Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced the members of an advisory panel put together to look at possible ways of privatizing Midway Airport. The panel has been put together to "represent the public interest for any potential transaction related to airport," according to a press release from the mayor's office. The panel will also work with an outside financial advisory firm as they consider potential privatization projects at Chicago's Southwest Side airport.
The members of the Midway Advisory Panel are:
· Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th Ward
· Frank Beal, Metropolis Strategies
· James Connolly, Chicago Laborers District Council (Vice-Chair)
· Martin Nesbitt, PRG Parking Management
· Martin Oberman, Attorney and former Alderman
· Peter Skosey, Metropolitan Planning Council (Chair)
· Ald. Michael Zalewski, 23rd Ward
Many Chicagoans are dubious of privatization deals on city property after the notorious 75-year parking meter deal. In an attempt to appease fears of a repeat debacle, the mayor's office outlined some provisions for potential Midway privatization plans. Those provisions include a requirement that any lease be less than 40 years long, the deal must have a revenue sharing program that increases the amount of money the city sees over time, and the plan must feature long-term funding for capital projects. The city council would also be given a minimum of 30 days to consider any privatization deal.