City council majority, you had better pay close attention to the mayor's parking meter plans.
For the last few years, Mayor Paul Dyster and his corporation counsel have routinely asked for council approval to "execute" various contracts - without the requirement to come back to the council for approval of the final written contract.
We urge the council to ask for all documents, all figures, and to insist on the council exercising their right to approve every contract in its final form that the mayor proposes the city enter into.
The Reporter suspects that the mayor's final plan for parking will be different than what it will be described to be.
We suspect that his plan is to privatize the city's parking meters and lots.
It means -- upon your authorization for the mayor to execute a contract for parking - if you do not exercise your right to review and approve the final contract - the mayor could sign away rights to the city's existing parking infrastructure and any additional parking infrastructure as described in the contract.
In exchange, the city would receive either a one-time buyout payment or a share of the parking revenue on a yearly basis depending on the agreement, with that agreement potentially in effect for decades.
In either scenario the city relinquishes rights to its parking future.
This kind of a contract must be carefully studied and not put into the mayor's hands without further council scrutiny.
You should make it clear that after he takes all the time he needs to make the best deal he thinks he can make for parking, then the council will need time too.
For some time, the mayor takes his time making a deal - for example the trash plan - and then he presents it before the council with an imperative to approve it quickly or else the city will be hamstrung, harmed or etc.
He did this with the Holiday Market, a flop, the Hamister Hotel - still not built, as well as the trash plan - a disaster.
Also we recommend that you study the history of how Chicago was ripped off for tens of millions of dollars when they signed a parking agreement.
Shady backroom politics and lobbyists produced the parking deal that Chicagoans now have to live with for decades to come.
Consider also that parking lots and meters, not only throughout the downtown but eventually across the city anywhere, wherever possible, is the goal of most private parking companies.
Can you picture parking Meters on Pine Ave?
What is in the parking agreement to prohibit it?
Parking agreements with private companies are written by expert lawyers for parking companies and they need to be studied with lawyers familiar with parking contracts.
The nature of the privatized parking beast is to seek more and more parking possibilities in order to realize greater profit.
And the dirty little secret of privatizing parking is that the companies almost always have a political component that allows them to quietly help some politician in return for a sweetheart deal.
Do some research.
Check out the deals that made selling out municipal parking to private parking a business that wreaks with high profits for the company, unfulfilled promises for the cities, and someone in government secretly smiling.
he Reporter does seriously advise the council to say no to Dyster's parking plan and make a careful independent study - free from the influences of Dyster's consultant, Desman and Associates - who have their own motivations in supporting the expanding Dyster parking plan.