The Washington Post

Moco staff at Silver Spring Transit Center site stay mum

Montgomery County officials have provided reams of information about problems with the Silver Spring Transit Center. A report by KCE Structural Engineers, along with a ton of supporting exhibits and data, is available on the Department of General Services Web site.

But county staff who work at the construction site every day have been shut down.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the Silver Spring Transit Center project I am not authorized to talk to the media or anyone else regarding the project,” Timothy O’Gwin, the project manager who heads the five-member county team at the site, said in an e-mail last week.

Same for Frank Roberts, another project manager: “You should contact Esther Bowring of the County’s PIO Office ; thanks,” he said.

And so on.

Concrete issues at the Silver Spring Transit Center

Asked why he wouldn’t make on-the-ground personnel available for interviews, General Services Director David Dise said the county had nothing to hide. But he acknowledged that it was tightening up in anticipation of going to court in an attempt to recover some of its costs from contractors. That meant keeping everybody on message.

“We have to be very careful about comments made in public,” Dise said.

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.



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