Gov. Candidate Considers Park Privatization
Candidates for the governor’s seat in Indiana are taking different approaches to state resource management as they seek to succeed two-term Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Mike Pence, the GOP candidate for governor, talked of privatizing some activities within state parks, such as additional inns or lodges and other recreational opportunities.
He made his remarks during and after an appearance at an annual energy management conference in Indianapolis, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reported.
Pence said he would investigate more lodges, inns and other recreational amenities at state parks.
To do this, he likely would rely on public-private partnerships with outside developers.
“I want to examine ways without unnecessarily burdening taxpayers,” he said, seeming to leave open the possibility of privatizing parks in general.
Campaign staffers later said he does not want to go that far – only focusing on lodges and possible new activities within the parks.
Daniels has privatized the reservation system for inns and campgrounds, for instance, but state employees continue to run the properties.
His opponent, Democrat John Gregg, said Hoosiers have told him on the campaign trail they are concerned with the state parks being privatized.
“John would very carefully review any potential plan that would change additional portions of them and evaluate any changes on a case-by-case basis,” a campaign spokesman said, speaking for Gregg.