Monday, December 22, 2014

IVI-IPO questionnaire: Parks


79. Do you support election of the Chicago Park District Board?  

Possible answer:

Illinois has more elected officials than an state in the United States. Does Illinois have better local government than other states?

It's popular to say these units of government, like the board of education, should be elected. But will it improve governing?

Rather than electing members of the Chicago Park District Board, the citizens should have the opportunity to recall specific members of the board or the entire board.

I'm concerned there are too many matters on the ballot already with elected judges and a large number of countywide offices.

Is it more important to elect the Chicago Park District Board or boards that oversee policing or transportation? We elect members of the MWRD board but not the board that does regional transportation planning? Which is more important?

80. Do you support increased privatization of park facilities and services?   

Possible answer:

I am very skeptical of privatization.

The Illinois Constitution should be amended that any privatization deal needs to be an ongoing arrangement that the unit of government can discontinue. The length of the contract cannot exceed the terms of the elected officials who approved the deal. So, a current City Council can't tie the hands of future City Councils with a deal that front-loads the benefits to the city.

But even when privatization isn't selling future revenue streams for cash in the present, I'm still skeptical of privatization.

What innovation allows private vendors to provide services cheaper than government? Driving down wages and benefits by union busting. Paying people less isn't innovation, it's taking advantage of them.

Also, with privatization can be an end run around anti-corruption and pro-diversity requirements.

Privatization is an extra layer of bureaucracy that doesn't add value.

81. Do you support prioritization of land acquisition and capital improvements first to those neighborhoods which are underserved by existing facilities?  
Possible answer:

Providing high quality services is more of a priority than land acquisition.

I'm concerned this commitment could be twisted. People in affluent high rises could say that based on the density of their neighborhood, they are the most deserving of a new park and then they insist on buying some parcel of land that costs a ridiculous amount of money to build a very small park.

I support having parks and quality services available throughout the city. If there's a specific area that's under-served,  let's talk about it. But I'm reticent to make a commitment that might mean something specific to someone else when I'm not sure what all the question entails.

No comments:

Post a Comment