However Baltimore proceeds, though, it needs to do so as transparently as possible. Part of what fueled Wednesday's protests was the city's denial of a Public Information Act request for the proposal submitted by one of the two companies bidding for the consulting contract. The firm, Veolia, refers to itself as the "world's leading water service company," and it is indeed one of the biggest players in private management of water systems, though it also conducts the kind of consulting work Baltimore officials say they want. Given that the contract has not yet been awarded, the city may well have been justified in declining to release the proposal. But there is no question that officials need to better explain what they hope to accomplish. The fact that 50 people were willing to protest even the possibility that the city would consider privatizing water the water system should show just how concerned the public is about the delivery of the most vital of city services.