Comptroller Joan Pratt's concerns about MayorStephanie Rawlings-Blake's handling of the purchase of a new IT phone system for local government highlight the questionable make-up of the Baltimore spending panel known as the Board of Estimates ("Nilson says city phone purchases were legal," June 23).
The Baltimore City Charter establishes that the primary fiscal board of the city be composed of all three citywide elected officials, along with the director of public works and the city solicitor.
The problem with this make-up is that the un-elected members of this board serve at the pleasure of the mayor, thus allowing for her to push any fiscal priority through without a proper system of checks and balances.
Other cities' panels, as well as the state's Board of Public Works, are composed solely of elected members who are answerable to those who elected them. Until Baltimore officials offer the voters the opportunity to change the panel so that it is made up of only the elected members — the mayor, city council president and comptroller — the political infighting we have witnessed as of late, will be only for show, as the comptroller and council president will continue to have no real power when our mayor walks in the door with the needed three votes to pass anything he or she pleases!
Hassan Giordano, Baltimore