New committee to review awarding more local contracts
— After several years of saying that local companies need a better shot at getting business from large con-
struction contracts awarded to Cecil County projects, outgoing County Councilman Robert Hodge’s proposal to set up a Local Business Initiative Committee to review the bidding policy won ap- proval Tuesday night.
However, Hodge abstained from the 4-1 vote for approval, citing his appointment as a member of the committee.
Other members appointed Tuesday include incoming Councilman Bob Meffley, Elkton Chamber and Alliance Executive Director Mary Jo Jablonski, Susquehanna Workforce Network Executive Director Bruce England, Cecil County Public Library Director Morgan Miller, Cecil County Public Schools Executive Director for Support Services Perry Willis, Cecil County Budget Manager Rebecca Anderson, Cecil County Procurement, Fleet and Leasing Manager Pete Bieniek; Cecil County Department of Public Works Director Scott Flanigan, Clark Design Group owner Mark Clark, local contractor Eric Grubb, local excavation and demolition company owner John Cochran, local engineer David Strouss and a member of the county’s economic development commission.
The resolution adopted Tuesday night charges the committee to look at practices of other local governments that encourage the hiring of local businesses and employees, assess strengths and weaknesses and submit a proposal to the county council by June 1.
Hodge’s plan has been vetted by the council for the last several weeks.
“I favor this, but I’m afraid this may make it more costly to do business here,” outgoing Councilman Alan McCarthy said Tuesday night. “That’s why I’d like a financial impact study.”
McCarthy, a Republican, faces Democrat Wayne Tome in the general election race for county executive.
Hodge said the possibly of increased cost would be something the committee examines.
Councilman Dan Schneckenburger also spoke in favor of the formation of a committee to look into the possibility of giving more business to local firms.
“I think this is a great idea,” he said.