City to be managed by private company

A new city in Georgia is going to be managed by a private company when it “opens” December 1.

Organizers of the new city of Sandy Springs are gambling that a Denver-based company can help pull off an audacious experiment in privatizing almost an entire municipality.

Sandy Springs officials plan to have CH2M Hill-OMI fill virtually all the positions at City Hall at an annual cost of $29.7 million. In other words, CH2M Hill-OMI will be the government except for a handful of city employees, and the mayor and City Council. The 100 or so employees will be paid by and will answer to CH2M Hill-OMI. The major exception is that police, fire and E911 employees will work directly for the city.

I don’t see any reason why the “services” provided by this company couldn’t be purchased by individuals (instead of the city) in a free market. But hey, it’s a start.

  1. This is interesting. It’s very feasible that cities around the US (maybe the world) will start outsourcing the majority of their adminstrative operations to private companies. The good thing about this is that while no one that isn’t a libertarian thinks of it as a monopoly when the government is the only entity that can do something, many people think of it as a monopoly when only one [private] company can do something. Thus, in like 10 or 15 years, people may start demanding competition amongst city service providers. And maybe then they’ll start to see the fact that the best way to make those city services truly competitive is to let individuals decide for themselves which city services they want to use and in turn pay for.

    But maybe I’m just getting my hopes up…

  2. Interesting. The only thing is that people will start asking the company to serve the same role government used to. It might turn out just like the government. Or Maybe not. We’ve got to follow up on this.

  3. this already happening, though as quietly as possible, on a federal level. a little bird, who works for dhs, told me that the processing of immigration claims is being outsourced right now. so when you go into a immigration office, that person you speak with – depending on which city you are in – may not be a federal employee.

    not sure how this will play out, but at this point it is not saving anyone any money.

    further, the general “plan” for the immigration services agency is to make it self-supporting. that is to charge higher fees and potentially run a profit. i guess this will please the neo-cons in that, in an alternative reality in which this works, it will bring in money and keep out all those dirty poor people.