In reading about our citys leaders' ongoing exploration of the lease or sale of assets that were built with taxpayer money to so-called P3s or public/private partnerships, it seems clear that this is an idea that is devoid of any real analysis of future outcomes based on past results, appearing like yet another "leveraging" deal that pretends it is something that it is not, resulting in defrauded taxpayers and embarrassed officials.
For an example of red faces one only has to go to Oakland and visit the endowment fund administrators of Pitt and Carnegie Mellon, who were enticed by greed to send more than $100 million of donated cash to an out-of-state firm that used the money to buy teddy bears and horse food.
Regardless, the money is gone, valuable research and educational programs will suffer and you can find the "smart" guys at the same club buying each other drinks with their fees from this public/private partnership.
The fees are what drives these deals, and our star-struck representative may have felt like the prettiest girl at the ball in New York ("City Exploring More Lease Arrangements," March 4), but the city shouldn't mistake the motivation of financial professionals as a comfort but instead a warning.
The idea of leasing the parking business that has a book value of $122 million and debt of over $100 million as an answer to the pension problems is without any merit and does nothing but take money from the future and move it into the hands of the current administration, which has shown no understanding or leadership to date.
The March 4 article about this claims that the garages will lease for "several times" their book value, a doubtful outcome when you look at the debt and the restrictions that come with the deal, so officials should be very careful about overselling this until, and if, they get real offers that they can understand and explain.
JOSEPH F. STAFURA