That the public should not pay for repairs to the SSTC is a no-brainer. But, there’s another problem that needs to be fixed, and it’s not about actual bricks and mortar. It’s the problem of how government manages large public works projects involving county, state and federal money. A comment (not mine) to a recent WaPo article (4/30/2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/council-members-call-for-ig-probe-of-silver-spring-transit-center/2013/04/30/445d8706-b1b8-11e2-9a98-4be1688d7d84_story.html) describes the problem well. It lists “cronyism” as the problem and includes 5 subpoints: (1) “Failure in selecting an engineering team that understood what they were designing…selections influenced by political connections, contributions and firms that hire retired public agency grandees to win work (rather than technical competence and relative experience) is a longstanding MD tradition” (2) “Failure in competing the construction work…Because the work was not bid...” (3) “Failure in understanding the independent inspection regime needed” (4) “Failure to address potential conflicts of interest”. (5) “KCE’s report is damning in its overall findings.” The commenter adds: “Conclusion: It’s for the GAO since Fed $ involved. MD and Mtgy Cty are conficted.”
A smoking gun? For sure. The question is: will anything be done about it?