcester can't even finish its current public works jobs (Belmont Street from Shrewsbury Street to Lake Ave will likely remain scarrified indefinitely, for example). What makes us think that a one-time infusion of public works money (if that's where the parking privatization money would go...) will make the streets better? If we sign a thirty-year contract, all that would mean is that once in thirty years, things might look decent.

The city manager is a powerful voice in this city. We don't need the media outlets to amplify his voice with a minimal amount of criticism. We need research and honest dialog.

SFD said...

I've worked with Mike O'Brien in the past when he was the head of Parks, and he always listened to what people had to say. And he usually found his way to the best solution.

So I hope that enough of us pointing out the follies of privatization will bring him to the conclusion that this a bad idea.

A 30 year lease is ridiculous. 10 is stretching it.