From Administration to Oversight: Privatization and its Aftermath in a Southern City

  • Michael R. Fitzgerald
  • William Lyons
  • Floydette C. Cory
Part of the Policy Studies Organization Series book series (PSOS)

Abstract

Nearly forty years ago R. M. MacIver (1947, p. 315) observed that ‘the tasks undertaken by government are dictated by changing conditions, and governments on the whole are more responsive than creative in fulfilling them’. Nowhere in United States political history is the accuracy of MacIver’s observation more apparent than among our municipalities. The colonial city, based upon a charter granted by the royal governor, or the proprietor, of the colony in which it was located, had very few governmental functions. They could maintain the peace, adjudicate disputes, own and manage property, sue and be sued, and own and manage municipal enterprises; but throughout the colonial period city government ‘had not too much to do’ and spent very little (Winter, 1969, p. 60). The escalating pace and impact of nineteenth century urbanization, industrialization, and massive immigration generated conditions, however, that overwhelmed municipalities. Their initial attempts to ameliorate, if not control or even in some sense direct, the multitude of problems attendant to explosive urban growth and deteriorating city conditions, involved faltering efforts to supervise private sector service delivery through contracts and extension of franchises.

Keywords

Depression Transportation Income Explosive Assure 

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Copyright information

© Policy Studies Organization 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Fitzgerald
  • William Lyons
  • Floydette C. Cory

There are no affiliations available

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