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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What a way to run a transit system

I think I've figured it out. Dan Grabauskas is secretly working with Carla Howell to assure passage of Question 1.

How else to you explain this latest round of MBTA idiocy.

Let us, as the lawyers say, stipulate that the cost of living in Massachusetts is skyrocketing. Heck, just T fares alone take a huge chunk out of the average commuter's wallet.

Then there is the cost of gasoline for Smilin' Dan's SUV and the fleet of cars at the disposal of his managers.

Come to think of it -- the T is managed? Really?

We all know Smilin' Dan is crying poor mouth after the Legislature bailed out the crisis-ridden Turnpike Authority. Threatening a fare hike -- or a service cut as an alternative -- is a greater way to get your issue on the public radar screen.

Not to mention helping to push aside issues like late service, bad service and station renovations that are so far over budget and beyond time that you would think they are being run by the Pentagon.

Well-managed companies facing hard times tighten their belts. That means people without union contracts do without. That particularly means managers and executives do without. Some of them often forgo pay or take a cut (I know, not the guys pulling down seven, eight and nine figures).

Maybe a part of the T's problem is its "organization". As the Globe notes:
While technically called executives and managers, not all of the nonunion employees are supervisors, Grabauskas said. They include some secretaries, budget analysts, and medical assistants, as well as the agency's highest paid executives.
Nevertheless, a public agency struggling to make ends meet sets a rotten example by following a poor mouth call with a pay raise.

As the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president Mike Widmer put it:
“This was a chance to set an example. The state is undoubtedly going to have to help the T, but at the same the T has to get greater control over salaries and benefits.”
And sadly Smilin' Dan has once again set an example.

Simple solution -- take his SUV away. Better yet, take his job away. That's a neat $255,000 that can be used for better purposes. As this latest round proves yet again, he certainly doesn't manage the place.

Smilin' Dan really and truly has got to go!

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