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The St. Mary's County commissioners’ recent 4-1 decision to grant up to a 10 percent price advantage to St. Mary's County contractors bidding on local government contracts is bad policy. This new policy will only increase the cost of doing government business, which will have to be paid for by the rank-and-file taxpaying citizens of St. Mary’s County — you and me. Contracts should be awarded based upon price and the best value for the money, not location of the contractor.

In fact, local contractors already have the advantage for on-site work because commuting costs are less than those for outside contractors. This new policy will in the long run hurt our local contractors if other jurisdictions reciprocate to penalize our St. Mary’s contractors bidding on contracts in those jurisdictions.

This new policy will certainly deter contractors from outside St. Mary’s from bidding our contracts if they realize that they start out with up to a 10 percent handicap. This will limit the field of qualified contractors to select from so that we taxpayers may not get the best value for the buck. I urge all taxpayers to ask our commissioners to change this policy, which seems not to be well thought out. To pay a St. Mary’s contractor 10 percent more than a Calvert or Charles County contractor for the same work is not good for your wallet or mine.

Joe Wible Sr., Leonardtown