, Salem, MA


January 16, 2013

More transportation money? Fool me once ...


5. Voters later rejected a ballot question to repeal “temporary” tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike because they were told the alternative was a gas tax increase, which is being floated now anyhow, along with toll hikes.

6. Eventually, there was yet another of the executive department consolidations that are done when officials want to look like they are doing something, then you find out that there are the same number of employees, and each of the agencies under the new umbrella have their own human resource departments, purchasing departments, etc.

It’s now 2013, the highways are still not adequately funded, the MBTA is in debt, and the state expects us to trust it again with more of our money. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me over and over, what am I, really dumb?

Here’s my transportation plan. Do the reforms first. My favorites are the recommendations for “more performance management within DOT” and “a modernized asset-management system.” And be sure to do “changes to MBTA retirement eligibility.”

Here are other reforms not being discussed. Do an independent audit of MassDOT, tell us where all the money raised by the gas tax for the state Highway Fund goes. Repeal the state Prevailing Wage Law, which increases the cost of infrastructure projects by making both public and private contractors pay the prevailing union wage. New Hampshire repealed this law in 1985 and has saved millions while maintaining its roads better than Massachusetts does.

When the reforms are done, get back to me about higher taxes, fees and tolls. Who knows? If we try actually managing our transportation system, we may no longer need them.


Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is a regular Salem News columnist.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate