May 20, 2008

PA: Inside consortium looking to lease turnpike
Should huge college endowments pay tax?
Talk of TVA privatization goes way back
MA: Battle over sale of Boston city hall

MI: City outsources accounting jobs
PA: Waste plan not down drain
Upcoming events

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News Summaries
PA: Inside consortium looking to lease turnpike
The group that submitted the highest bid to lease the Pennsylvania
Turnpike is made up of three entities: Abertis Infraestructuras (at 50
percent), Citi Infrastructure Investors (41 percent) and Criteria
CaixaCorp (9 percent). Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Meanwhile,
presidential candidate, Ralph Nader said that the proposed
corporatization of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is an unconscionable
“long-term giveaway to big banks and foreign corporations.”“The
public paid for the turnpike,” Nader said. “The public should maintain
operational control. The turnpike is a commonwealth asset for motorists
and workers.” Third Party Watch
Should huge college endowments pay tax?
With nine of its colleges and universities boasting endowments above
$1 billion, Massachusetts is now center stage in the emerging national
debate over whether wealthy schools are doing enough to justify their
tax-exempt status. "There is an exorbitant amount of wealth that has
been generated with these endowments, especially in the case of Harvard
and MIT," about $35 billion and $10 billion, respectively, says
state Rep. Paul Kujawski (D), who proposed the tax plan in part because
the state is facing a $1.3 billion budget gap. "When is a nonprofit
onsidered not a nonprofit?" he asks. The Christian Science Monitor
Talk of TVA privatization goes way back
Calls for the privatization of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the
nation’s largest public utility, have spotted the agency’s 75-year
history. "I think the privatization idea is one that gets pulled up
once in a while because we are a government-owned corporation, but
privatization is not a good idea because if we privatize, whatever
company bought TVA would have to pay dividends to its shareholders,"
said TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore. "If we were privatized,
somebody would want to earn a profit to pay to shareholders; we don’t
have to do that." Privatization advocates and TVA critics have a
decades-long history. Times Daily (Northwest AL)

MA: Battle over sale of Boston city hall
In 2006 Mayor Thomas Menino proposed selling both city hall and its
plaza to private developers and relocating the city’s seat of
government to a waterfront site in South Boston. Menino had previously
floated the idea of moving city hall in 1998, though nothing came of it
at that time. The newly formed Citizens for City Hall is lobbying for
keeping city hall where it is, in the heart of the city, and
revitalizing it into “a green, state-of-the art public building.”
Co-founder Herbert Gleason said relocating city hall and turning the
current site over to developers would be a legal minefield. Not only
would the majority of the current city council oppose the move, but
because the Massachusetts constitution protects public spaces, the
state legislature would have to approve the sale. Gleason called the
road to privatizing the city hall site “very stony.” Commercial Property News
MI: City outsources accounting jobs
The 2008-09 budget Saginaw’s City Council passed Monday will shift
accounting jobs to the private sector despite pleas from staff and
union members who fear a beginning trend of job-outsourcing. The Saginaw News
PA: Waste plan not down drain
Water Commissioner Bernard Brunwasser says a new, privatized sludge
plant in Southwest Philadelphia would reduce the human waste stored on
site. What seems like an easy sell has been anything but because, in
part, it would eliminate 60 union jobs at the city’s current
"biosolids" plant, a nice name for the not-so-nice mess that comes out
of the city’s wastewater. The Nutter administration introduced
legislation yesterday in City Council that would allow a private
partnership, led by the country’s largest biosolids contractor, to take
over disposal from the city’s wastewater treatment facilities.
Upcoming events
Symposium. The Institute for Infrastructure and Information Assurance
at James Madison University holds a 2008 Homeland Security Symposium on
public-private partnerships Events begin at 8:50 am Highlights: —
8:50 am: Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md., delivers opening
keynote remarks — 3 pm: Assistant Homeland Security Secretary for the
Private Sector Alfonso Martinez-Fonts, delivers closing remarks.
Thursday, May 22, All day. National Academy of Sciences Building, 2100
C Street NW, Washington, D.C. Contact: 540-568-3621, [email protected]