A Plan for Better Hearings

The public hearing process supported by the Montgomery County Council and scrutinized by dedicated community organizations is flawed because of incomplete information on proposals, sometimes merely a hastily stapled staff "packet," published too late.

More attention and rigor to information management by the county executive and council staff should produce a public hearing file professionally organized as a reader-friendly, comprehensive feasibility study of the proposal, grounded on verified data.

Such a file, delivered on time, would facilitate public participation in the decision and oversight processes, enhance the quality of the testimony, allow the council to analyze the impact of all options and provide indicators for performance evaluation. Everyone would benefit: A professional public hearing file would give more credibility to the public decision process.

The Montgomery County Council and county executive should publish a public hearing file for each proposal. The council should display this file on its Web site two weeks before a public hearing.

Olivier de Messieres


A Word on Silverman

County executive candidate Steve Silverman's official biography on the County Council's Web site states: "Council member Silverman chairs the council's Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee. In this role, Steve Silverman is responsible for review of land use issues, parks and recreation, affordable housing, economic development, and agricultural preservation."

I hope county voters will keep this fact in mind as the results of the multiple investigations of "the Clarksburg Mess" become public. This is the record that Mr. Silverman says proves he is the best choice to be our next county executive.

Timothy F. Reynolds

Silver Spring

Reynolds is a volunteer with the campaign of Isiah Leggett, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination for county executive.