Squandered Heritage Vintage

Privatize City Hall?

Could private business do a better job of managing city services? Some cities are finding out. See this article in USA Today.

In the case of Sandy Springs, GA (population 100,000):
“A Colorado-based engineering firm, CH2M Hill, oversees all but the police and fire departments. The company focuses on raising revenues by rigorously enforcing building code regulations and licensing requirements and fining violators. Although some residents say the arrangement has enhanced city services, others fear the encroachment of a “police state,” the article said. The company says it responded to citizens’ calls for more efficient local governance.”

The company earns a percentage of fines and fees it collects and claims to be able to both raise city revenues and support its own profitable operations.

Could it work here?

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  • I think you might be trading the devil you do know for the devil you do not.

    A review by Government Accountability Office of 13 major contracts said last week the government had wasted millions of dollars, due mostly to poor planning by FEMA. Among the 13 were three of the four no-bid contracts for temporary housing, worth up to $500 million each, that went to three major firms with extensive government ties…

    The Shaw Group’s lobbyist, Joe Allbaugh, is a former FEMA director and friend of President . Bechtel CEO Riley Bechtel served on Bush’s Export Council from 2003-2004, and CH2M Hill Inc. and Fluor Corp. have done extensive previous work for the government…