More of Daley’s sad legacy…
The parking meter company took in more than $80 million from meters across Chicago in 2011, according to documents it filed this week with city officials.
Chicago Parking Meters’ financial performance last year slightly exceeded projections of Wall Street analysts, who have rated the company a smart investment, said Matthew Hobby, an analyst with the Standard & Poor’s ratings agency.
For $1.15 billion, paid upfront, the City Council approved a plan championed by then-Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2008 that privatized Chicago’s 36,000 meters for 75 years. In a deal that was widely criticized for selling taxpayers short, Chicago Parking Meters was given the right to keep all meter revenues until 2084. Drivers have since seen sharp increases in parking rates under the deal.
After leaving office a year ago, Daley, along with his former corporation counsel and two top press aides, went to work for Katten Muchin Rosenmann LLP, the law firm that handled the parking meter deal for the city.
Since the meter deal took effect, city officials have paid the parking meter company more than $2 million in what they call “true-up adjustments” to make up for parking spaces taken out of service.
The amount billed for those adjustments skyrocketed in the first nine months of the 2011 budget year, to $14 million — a sum Emanuel is refusing to pay. The company hasn’t submitted its claim for the last three months of the year yet.
In an April 5 letter to Chicago Parking Meters chief executive officer Dennis Pedrelli, Emanuel’s chief financial officer, Lois Scott, blasted the way the company calculated those adjustments for last year, calling its invoices “legally and factually erroneous.”
Scott said that, under the parking meter deal, City Hall should be determining how much money Chicago Parking Meters is owed for those out-of-service meters — something the Daley administration had allowed the company to do.
(click here to continue reading Chicago parking meter company wants more money; mayor balks – Chicago Sun-Times.)
Gee, thanks, Mayor Daley and your rubber-stamp city council! Privatization strikes again…
While Chicago’s infamous parking meter lease deal quietly celebrated its third anniversary the first week of December, the city was releasing documents chronicling more evidence the privatization of the city’s more than 36,000 parking meters turned out to be more costly for taxpayers than originally imagined.
Financial statements, released by the Chicago Inspector General’s office via their Open Chicago government transparency initiative, reveals what many critics of the lease deal had feared–the city would end up owing or paying Chicago Parking Meters, LLC millions of dollars in compensation when any sort of change or activity by the city impacts parking meter revenue for the company.
Financial statements for the company show that CPM has billed the city an additional $2,191,326 in “True-up Revenue” through the end of 2010.
As the notes from the independent auditor’s report by accounting firm KPMG LLP to the financial statements explains:
“The Company has an agreement with the City, whereby, the Company receives compensation from the City in accordance with the Agreements in the event that the City implements changes to the System, which reduces the Company’s revenues (True-up Revenue).”
These same notes reveal the city owed CPM $533,290 in True-up Revenue for 2009 and $1,658,036 for 2010.
(click here to continue reading Parking Meter Firm Bills City Another $2.1 Million | theexpiredmeter.com.)
Street festivals seem to be the biggest culprit:
According to the over 500 pages of contract with CPM, these events could include any situation which would require the city to remove a metered space from the system (installing a loading zone, moving a bus stop, etc.), or if a tax on metered parking is imposed by the city, or when metered parking is temporarily out of commission during a closure.
While removing a metered space is usually handled by adding another space or spaces elsewhere in the city to compensate CPM, the most likely culprit for this over $2 million is street closures.
Closure is defined as anytime metered parking is taken out of commission for a prolonged period of time due to any street work, be it to replace a broken water main, for street repairs or resurfacing or even for a street festival.
Under the terms of the lease, any time this occurs above an annual allowance, CPM can file a claim for the loss of potential revenue due to street closure.
But wait, there’s more indignity!
Last week Chicago Parking Meters, LLC sent the City a bill for $13.5 million in revenues they lost from motorists with handicapped parking placards parking for free in metered spots. Today our friends at The Expired Meter report the company also sent the City a bill for an extra $2.1 million in what they call “true-up revenue” related to street closures.
Our analogy comparing the parking meter deal to herpes becomes even more apt.
(click here to continue reading Parking Meter Company Bills City for Street Closures: Chicagoist.)
A few interesting links collected May 1st through May 5th:
- Today’s Stuff… | 1001 Positively True Stories of an Indie Filmmaker – "Today I saw (for the first time) footage from a Flip HD camera"
my footage, actually, which is embarrassingly brief and poorly shot. Oh well, I had fun making the clip anyway
- theexpiredmeter.com » Blog Archive » Protect Yourself Against Broken Meters – "This flier reminds ticket writers of what the municipal code says in regards to parking at a non-working meter.
9-64-190 Parking meter zones – Regulations …It is not a violation of this section to park a vehicle at a zone or space served by a meter that does not function properly…"
- Friday Flashback: The Haymarket Massacre – Chicagoist: Chicago News, Food, Arts & Events – Photo of the Haymarket memorial sculpture by swanksalot
Since today is International Workers' Day, a day meant to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre that took place in Chicago in 1886, we thought a brief look at the tragic event important to the labor movement around the globe was in order.