Thank you to Easton Town Council Member Al Silverstein for his ongoing commitment to due diligence and transparency on all deliberations and decisions at Easton Town Council meetings; especially on those that involve spending of Easton resident’s tax dollars.
Silverstein’s commitment to due diligence and transparency was on full display recently when the Town Council was asked by town staff to approve a bid from an out-of-town bidder to renovate two distressed residential properties in Easton.
Prior to a vote to approve the staff recommendation to approve the out of town bidder,
Silverstein asked questions about the bidding process, references secured (or not secured) for the staff recommended bidder, confirmation (or no confirmation) of the experience on comparable projects of the staff recommended bidder, confirmation (or no confirmation) of the overall quality of comparable projects completed by the staff recommended bidder, confirmation (or no confirmation) of the timeliness of completion of comparable projects done by the staff recommended out of town bidder, and the level of effort by staff to meet with a local bidder to discuss negotiations on a lower bid.
Obviously, Al was using lessons he learned having successfully completed certificate programs offered by the State of Maryland and the University of Maryland to educate local government officials on how to ensure compliance with all state laws on Open Meeting Compliance and Excellence in Local Government.
All the questions raised by Silverstein are appropriate to be raised by all Council Members to the town staff to ensure that tax dollars are being spent wisely. Council Members should not be asked to rubber stamp staff recommendations without through vetting of all contract bidders.
Currently, a significant number of Easton residents are facing very challenging economic times. They are asking hard and necessary questions about where and how their own money is being spent. projects. They are counting on elected officials at all levels — local, state, and national to do the same. Thank you to Council Member Al Silverstein for stepping up on this very important matter. One can hope due diligence and transparency will become standard operating procedure on all town spending proposals going forward, effective immediately.
All members of the Town Council and the public deserve better from our current administration.
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