Rahm Emanuel signaled throughout his mayoral campaign that he’s open to all sorts of ideas for fixing the city’s budget problems. Still, while not ruling out privatization deals, Emanuel said repeatedly that they should only be executed within the framework of a “formal policy,” which he did not detail.
But his pick for the city’s new chief financial officer suggests he’s more open to privatization than he mentioned previously to reporters and voters wary of another parking meter mess.
Greg Hinz is reporting at Crain’s that Emanuel’s CFO will be Lois Scott, president of the financial advisory firm Scott Balice Strategies. Among other things, the firm is well known nationally for its work on government privatization deals, including proposals to privatize parking facilities in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles that were later put on hold. The firm was also hired by the administration of convicted former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to explore the possibility of leasing the state lottery.
In addition, the firm’s leaders have been frequent donors to city and state officials, including Blagojevich, city treasurer Stephanie Neely, and current and former aldermen.