The Power of Public-Private Partnerships

Indianapolis is a thriving job market, while Detroit is rapidly decaying and drying up. What's the difference? Policies encouraging public-private partnerships, according to this article from <em>Next American City</em>.
March 15, 2009, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Many politicians and members of the business community suggest that public-private partnerships - deals in which the government partners with the private sector to deliver a necessary service that it cannot afford, or which it wishes to provide more efficiently - have allowed Indianapolis to prosper. City governments can form PPPs to support small-scale projects, and may also lease the operation of their own assets, but if they want to forge a PPP to back a larger initiative, like a massive infrastructure project, they need legislative support from the state. Indiana law permits the formation of PPPs for infrastructure projects; Michigan law does not."

"The average American city works with private partners to perform 23 of 65 basic municipal services, says Rick Norment, executive director of the National Council on Public Private Partnerships."

"Some states have been slow to adopt PPP legislation because the deal structure can be viewed with suspicion. Unions may misunderstand how such partnerships function, says Norment, while local officials express concern that PPPs take jobs away from the public sector or allow big companies to come in and "squeeze out" local contractors."

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Published on Thursday, March 12, 2009 in Next American City
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