Monday, December 5, 2016

Parsing the Parking Meter Contract

Jackson Ward 2 City Councilman Melvin Priester, Jr. opined on the parking meter contract on Facebook:

The parking meter contract really boils down to three issues:
1.) Do we have the right private partner?
2.) Do we have the right contract?
3.) Is the price right?

The private sector isn't magic and parking meters aren't rocket science.

If you don't have a partner who can do what they're promising, as the kids say, "you're gonna have a bad time."

Likewise, if the contract isn't clearly written;
if the contract doesn't provide specific expectations for service;
If the contract doesn't allow for proper oversight of the partner;
if the contact doesn't specifically address key contingencies; again, you are going to have a bad time.

Lastly, with regards to price, as the Brookings Institute notes, privatization (or "public-private-partnerships" in today's jargon) are "rarely the lowest-cost way to procure infrastructure," like parking meters. They are not the lowest-cost because, in this example with meters, rather than buying the meters and owning them outright and keeping all the profit ourselves, we now are splitting revenue with the private partner.

At the same time, however, as Brookings also notes, "a well-structured PPP can deliver better value for the public dollar." That's a polite way of saying that while it may cost the public sector more to privatize than if we do it ourselves, if we would do a bad job, it may be a better investment of public dollars to pay the premium and have the right private partner come in.

The key then is to have the right partner, with the right contract, for the right price to create a well-structured parking program.

Are we there yet? I think we're getting close. The proposal has changed several significant ways to the better since it was first presented to the city council in mid-October (for example, revenue sharing rather than a flat fee, addressing contingencies like what happens if the City has to shut down a street). According to the memo received yesterday from City legal, there are some points that are still being negotiated that IMO need to be finalized prior to a vote such as the terms of a buy-out clause if the City concludes that the partnership isn't working out.

At the end of the day, there is no such thing as a risk free deal for the city. There is no such thing as a deal where the private partner does all the work and we do nothing. We've done a poor job managing our parking program and bringing in a private partner won't magically turn things around unless we commit to doing things right ourselves internally (both pre- and post- contract). To everyone who thinks" hey, free money, hurry up and do this deal," I'll just say that this is all fun and games until citizens start complaining about being booted improperly or getting ticketed improperly because the private partner didn't have handheld ticketing devices that properly sync with the meters.


Anonymous said...

Thus far, in the last several years, and that is intended to suggest twenty or so, none of these K's have resulted in anything but loss for the city and tax payers.
Why is it that other cities, counties and even tri-county areas are successful?

Anonymous said...

That's a polite way of saying that while it may cost the public sector more to privatize than if we do it ourselves, if we would do a bad job, it may be a better investment of public dollars to pay the premium and have the right private partner come in.

Jackson's demonstrated track record is one of failure. Not a matter of if Councilman, only a matter of when.

Anonymous said...

This is a waste of blog-thread-space.

Anonymous said...

Can't these folks see the writing on the wall? Even states are giving up these private sector partnerships (private prison).
The revenue will not be enough to save Jackson.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is claiming it will save Jackson, 6:04. But I don't see why the city wouldn't do this. Jackson can't run and maintain its existing coin operated parking meters. Why in the hell would it ever think it can operate and maintain something more sophisticated?

Anonymous said...

It's not really a matter of saving Jxn, it's just getting a foothold in the positive direction.

BTW, 6:03, certainly that's your opinion but the blog doesn't belong to you, as far as I know.

Anonymous said...

Why require folks to pay for parking at all? Seems like an expensive proposition; between all those parking enforcement folks, accounting, vehicle maintenance, supplies, and so on, and so forth. Why not just let people park, and deal with abandoned vehicles as the problem arises?

Anonymous said...

Comparing this private meter effort to private prisons is the stretch of a mental midget.

Anonymous said...

They need to pay people to park downtown

Anonymous said...

Someone has been parking a corvette on State Street in front of Eaves Law Firm forever. Free front door parking. No valet needed.

Anonymous said...

haha and yep to 8:27!

Anonymous said...

8:01pm There is no way any one could describe Priester as a " mental midget". You need to read his resume. The Pew researchers are not mental midgets either.
A mental midget is a person who thinks that a for profit organization costs less to operate than a non-profit organization when they both have the same number of employees at the same wage doing the same tasks and own the same assets.
The kicker you missed was in privatization, those who told you it was a good idea gave away assets that you, the taxpayer owned. That allowed them to initially come in at a lower cost until they too had to maintain and replace assets.
If a private company can make a profit, so can the city. The problem also is that taxpayers focused on expenses and didn't realize that to make a profit, sometimes expenses have to increase to replace, repair and maintain or to hire competent people. You did not want to do that but you end up with the costs anyway for the private company so there was no avoidance except in the short term.
What is it about the word " profit" you don't understand?
" Crony capitalism" isn't capitalism at all. It is forcing the tax payer to pay for start up operations as an investors with no hope of return on investment or else it is in services privatization forcing the taxpayer to pay for all business expenses and have no share in the profits.
What it is , is political corruption made possible by mental midgets like you who believe propaganda design to dupe you. The same structure with the same people and same equipment at the same costs will get the same result.

Anonymous said...

Where did anyone refer to Priester as a mental midget? Doubt that @7:13 AM can even calculate ROI.

Anonymous said...

It ain't free, I can assure you.

exjxnres said...

Jackson thieves will find a way to steal the money from the parking meters, if only stealing the meters themselves. Anything for an easy buck....

Anonymous said...

As long as the City continues to embrace its Amos and Andy business approach, it will continue to slide deeper into decadence...

Anonymous said...

If the city of Jackson cannot handle something as simple as parking meters they should get rid of them. Parking meters and people. The problem Jackson has is there is too many hands in every cookie jar. Parking meters worked but there were too many people who had keys to them and used them as their private bank. Those who didn't have keys just took the whole parking meter. That will not change just by getting someone else to put up new meters. Getting rid of parking meters will save more than getting new ones. If they get rid of the ones they have they can get rid of the people who were supposed to handle them.

Anonymous said...

While working at the C-L a few years back, I had a parking space across the street. It was however quicker to park at a meter out back run in and run out to do my business. I gladly paid for the convenience. Then one day I pulled into a space that had just been used by a fellow C-L traveler. A meter maid from the city walked over from the other corner and said I could not park there. When challenged she told me I could not go inside and come out to feed the meter. Now she just watched me park! Great customer service.

Jackson needs the new credit card meters, very little money to walk around and collect. Goes straight to the bank.

Anonymous said...

7:35 am I could read a prospectus, calculate a return on investment and PI ratios before I got my MBA. I learned to do that my senior year in high school in my economics course.

See 8:01pm for the words " mental midget" and then look in a mirror for the definition.

Used Car Sales said...

9:31; John Arthur the elder has driven Corvettes for fifty years. The Junior J.A. has driven them since he struck oil. He gave up the Humvee when he so often was mistaken for a Bruthah.

Anonymous said...

You have state employees parking around the Woolfolk Building downtown ans there are no meters. When a person comes to the Woolfolk Building to do state business, there is no place to park - in the Woolfolk parking garage, there are no handicapped parking places as mandated by federal law. Some of the employees that park on the street free have a dedicated parking spot in the garage! What about it DFA? Will sou do something about this? I think not!

2016 Hottest Reporter Poll

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS