Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spin’s Expensive!

Governor Patrick has had a tough tenure as the Bay State’s top lawmaker and because of all of his public relations missteps his administration requires a massive spin machine. And according to an article in yesterday’s Boston Herald, apparently spin’s expensive!

Yesterday, the Boston Herald reported that the state’s Department of Transportation has more than ten “spin doctors” on the payroll. The eleven people who make up the communications department garner salaries from $65,000 to $119,000 a year with their salaries totaling more than $800,000. Talk about frivolous! Beacon Hill Institute director David Tuerk told the Herald “he finds the flack payroll disturbing considering agencies like the Pike have long been rife with patronage and bloated budges.” Tuerk went on to say, “What’s taking so long? Why don’t we see more evidence of cutbacks in personnel – especially where there’s so much obvious duplication?”

There were no cutbacks in this department - in fact, there was growth. According to the Herald, MassDOT has actually added one staffer after all of the transportation agencies merged last fall.

The transportation overhaul the Legislature passed last year provided a real opportunity for cost savings and efficiency. However, Governor Patrick and his administration have yet to capitalize on those possibilities and instead we’re seeing more waste and inefficiency.