Last month I reported that the brokers of Chicago’s parking meter deal were taking their show on the road, most notably to Pittsburgh, where city officials have signed up the investment bank Morgan Stanley and the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman to advise them on a potential lease of parking meters, lots, and garages. The city of Chicago paid Katten Muchin Rosenman about $720,000 to do legal work on the privatization of our meters and downtown parking garages, and Morgan Stanley is the primary investor behind the operation that controls the meter system for the next 74 years.
But it sounds like members of Pittsburgh’s city council have heard Chicagoans grumbling about our deal and want to learn more before they enter into one of their own.
Leslie Hairston—one of five aldermen to vote against Chicago’s meter agreement—appeared at one of their meetings and answered their questions for a couple of hours Thursday. Daley administration officials were invited, too, but our mayor and his people declined the offer.
In an interview Friday afternoon, Hairston said it was well worth her time—and that it presented a stark contrast to the lack of deliberation that preceded Chicago’s deal.