Chicago's Cautionary Tale of Parking Meter Haste-Makes-Waste

CHICAGO, July 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ Throughout most of 2008, Chicagoans found nothing new in their city leaders' attempts to improve the town's financial situation; but on December 1, headlines jolted them out of their routines. The media suddenly announced that the City had a winning bid for a parking meter concession. While Chicagoland was left struggling to discover that the City was even considering parking meter privatization, and before citizens had appropriate time to process the idea which had never been done in the United States the measure was hustled through government channels and approved on December 4, 2008. Furthermore, Chicagoans had to begin opening their wallets to pay their parking fees by January 1, 2009.

"I was stunned," says Author Michael Condon. "Why did Chicago City leaders choose a private parking meter concession to fatten the City's coffers, and, more importantly, how was it possible for such a deal to go from first major public announcement to approved in only three days?" As a result, Condon began research on his book, The Chicago Parking Meter Concession of 2008. Here he gathers the necessary and occasionally elusive details on privatization in general, and Chicago's parking meter concession in particular, through newspaper articles, transcripts, reports, and other key documents. "All available public information about the City's parking meter situation is conveniently pulled together in one place, which other sources don't do," he notes. In addition, Condon's work explores the repercussions of having kept the deal seemingly shrouded in secrecy and then sprinting it into action. According to Condon, "There have been financial issues, multiple investigations, re-negotiations, and even a major lawsuit."

Condon hopes the book's examination of the lessons this nearly unprecedented event unlocks for policy makers, city leaders, financiers, lawyers, scholars, and ordinary citizens will allow it to serve as a cautionary tale. Chicagoans cannot afford to allow such circumstances to unfold again, and other cities would be well-advised to learn from Chicago's quick adoption of parking meter privatization.

Michael E. Condon was raised in Chicago. He holds a B.A. from Western Illinois University, an M.A. from American Public University, and an M.Ed. from the American College of Education. Chicago's parking meter deal inspired him to write this book.

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Media Contact:
Lise Marinelli
Windy City Publishers
(888) 673-7126

SOURCE: Michael Condon

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