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Privatization Pros, Cons Discussed at Local Event

Leaders from different levels of government shared their perspectives on the issues surrounding the privatization of government services at a March 13 “Lunch and Learn” forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Falls Church. The forum was part of an ongoing nationwide study by the League of Women Voters of the United States; the Falls Church League will meet later this month to develop its position on questions raised by the national study, including identifying strategies to promote transparency and accountability when private companies take over government services. Kathy Allan, superintendent of public works for the City of Falls Church, was among the featured speakers and described the five-year process through which the city government decided to turn its solid waste disposal over to a private contractor.

In response to audience questions about proposals to sell the city’s water system to a private companty, City Manger Wyatt Shields, who was in the audience, explained that the city has not yet made a decision to sell the system, but it has solicited and received several responses to a Request for Information. He noted that the sale of the system would require the approval of city voters. If the City Council decides to move forward, he said, it was likely that the question would be on the November ballot.