Tag Archives: New York

Sewer plan has usage-based fee, surcharge

Source: Robert Brodsky, Newsday, July 3, 2012

NY Nassau Mangano to revisit sewer privatization plan
Source: Joan Gralla, Reuters, May 17, 2012

New York’s Nassau County Executive on Thursday vowed to revisit his plan to privatize the county’s sewer and wastewater authority after a state control board rejected the contract for Morgan Stanley to serve as an advisor on the deal.

Nassau County, N.Y., Oversight Board Nixes Sewer P3
Source: Tonya Chin, Bond Buyer, May 21, 2012
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Concern Over Privatization of Nassau Sewer System
Source: Judi Bosworth, New Hyde Park Patch, May 20, 2012

Mangano selects United Water to take over sewers
Source: John Callegari, Long Island Business News, May 3, 2012

Mangano Pitches Sewage Privatization Plan in Wantagh
Source: Andrew Coen, Wantagh-Seaford Patch, May 10, 2012

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano made the case for his proposed sewage system public-private partnership Wednesday night during an informational meeting at the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh.

Mangano touted his plan to eliminate $750 million, or 25 percent, of the county’s $3 billion debt before a packed audience of around 100 people Wednesday night six days after Harrington Park, N.J. -based United Water was selected as a potential operator for the county’s sewage treatment system for at least 20 years. In addition to Cedar Creek, the county also currently operates the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway and Glen Cove Sewage Plant.

Mangano emphasized that the plan, which still needs to be approved by the Nassau County Legislature, will help stabilize the county’s Sewer Authority, which is set to face bankruptcy in 2014, by saving $22 million annually…

Opinion: Political Private Practice

Source: Gail Collins, New York Times, June 20, 2012

…In the dreary world of the real, privatization means turning over a government function to the private sector. It has such a long history that it’s a wonder we still have any public sector left…. Politicians of both parties are privatization fans, although the Republicans are more so….In honor of the campaign season, maybe this is a good time to point out some examples of privatization disasters. Texas tried to turn eligibility screening for social services over to a private company, creating all sorts of messes until it gave up the experiment. The most apocryphal story involved a privately run call center that told applicants to send their documentation to a number that turned out to be the fax at a warehouse in Seattle. …

CSEA Contract Approved, Busing Stays In-House / Issue of contract busing off table for next three years

Source: Jennifer Sloat, Kings Park Patch, June 19, 2012

The Kings Park Board of Education voted unanimously to ratify the Civil Service Employee Association’s contract, ensuring district busing remains in-house for the next three years. The contract will give a 1.25 percent raise in the first year, with no step increase, a 1.75 percent increase in year two, with no step increase and in year three, a step increase and a two-percent salary increase. District superintendent, Susan Agruso commended CSEA president, Rebecca Sobotkin for her efforts on the negotiations.

Suffolk guard privatization plan questioned

Source: Paul Larocco, newsday.com, June 11, 2012

Some Suffolk lawmakers are worried about County Executive Steve Bellone’s plan to privatize social services security guards, saying they know little about the firm that will soon replace unionized workers. Without legislative action, 21 guards at five county social service buildings will be let go June 30. Dreamland Security, the Bronx company that watches Suffolk’s nursing home and a health center, will take on the social service centers — but only through the end of August, when its existing contract expires.

Valley superintendents explain school merger plan at meeting

Source: Daniel P. Bader, GateHouse News Service, June 07, 2012

Approximately 80 residents heard from the three superintendents of Herkimer County school districts that are considering merging their schools.
Residents will be asked to vote in September on whether to combine the Herkimer, Mohawk and Ilion districts. Between Wednesday’s meeting and the vote, the community will have three more chances to learn about what a merged district would look like….

Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead

Source: Travis Madsen, Phineas Baxandall, Maryland PIRG Foundation, October 2011

From the press release:
A new research report released today outlines problems with the growing trend among cities to outsource traffic enforcement to red-light and speed camera vendors….The report, titled “Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead; The Risks of Privatizing Traffic Law Enforcement and How to Protect the Public” finds that approximately half of states have enabled the use of automated traffic law enforcement. Municipalities in these states contract with private companies to provide cameras and issue citations to traffic violators. Citizens have often objected to privatized forms of traffic enforcement and many municipalities have found themselves in legal trouble when they attempt to change or update these contracts. Traffic engineering alternatives, such as lengthening yellow lights, are often the best way to reduce injuries from red-light running. However, those solutions too often get ignored because contractors and sometimes municipalities are more focused on increasing revenue from tickets….
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City’s Department of Information Technology pays more than $50M per year for consultants

Source: Reuven Blau, New York Daily News, May 29, 2012

The city’s scandal-scarred technology department pays more than $50 million a year to some 600 private consultants — despite having a deep bench of techies already on the payroll. In his first public testimony, the new commissioner of the Department of Information Technology, Rahul Merchant, told a City Council hearing that the army of private help is needed. The contractors have expertise that the agency’s 1,111 full-time, unionized employees lack, he said….The city’s tech department has contracts with another 294 private workers who assist other agencies, he added….

Suspected school lunch fraud investigated

Source: Sharyl Attkisson, CBS News, May 12, 2012

CBS News has learned of a major investigation into the school lunch industry. The big companies that decide what food goes on your student’s tray may be cheating schools and taxpayers out of millions….Sodexo encouraged employees to buy from big food processing companies that in return gave Sodexo cash rebates. But New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Sodexo’s profit motives extended far beyond those employee bonuses, which are legal. He says Sodexo crossed the line when it pocketed cash rebates actually meant for the schools… Schneiderman said his office has uncovered a nationwide pattern of public schools getting ripped off. He’s fired off subpoenas to 10 more food industry companies…..Hawaii and California have joined in the fraud investigation. And at a meeting earlier this week, New York’s Attorney General briefed his counterparts from 15 more states….

See also:
Attorney General Cuomo Announces $20 Million Settlement With Food Services Company For Overcharging New York Schools
Source: New York State Office of the Attorney General, Press Releases, July 21, 2010

News Corp.’s New Interest in Privatizing Education

Source: Rebekah Wilce, Center for Media and Democracy, May 25, 2012
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Rupert Murdoch given $27M no-bid contract from state Department of Education
Source: Rachel Monahan, New York Daily News, July 31, 2011

More than a dozen private firms wanted to work on a project like the one the state Education Department is set to award to a Rupert Murdoch-owned company in a $27 million no-bid contract. Agency officials …to partner with News Corp. subsidiary Wireless Generation to build a data system of student test scores and other information….The News has also learned that Wireless Generation paid as much as $5,000 a month to lobbying firms to advocate for the contract and Race to the Top funds with state officials.

Infrastructure Banks Star in State-Local Test Runs

Source: Neal Peirce, Citiwire.net, May 25, 2012

Stalled in gridlocked Washington, a key idea pushed by President Obama — to create of an infrastructure bank to move our roads, rail and water systems up to competitive world standards — is getting a test run at the city and state level.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has inaugurated a Chicago Investment Trust, aiming for $7 billion in funding both from government and top private sector investors…To the west, California is beefing up the impact of its 13-year old Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank by putting it in a joint office with key workforce and small business promotion efforts in “GO-Biz” — Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development….But perhaps the most dramatic effort is in New York State, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s infrastructure fund and process — dubbed “New York Works” — represents a dramatic turn on dual fronts….