Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Leadership is About Priorities: The Axe was Swung, but the Governor's Cronies were Spared

Governor Patrick has been talking a big game about getting serious in dealing with the budget crisis here in Massachusetts, but a story in today’s Boston Herald highlights why the Governor and his administration are in no way capable of handling the state’s finances.

According to a report in the Boston Herald, Governor Patrick issued “pink slips to nearly 100 state Department of Conservation and Recreation workers but spared a high-paid trio including the sister of his campaign manager and her two pals.” Smells a bit like cronyism?

Let’s talk about the three employees whose positions were spared. The first is the sister of Patrick’s campaign manager John Walsh, also the chairman of the state’s Democratic Committee. Walsh’s sister Patty Vantine, a former accountant for the state party, makes a whopping $105,000 working for DCR, and yet no one can say exactly what it is she does for the state agency. The next is Kathleen Reilly, friend and neighbor of Vantine who was hired in the spring and makes $83,000. Again, not exactly sure if her position is essential! And last we have Kevin Whalen, also a neighbor of Vantine, who makes $68,000 working as a waterfront coordinator.

The salaries of these three positions, paid for by the taxpayers of Massachusetts, are worth a grand total of $256,000. Half a dozen $42,000 positions could have been saved if Governor Patrick was willing to make tough choices and put the well being of the state above the well being of his political cronies.