Monday, February 27, 2006

Clarksburg citizen-action seen as role model for Seven Locks

Clarksburg citizens are good role models for the Seven Locks community members who continue to dig into the scandal surrounding the planned destruction of their school.

Montgomery County Civic Federation leader Wayne Goldstein writes in the Sentinel, "As the citizens' group, the Clarksburg Town Community Advisory Committee (CTCAC) eventually joined by county officials, delved deeper into the problems with Clarksburg Town Center and discovered that one staff person had
allowed so many major site plan changes as to render the built community unrecognizable from the approved plans.

"They learned of so many cozy relationships, lax practices and indifference to laws and regulations that there has been a complete reorganization taking place at MNCPPC for the last six months. MNCPPC has had to check more than 100 site plans approved since 2003 to see if other violations have occurred and MCCF has also provided its own evidence of additional violations.

"There will need to be the same kind of investigation made of MCPS to see how many other no-bid contracts have been awarded for architectural and other services by MCPS over the last few years and to determine how much MCPS may have overpaid for creating such a lax atmosphere favoring architects with 'a proven track record.'

"This investigation could trigger the same level of reorganization at MCPS as at MNCPPC and the same reexamination of many other related practices that may violate laws and regulations.

"The evidence provided in this report points to a possible Clarksburg level of improper behavior by MCPS officials and their relationship with their vendors."