A very late start for the Board of Public Works

December 05, 2012 at 10:57 pm

CORRECTION posted 8 p.m. Thursday: BPW story was inaccurate

The original story about the Board of Public Works starting four hours late on Wednesday was inaccurate. It was based on misinformation on at least one government website, and the failure to ask the right people the right questions as to why the meeting started at 2 p.m. rather than the usual 10 a.m., which had been posted for months.

According to Sheila Mc Donald, executive secretary of the Board of Public Works, the Dec. 5 meeting start time was changed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. last week.

“The BPW put an announcement screaming across the top of our page of the time change on Thursday, November 29,” McDonald said in an email. “The BPW tweeted the time change on Friday, November 30 and on Tuesday, December 4. The BPW put the time change on the paper sign in the public hall outside BPW office door on Thursday, November 29.”

The lieutenant governor’s office also put out a media advisory at 3:44 p.m. Tuesday with the subject line: “GOVERNOR ANTHONY G. BROWN’S PUBLIC SCHEDULE” noting that he was presiding at BPW at 2 p.m. Wednesday. But MarylandReporter.com, which is on Brown’s email list, never got the message, nor did another reporter who showed up.

The board meeting was still listed at 10 a.m. on the General Assembly’s website. This points out the utility of a centralized government meetings calendar as pointed out in Tuesday’s article.

Regardless, we should have gotten all this clarified before pointing the finger at Brown. We’re sorry for the misinformation.

Given the rescheduling, the lieutenant governor actually started the meeting on time, which doesn’t often happen at BPW, and got the business done in 20 minutes.

–Len Lazarick

Editor and Publisher

Len@MarylandReporter.com

Here are the parts of this brief story that were accurate:

Once they got started the Board of Works took just 20 minutes to approve the 73 items on its 167-page agenda worth over $42 million. Not a record time, but much shorter than the usual one- or two-hour meeting.

With Gov. Martin O’Malley returning from Los Angeles where he attended the Democratic Governors Association meeting, he asked Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown to chair the meeting. Brown’s communication’s assistant, Lauren Gibbs, said scheduling conflicts prevented Brown from making the meeting on time. The other members of the board, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, granted his request to start the meeting in the afternoon.

“I like the afternoon,” Brown said as he started the meeting, thanking the audience for accommodating him. “Maybe we’ll make it permanent.”

Brown introduced himself to the room, “not to be confused with Martin O’Malley,” he joked. “I don’t play in a band.” Brown has filled in for O’Malley as recently as August and occasionally before then.

 

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