Editorial, Opinion

STAFF EDIT: Job creation we don’t need

Like every other state, Massachusetts is struggling financially. Currently, the state is facing a budget deficit of more than $3 billion. What the Bay State needs now is effective leaders who will make the tough decisions necessary to save money. Unfortunately, this leadership is nowhere to be found.

Where the state needs to be cutting inefficient positions that command large salaries, it is instead creating them. Massachusetts Transportation Secretary James Aloisi’s sister, Carol Aloisi, was given a chief of staff job by the state, but according to The Boston Globe, Aloisi has nobody to report to. The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which Gov. Deval Patrick has pledged for several months to eliminate, is $2.2 billion in debt, and only worsened its financial problems by recently hiring two unnecessary managers for a combined quarter of a million dollars. In the mean time, the MTA has still not cut the jobs of 100 toll collectors, a promise that was made in September to save money.

Even Patrick, who was elected in part by his promise to change the way Massachusetts government runs, is guilty of hiring unnecessary personnel. Earlier this month, Patrick appointed Mass. State Senator Marian Walsh, a supporter of his during the gubernatorial campaign, to the position of assistant executive director of the state’s Health and Educational Facilities Authority where she will earn nearly $200,000 a year. This post has been vacant for the past 12 years, and there is no need to fill it now, especially during a budget crisis.

This mismanagement by Patrick and other state leaders has a direct effect on Boston University students, and anyone who uses public transportation in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority, though not run by the state, is heavily subsidized by the state. If the state is wasting money by creating these unnecessary management positions, then MBTA users will have to pay more. A slight increase in T fare would not be unreasonable if it can be used to improve service, but it is unacceptable to raise fares for the purpose of covering these management mistakes. The MBTA has already over-budgeted its spending for the Charlie Card System by $15 million, any further mistakes will only mean fare hikes and possible service cutbacks.

Patrick and the rest of the Massachusetts leadership must stop creating needless bureaucratic positions and stop wasting taxpayers’ money if the commonwealth can ever be expected to climb out of this recession.

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