Entries by Amy Tournas

The Opioid Crisis’ Wealth Window: There’s a Network of Overdoses on the East Coast

Billerica, Massachusetts is a quaint town of 40,000 people in Middlesex County, the 25th richest county in the nation, right after Rockwall County, Texas, according to the 2016 American Community Survey.   Billerica’s town government spends its time improving their Yankee Doodle Bike Path and protecting their local wetlands. Their Council on Aging even gives out […]

Blandford’s Police Resignation Could Shed Light on Underlying Issues

Last week, the Town of Blandford’s police force resigned en masse, leaving the community without local police, and increasing the presence of state police. All four members of the Town of Blandford’s police, including the interim Chief Roberta Sarnacki, resigned last week, claiming they were working in unsafe conditions for unfair wages. Sarnacki said these […]

So what will Commissioner Evans’ Pension Be?

A few weeks ago, Boston Police commissioner William B. Evans announced his retirement, and just this week William Gross was sworn in as the new Boston Police Department Commissioner at a ceremony held at the Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan. After 38 years on the Boston police force and four years as commissioner, William Evans decided […]

Under Pending Bill, Punishment could Fit the Crime

In light of recent turmoil in the Department of State Police (DSP), Governor Baker has called for not only revoking the pensions of the troopers involved in the overtime scandal, but to be harder on the forfeiture of pensions. In recent months, troopers who are under investigation have rushed to retire to keep their pensions […]

Stonewalled at City Hall

Pioneer Institute interns often visit government offices to obtain or confirm information we may use in a blog.  In this capacity, we made a trip to Boston’s City Hall to determine which retirement group Commissioner William Evans would fall into. Public retirees in Massachusetts are broken into four groups that use different calculations to determine […]

Making Troopers Transparent: At What Cost?

In May 2018, The Boston Globe reported on its effort to gain access to information about troopers through a lawsuit aimed at the Massachusetts Department of State Police (DSP) as part of an overall effort to hold the DSP more accountable. In light of various scandals, increased transparency in the beleaguered agency is critical to […]

Top Methuen Police Officials Poised to Earn Far More than State Police (even including the State Police Overtime)

The city of Methuen is currently facing a budget crisis primarily due to school system debt and newly negotiated police contracts.   Top police officials are poised to be the highest-paid officers in the state. According to the Boston Globe, a new contract will result in five Methuen police captains making an average of $432,295 […]

Parking Fine Hikes in Boston: a step in Go Boston 2030’s Larger Plan

On July 2, 2018, parking ticket fines in Boston increased substantially. In an attempt to decrease congestion and increase efficiency, the City of Boston hiked the fines for the first time in 10 years. According to the City of Boston’s website, the increased fines represent those violations that: most negatively impact residents, are most frequently […]

Proportional Parking Fees: The MBTA Listens to Pioneer’s Recommendations

The Pioneer Institute has produced extensive research on the MBTA. Not only has it provided analysis and criticism, but various remedies to policy. In particular, Pioneer’s research has gained notoriety and resulted in a policy change. One issue that recently influenced MBTA policy was Pioneer’s research on the lack of available parking spaces at highly […]