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Forum: No Midway deal without key safeguards

Updated: April 1, 2013 12:12PM



As Chicago explores the potential for a public-private partnership to manage Midway Airport, Mayor Emanuel and the Midway Advisory Panel I chair are charged with determining if a suitable contract is possible — one with a sensible transaction structure and a fair, competitive process that provides taxpayers the best value. Unless and until those concerns are satisfied, no deal.

The city has hired Credit Suisse and Mayer Brown, firms with the experience and skills to go toe-to-toe with any party. The advisory panel will have an independent adviser to monitor the public’s interest, including upholding the Traveler’s Bill of Rights.

The mayor has committed to a 30-day period for aldermen and the public to review and comment on a potential deal, and the panel’s adviser will provide an independent report — time and insight that no past Chicago privatization agreement has had.

Unprecedented transaction parameters require that the city remain a partner with the private operator over the entire lease, limited to 40 years, and receive payment over time rather than upfront to align the interests of the city, taxpayers and the private operators.

We have learned from the past and are putting the proper safeguards in place to evaluate a Midway Airport proposal on sound economics and good public policy.

Peter Skosey

Executive vice president

Metropolitan Planning Council

Chair, Midway Advisory Panel

Concealed carry won’t mean Wild West

The politicians, police, restaurant owners, physicians and other parties intent on denying law-abiding citizens their constitutional right to defend themselves should look beyond the state of Illinois to the other 49 states, all of which have a concealed-carry law.

They will see that the United States of America has not reverted back to the Wild West.

With carefully enacted legislation to control what venues are off limits for concealed carry, coupled with mandatory training and comprehensive background checks, I don’t believe the citizens of Illinois would behave any different than the millions of people across America who possess concealed-carry permits.

John F. Livaich

Oak Lawn

No Taste would be no loss

Who cares about the Taste of Chicago being canceled? It attracts gangbangers and crime.

If you want to eat, go to a nice restaurant and relax.

The city should use the roughly $1.6 million lost during the last two years of the Taste to hire more police officers to combat the out-of-control homicide rate.

Roger J. O’Brien

Chicago



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