FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2013
Emily Miller, Policy Director
Better Government Association
BGA TO MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL:
NO MORE PARKING METER DEALS—OPEN UP PRIVATIZATION PROCESS NOW!
|Andy Shaw, President and CEO of the BGA|
Despite the controversial parking meter deal, Chicago continues to explore ways to “privatize” other public assets, including Midway Airport. Before any privatization efforts begin, the Better Government Association is urging Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council to pass the Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance. The ordinance will establish a fair, open and transparent process designed to ensure the best deal for taxpayers.
In November 2012 the Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance was introduced in the city council by Alderman Roderick Sawyer (6th). Since then, it has languished in the rules committee and has never been called for an open hearing before the council—despite assurances from City Hall and Alderman Richard Mell (33rd), who heads the rules committee, that the bill would be openly debated by the full chamber.
“This ordinance ensures that privatization decisions are made in the best interest of the taxpayers through an open, deliberative process and not a secretive rush to judgment, which is what gave us the parking meter abomination,” said Andy Shaw, President and CEO of the BGA. “Mayor Emanuel, who touts his commitment to transparency, should support a City Council hearing on the ordinance.”
The ordinance requires the following before the city privatizes an asset or service:
- A cost-effectiveness study will be conducted to prove that privatization is economically worthwhile for taxpayers.
- All privatization deals over $250,000 be voted on by the full City Council.
- At least one committee hearing must be held before City Council can vote on a contract.
- To incentivize internal improvements, existing departments will produce a study identifying improved methods of service through techniques such as management reinvention, consolidation and re-engineering.