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)


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.


City Council Council Member Private Provision Municipal Service City Official 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. ARMINGTON, R. Q. and W. D. ELLIS (eds) (1984) This Way Up: the Local Official’s Handbook for Privatization and Contracting Out (Lake Bluff, IL: Regnery Books).Google Scholar
  2. BAILEY, E. (1985) Knoxville City Councilman. Telephone Interview, 2 October.Google Scholar
  3. CHAFIN, M. (1985) Deputy Public Service Director. Telephone Interview, 26 August.Google Scholar
  4. CITY OF KNOXVILLE (1984) Transcript of public hearing held on 22 March.Google Scholar
  5. CLARK, T. N., G. E. DESEVE and J. C. JOHNSON (1985) Financial Handbook for Mayors and City Managers, 2nd edn (New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold).Google Scholar
  6. FISK, D., H. KIESLING and T. MULLER (1978) Private Provision of Public Services (Washington, DC: Urban Institute).Google Scholar
  7. Gregory, W. T. and G. R. Saffold (n.d.) ‘Privatization: a review of private sector ownership options for public projects’ (n.p.: Smith Barney, Harris Upham).Google Scholar
  8. HAYES, E. C. (1984) ‘In pursuit of productivity: Management innovation in Scottsdale’, National Civic Review, 73, June, 273–7, 291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. HENIG, J. R. (1985) Public Policy and Federalism: Issues in State and Local Politics (New York, NY: St Martin’s Press).Google Scholar
  10. HETHERINGTON, B. (1983) ‘Garbage plan dumped after firm’s bid fails’, Knoxville Journal, 20 December, A3.Google Scholar
  11. INTERNATIONAL CITY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION (ICMA) (1980) ‘Contracting with the private sector for municipal services: A dialogue between practitioners’, Management Information Services, 2: 117.Google Scholar
  12. JONES, C. (1985) Knoxville City Councilman. Telephone Interview, 2 October.Google Scholar
  13. LOCKER, R. (1978) ‘Metro plan rejected’, Knoxville Journal, 8 November, 1, 16.Google Scholar
  14. MACIVER, R. M. (1947) The Web of Government (New York: MacMillian).Google Scholar
  15. MARLIN, J. T. (1984) Contracting Municipal Services: a Guide for Purchase from the Private Sector (New York: John Wiley).Google Scholar
  16. MCNEIL, H. (1985) Knoxville City Councilman. Telephone Interview, 30 October.Google Scholar
  17. MEYER, M. E. and D. R. MORGAN (1979) Contracting for Municipal Services: a Handbook for Local Officials (Norman, OK: Bureau of Government Research, University of Oklahoma).Google Scholar
  18. MOXLEY, C. (1983) ‘City to dump trash collection business’, Knoxville Journal, 3 November, Al, A14.Google Scholar
  19. PASCAL, A. H. (1984) ‘The hidden costs of collective bargaining in local government’, in B. Bozeman and J. Straussman (eds), New Directions in Public Administration (Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing).Google Scholar
  20. REYNOLDS, I. (1985) ‘Waste management’, Knoxville News Sentinel, 1 July, BlGoogle Scholar
  21. ROBERTS, M. (1985) Knoxville City Councilman. Telephone Interview, 9 October.Google Scholar
  22. SALIMANDO, J. (1985) ‘Knoxville saves millions’, Waste Age, September, 1–3.Google Scholar
  23. SAVAS, E. S. (1982) Privatizing the Public Sector (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House).Google Scholar
  24. SHARP, J. (1985) Knoxville City Councilman. Telephone Interview, 24 September.Google Scholar
  25. SMITH, E. C. (1982) ‘Service contracting and user fees’, Public Sector, 5, Summer, 1–5 (Auburn, AL: Auburn University, Office of Public Service and Research).Google Scholar
  26. STEELE, L. B. (1985) Knoxville City Councilman. Telephone Interview, 2 October.Google Scholar
  27. STRAUSSMAN, J. D. and A. ROSENBERG (1984) ‘Maximization, markets, and the measurement of productivity in the public sector’, in B. Bozeman and J. Straussman (eds), New Directions in Public Administration (Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing).Google Scholar
  28. TEAGUE, J. (1985) Knoxville City Councilwoman. Personal Interview, 31 October.Google Scholar
  29. TYREE, R. (1985) Former Knoxville Mayor. Personal Interview, 10 October.Google Scholar
  30. Wall Street Journal (1984) ‘Browning—Ferris agrees to settle suit charging it bribed a legislator’ 20.Google Scholar
  31. WINTER, W. O. (1969) The Urban Polity (New York, NY: Dodd, Mead).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Policy Studies Organization 1988

Authors and Affiliations

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

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations