Friday, June 12, 2009

How Do South Loop Aldermen Feel About the Parking Meter Controversy?

The debate on whether or not the city botched the parking meter deal is still raging. Micah Maidenberg of the Chicago Journal has a post today linking to stories and quotes from our local Alderman (Fioretti and Dowell) on how they feel about the news that the city might have sold the rights to the meters for 46% under the value they were actually worth (which results in approximately $974 million).

Dowell obviously would be troubled if the analysis is true:
"I don't have any regrets for voting yes. I voted the way I did because I felt that the arguments the mayor's office made about the deficit, the hole in the 2009 budget, the possibility of layoffs, this struggling economy - they were all factors that made me support that position," she said.

What about the inspector general's estimate the meters were undersold by $974 million? Dowell said she didn't have a way of knowing if that number was correct or not.

"I think what we were presented with from the administration appears to be a cogent analysis, but I’d like to see how the inspector general came to his conclusions," she said. Of the report put out by the inspector general, Dowell said, "I wish he had released the report earlier. I don’t have a way of really judging if his numbers are better than the mayor’s numbers at this point."

Dowell wants a hearing where William Blair, the firm that advised the Daley administration on the deal, and Hoffman's financial team explain their calculations.

"But certainly if [Hoffman's] analysis turns out to be accurate, we certainly didn’t get what the parking meters are valued at and I would be bothered by that," Dowell said.
The lease could have been discussed more: "I think there could have been more deliberations. There were alternatives discussed. The alternatives were layoffs and service cuts."
It's still puzzling and frustrating how quickly this whole thing went down...


Anonymous said...

Don't you mean "Aldermen"? I love the blog, but you need to proofread these posts.

Anonymous said...

These Alderman must not be too sharp. This is pure and simple business review and analysing data and knowing a few simple questions to ask:

What is the out clause if this contract sucks, is tainted, or they do not perform?

What is in scope and what is out of scope?
Do we have a listing of all parking spaces in scope, with history on revenue and some sort of usage history for existing meters?
What are the projections, business case sensativities, and forcasts if we keep and raise prices on our own?
Who pays for the boxes and upgrades?
In addition, with old meters, with maintenance and broken meters, there is losses and maintenance. They should have discounted this in the cost of their value when projecting going to the new credit card boxes. The new company will make out on just this alone.

Who from Revenue, CDOT, etc. are we getting rid of as a result of eliminating money counters and overhead that are now private jobs? What is the pension savings?

If the Revenue and CDOT can not provide information to forcast, then fire them as this is their job. When they empty the meters, they count the money, and record it by meter. If they can't get good projections than something is really wrong.