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Mayor Assembles Group To Test Midway Privatization

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Mayor Assembles Group To Test Midway Privatization

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A month after Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his intention to explore the privatization of Midway Airport, he appointed a committee to get the job done.

Emanuel appointed two city council members, a labor leader and several prominent members of the business community. They're tasked with exploring a privatization deal, a touchy subject after former Mayor Richard Daley's controversial parking deal.

Emanuel said in December he wants to explore all options and will only move forward "if certain conditions and criteria are met."

"We all know the parking meter deal was bad for taxpayers and the city," Emanuel said, "and I have instructed my staff to ensure we mandate significant changes that protect us from the mistakes made with the parking meter deal.”

While "privatize" is a tricky word in Chicago, not everyone's against it.

Sen. Mark Kirk's office has said Kirk is "a strong supporter of public-private partnerships that provide value to taxpayers" and looks forward to working with Emanuel on the process.

The board includes Ald. Michael Zalewski (23rd), Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), former Ald. Marty Oberman, Laborers District Council member James Connolly, Marty Nesbitt, Metropolis Strategies executive director Frank Beal and Metropolitan Planning Council Executive Vice President Peter Skosey.

Their first meeting is Friday.

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