10-14-11 All eyes on the county’s Privatization Advisory Committee (PAC) and on the Partnerships and Efficiencies Committee (PEC)

PAC needs to watchdog PEC

Letter to the Editor – originally published October 14, 2011 in the Frederick News Post

Although the Board of County Commissioners removed Oliver Porter’s wholesale privatization scheme from consideration following public criticism over its deficiencies, their move to privatize county government continues.At the first substantive meeting of the Privatization Advisory Committee on Oct. 4, that group was asked to endorse a recommendation from the Partnerships and Efficiencies Committee that internal performance audits be subject to outsourcing. The appalling thing to me, as an observer at that meeting, was the incomplete and poorly researched nature of the information presented for their consideration.

This “citizens” committee was created in response to criticism that the public was excluded from this potentially radical reworking of county government, as both the Steering Committee and PEC meet in private.

Will this committee be more than a rubber stamp? An editorial in the Sept. 25 News-Post questioned “whether this committee really serves the citizens it purports to represent, and if the interests of the appointees to the committee are too deeply interwoven with those of Commissioners President Blaine Young to be objective.”

However, on Oct. 4 the PAC did not immediately concur with the PEC’s recommendation, but asked some good questions and requested further information.

As the public’s only representative in this process, it is to be hoped that they will continue to demand better information and to exercise thoughtful judgment. Their next meeting will be on Monday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. in the third floor meeting room in Winchester Hall. It will also be televised live on Channel 19.




Read it online.