Thursday, July 2, 2009

Freebies for Pike Employees, Really?

Given the current economic climate, the dysfunctional Mass Pike is the last agency that should have the audacity to hand out freebies to its employees, let alone its retirees.

According to a report in today’s Boston Herald, hundreds of Pike employees and retires drive on the toll road at no cost to them, but instead at a cost to the toll payers. More than one thousand Pike employees and a couple hundred retirees were given free transponders as a “perk.” Apparently, the freebies are a result of collective bargaining.

Taxpayers are about to get hit with $1 billion in new taxes, the fees at the RMV are about to climb and overall the cost of living is getting pricier by the day. Is now really the best time to be handing out freebies? We think not. This is one perk that has to go, and fast.

This is just another example in the laundry list that makes the general public doubt the capabilities of its state government to run efficiently. It is another instance of waste, inefficiency and patronage at its finest. The Mass Pike will soon be a thing of the past, but taxpayers and tollpayers are doubtful that anything will actually change or improve for the better. Governor Patrick and his administration have done nothing to rein in the mismanaged Mass Pike, and it is beyond time for him to step up to the plate and make the tough decisions. Throughout Governor Patrick’s tenure, he has constantly been two steps behind on every issue facing the Commonwealth. This is just another example of the Patrick Administration's’s slow response to a real problem and in this instance easy opportunities for reform.