Dixon does the right thing

Finally: The council president's mea culpa helps to overcome a serious misjudgment.

April 14, 2001

NOT MANY of her constituents make $95 a hour, so Council President Sheila Dixon had even more reason to follow procedures instead of granting a no-bid contract to a close friend and former campaign aide.

"I was wrong," she said Thursday. "I should have put it out to bid."

Voters and taxpayers may wish she had acted earlier on what she knows was the proper course, but should also applaud her willingness to concede error.

The contract she arranged for her former campaign chairman funneled more than $100,000 to Dale G. Clark for managing the city's computer system. After arguing that his good performance made him a bargain, Ms. Dixon now acknowledges that nothing exempts that work from the rules that keep public business above-board.

Other businesses hoping to sell goods or services to the city will want to know that they can expect a fair shake in the selection process. And taxpayers must know that Baltimore gets the best deal available for its shrinking tax revenues.

Correction

An editorial in yesterday's Sun should have identified Dale G. Clark as Sheila Dixon's campaign chairman.

The Sun regrets the error.

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