August 20, 2013


Towns Try to Take Back Water Systems. Water fights are simmering in small towns across the country this summer, as rate increases irk residents and spur local governments to try to take over privately owned water systems. Municipalities in Massachusetts, California and Texas have recently filed lawsuits or set ballot measures in a bid to gain control of their water systems. Private firms have defended their rate increases, saying they have had to spend money to improve the infrastructure and are entitled to make a profit. Wall Street Journal ($)

LA: Audit shows privatization of mental health services in Louisiana increased costs. Bobby Jindal’s privatization of mental health and addictive disorder treatment programs has created confusion and added costs for the local human services districts that provide the care, according to an audit released Monday.           

KS: Changes to privatize Kansas child support system raises questions about process, contracts. Private contractors are preparing to take over operations of the Kansas child support system from a state agency even as questions remain about how the contracts were awarded.,,,, Contracts were awarded in June on a competitive bid process, though Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka says one contractor seemed to have an inside connection to landing the contracts.  The Republic

NY: Pushing Privatized “Partnership” Agenda at New York City’s Public Parks — Part 3. Recently, in a rather long interview with the New York Observer, former NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said that during his ten-year tenure overseeing our city’s public spaces and recreation areas, Mayor Michael Bloomberg never told him to seek out “public-private partnerships” to help fund maintenance and activities at New York City parks. He told the reporter that “the [Bloomberg] administration encouraged us to be creative.” Huffington Post

NAFTA Superhighway: Private operators vie for I-69 in Indiana. P3s don’t merely contract a private firm to build the road like most procurements, the corporations gain complete operational control over the public’s highways and, usually, the power to tax by setting toll rates. San Antonio Express