Ease up, Doug Riley! With his criticism of the cost of trash cans for downtown Essex the Towson councilman is playing micromanagement games with the Baltimore County budget -- and probably roughing up some community feelings as well.

After all, who is he to tell Essex how to allocate the funds it receives for streetscapes -- from trash cans and benches to street lights and brickwork in the sidewalks? If Essex wants to spend a bit more for its redwood trash cans that the pebbled-cement fixtures in Towson and compensate elsewhere, that seems to us a fair enough deal.

If Riley thinks he's saving taxpayers' money by criticizing Essex's trash cans, maybe the good folks in Essex would like to have review power over the streetlights on York Road.

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