January 22, 2013


Are private toll roads a losing idea?

President Obama and others have called to create a “national infrastructure bank” that would leverage the credit backing of the U.S. to fund more privatization of public assets – also known as public-private partnerships. In other words, a federal bank to fund the selling off public assets with loans or guarantees provided at low interest rates. But is control of public assets a successful business model for the investors? Actually, it seems to be a disaster. Let’s look back at private toll roads over the years.  Reuters

IL: City outlines terms of Midway privatization

Companies interested in vying for a contract to privatize Midway Airport will have to agree to an array of stipulations, including a lease of not more than 40 years, according to documents posted online Friday that invite potential bidders to submit their qualifications. Chicago Tribune

NJ: Decision on Privatizing Police Dispatching Due Tonight

Tonight (Tuesday, Jan. 22) Lawrence Township Council will decide whether to privatize police/911 dispatching services by awarding a contract to a Cranbury company or keep the township’s police communications center staffed by municipal employees. LawrencevillePatch

MT: For sale – Our wildlife heritage and what Montana hunters/anglers stand to lose

Imagine giving up Montana’s five-week deer and elk rifle season so hunters who can pay $20,000 or more for a license can kill bigger bucks and bulls. How about buying an elk tag only to find that sections of public land where you planned to hunt are only available to hunters who bought their license from a landowner who was given the tag from the state. If it sounds far fetched or like the workings of a banana republic, it isn’t. Those things are happening throughout the West. And those same people want to bring this vision to Montana. The states give landowners tags to be sold in return for some limited access to private land for hunting. Helena Independent Record

FL: State plan to help charter schools irks Palm Beach County School Board

Some Palm Beach County School District officials are incensed at a state proposal to offer once again millions of dollars next year for capital improvements at charter schools — and none at traditional public schools. That plan, those officials say, has set up a political fight for the legislative session that begins in March. School officials in Palm Beach County have estimated their buildings and grounds have $1.4 billion in capital improvement needs over the next 10 years. “It’s absurd,” said Chuck Shaw, county school board chairman. “I don’t know where the state seems to think we’re supposed to come up with the money to maintain our schools.”  Palm Beach Post

PA: Opinion: Privatization as disdain?

The governor’s newest sweet deal, outsourcing administration of the Pennsylvania Lottery to a foreign shore, provides further evidence of a premeditated strategy that treats the commonwealth like the prey of a vulture capitalist and is consistent with with the shenanigans proposed for the Pennsylvania Turnpike and state wine and spirits stores. The winners will be the middlemen and their employees, taking a cut of the action; the losers will be the citizens — taxpayers, seniors and current employees — who live, work, spend money and pay taxes in Pennsylvania. Tribune-Review