Privatization in Practice

Reports on Trends, Cases and Debates in Public Service by Business and Nonprofits


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About the Book

Cost efficiency was the initial goal of privatization—achieved in many cases but not consistently. Public services provided by the private sector were cheap in the beginning but became increasingly expensive, especially to low-income citizens. The lessons learned from early successes and failures gave birth to a new goal—effectiveness of services, as measured by accountable results. Government officials are not looking just for proven budget savings; they must also be concerned with the quality of public services and ultimately the happiness of citizens and communities. In its updated second edition, this collection of essays explores the good and the bad sides of privatization.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III, Ph.D., is Mayor George Christopher Professor of Public Administration at Golden Gate University. He worked as immigration commissioner for the city of San Francisco and is long-time President and CEO of the Pilipino Senior Resource Center in San Francisco, California. Roger L. Kemp, Ph.D., ICMA-CM, is Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the Edward S. Ageno School of Business of Golden Gate University and a career city manager for 25 years in California, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A prolific author, he is also a Fellow at the Academy of Political Science in New York City.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III and Roger L. Kemp
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7677-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2568-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Part I. Trends and Practices

1. Private Delivery of Public Services, 20 Years On  (John Carroll) 7

2. Public, Private or Nonprofit Providers  (Alicia Schatteman) 10

3. Time for the Plural Sector  (Henry Mintzberg) 12

4. Public Interest Partnerships  (Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III) 21

5. Contemplating Collaboration  (David Swindell and Cheryll Hilvert) 25

6. Shared Services and ­Cost-Saving Collaboration  (Monte Mercer) 32

7. Strategies for Contract Selection  (Cathy Lazarus and Ted Volskay) 37

8. Contracting for Performance  (Amanda M. Girth and Jocelyn M. Johnston) 43

9. Contract Management in Contract City  (Jonas Prager and John Flint) 46

10. P3 Structures and Arrangements  (Justin Marlowe, William Rivenbark, and A. John Vogt) 50

11. Recovery Budgeting and ­Public-Private Partnerships  (Amy Davis) 53

12. Third-Party Agreements  (Bob Bland) 57

13. Innovation in Public Management  (Katy Singlaub) 60

14. Managed Competition: Ten Years of Progress  (Tom Guilfoy) 66

15. Unloading Assets  (Christopher Swope) 69

Part II. Cases and Applications

16. Got Nightlife?  (Jim Peters and Alicia Scholer) 74

17. Business Improvement Districts  (Lawrence Houstoun) 80

18. Help Businesses, Shop Local  (Ken Pulskamp) 85

19. Love at First Site  (Jennifer Grzeskowiak) 89

20. The Station at Potomac Yard  (Helen S. McIlvaine) 93

21. Somber Spots and Bright Spots  (Craig Chavez) 98

22. The Park That Paid Off  (Greg Beato) 101

23. Mission: Green  (Ed Brock) 112

24. The Green Standard  (Connie Kuranko) 116

25. Solar Communities  (Anna Read) 119

26. Privatization of Waste Water Treatment Plant  (Ted Volskay) 122

27. Enterprise-Wide Computerized Work and Asset Management System (Steve Klepper and City Manager’s Office Team) 125

28. Private Works  (Robert Barkin) 129

29. Why ­Wi-Fi? Why Not?  (Kevin Fitchard) 132

30. Examining Parking Privatization as a Fiscal Solution  (David Taxman) 136

31. Determining the Role of P3: Building Inspections  (Kyle Steitz) 140

32. Arts Mean Economic Revitalization  (Robert Lynch) 144

33. Retirees: A New Economic Development Strategy  (Christen Smith) 147

34. Social Impact of Bonds to Fund Human Services  (Charles Taylor) 149

35. Public Library Privatization  (Muriel Strand) 152

36. Does Government Work Require Government Employees?  (John Buntin) 154

37. Is Public Safety Exempt from Managed Competition?  (Tom Guilfoy) 159

38. Public-Private Partnerships in Higher Education  (Frank Woodward) 163

Part III. Discussions and Debates

39. Privatization, Efficiency and the Public Interest  (Michael Abels) 166

40. Large Questions  (Paul Farmer) 168

41. Contracting Issues  (Institute for Local Government) 171

42. Putting Public Safety in Private Hands  (Dennis Compton) 174

43. Privatization of Medicare  (John Geyman) 176

44. Perils of Privatization  (Ann Hagedorn) 179

45. Arguments For and Risks of Privatization  (Chicago Council on Global Affairs Emerging Class of 2008) 182

46. Wows and Woes of ­Public-Private Partnerships  (Rachel Burstein and Edward Shikada) 189

47. Pros and Cons of Privatizing Government Functions  (Russell Nichols) 195

48. Benefits and Downsides of Privatizing Municipal Services  (Stephanie Rozsa and Caitlin Geary) 199

49. Public Policy and Privatization: Claims and Concerns  (Nora Leech) 204

50. Local Governments Scramble for Budget Solutions  (Christine Smith and Shelley Fulla) 210

51. Prudent Privatization  (Stephen Goldsmith )214


I. Privatization Glossary from the League of Women Voters 217

II. Managed Competition Guidelines from Washoe County, Nevada 221

III. League of Women Voters Privatization Position 228

IV. International City/County Management Association Steps to Effective Privatization 230

About the Editors and Contributors 231

Index 235

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Gonzalez and Kemp compiled an easy-to-read privatization handbook for citizens and communities.”—Jossie Alegre, Senior Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

• “A must read for the astute public servant.”—Ian Kaiser, City Manager, City of Rocky Ford, Colorado

• “Gonzalez and Kemp have assembled a superb collection of informative, up-to-date, highly readable chapters on the delivery of public services by business firms and nonprofit organizations. The volume is conveniently divided into Parts on trends and developments, often-critical discussions and essays, and two dozen lively cases. You will want to have this volume on your bookshelf.”— J. Steven Ott, PhD, Professor, University of Utah

• “An excellent how-to guide for business and nonprofit contractors.”—Terry Curl, DPA, Chicago Bridge and Iron senior engineering consultant and former assistant city manager

• “Gonzalez and Kemp have put together a highly accessible collection of real-world examples and discussions surrounding the provision of public services by organizations in the private and nonprofit sectors. The volume provides an excellent mix of case studies and thought provoking commentary on the privatization of public services that serves as an excellent resource for researchers and practitioners alike.”—Jesse Levin, PhD, Principal Economist, American Institutes for Research

Reviews of the first edition:

• “Excellent”—Choice
• “Guidelines, examples, and precautions are outlined”—American Libraries