Water meter deal-making?

The growing controversy over an upcoming contract to install "smart" water meters in Baltimore has once again provided a glimpse into the legalistic mind of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake. In a statement issued on her behalf, the mayor's spokesman assures us that "many documents pertaining to this matter are already public, and there is nothing to suggest that the mayor is an active participant in this process or any other procurement matter."

In the closed door, backroom world of City Hall deal-making, it is reassuring to know that no documentation of political favoritism exists, but it would be far better had Mayor Rawlings-Blake made a simple, declarative statement that she has not and will not try to influence this contract.

Perhaps the new standard for public office in Baltimore is, "you can't prove a thing," but I sincerely hope we can do better than that. I urge all Baltimore citizens to keep a close eye on this multi-million dollar contract. It, and the mayor, deserve our close scrutiny.

Mac Nachlas, Baltimore.

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