Public-Private Partnerships: Improving Urban Life

By Perry Davis | Go to book overview

A Panel Discussion

ELLEN SULZBERGER STRAUS

FLETCHER BYROM

NEAL R. PEIRCE

CHARLES HUGHES

FEDERICO PEÑA

ELLEN SULZBERGER STRAUS: Before we begin our discussion, I want to mention one of the major reasons why the New York City Partnership has worked, and that is the leadership provided by David Rockefeller. I think all of us who serve with him will agree on that.

What are public-private partnerships? Are they here to stay, and if they are, what does their future look like? We've heard the terms "private-sector initiatives," "community-based partnerships," and "public-private partnerships," but they mean different things to different people. So I think we should start with a brief summary from each of you on what a public-private partnership means to you. We have a unique panel, with divergent interests — representatives from business, the unions, the public sector, and the media, which report on all of the above.

FLETCHER BYROM: In the first place, I don't think we are talking about a new phenomenon; it's just one that has been rediscovered. If you go back to how societies governed themselves before they became so complex that they needed specialization, cities and towns got together and decided as a group what they wanted to do for each other in a common purpose. Under specialization, we're starting to realize that the various constituencies, particularly in our complex cities,

____________________
This is an edited transcript of a panel discussion presented at "Public-Private Partnerships," a conference sponsored by the New York City Partnership, Inc., and the Academy of Political Science, New York, New York, 13 June 1986. ELLEN SULZBERGER STRAUS is chairperson, New York City Partnership Executive Committee; FLETCHER BYROM is retired chairman and chief executive officer, Koppers Co., Inc.; NEAL R. PEIRCE is a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group; CHARLES HUGHES is president, Local 372, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); and FEDERICO PEÑA is mayor of Denver, Colorado.

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