Oped: Better Government

This op-ed appeared in The Boston Business Journal on October 29, 2019. By Robert Dawson and Mary Connaughton MassDOT’s recent report, Congestion in the Commonwealth 2019, found what millions of commuters already know: Massachusetts has reached a tipping point. Congestion is no longer just a transportation issue; it has become a quality-of-life and economic problem as...
The Boston Globe By Mary Connaughton and Jim Aloisi May 31, 2019 Beginning this summer, commuters are in for longer rides as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation prepares to extend the Prudential tunnel under parts of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street to make way for an air-rights real estate development. Extending the tunnel involves upgrading...
This op-ed appeared on WGBH News. You’d be right to shake your head at how the press hyperventilated about the “thousands of customers” that were going to be inconvenienced by the so-called “Uber strike.” If you live in the real world, you would, in fact, be hard pressed to find a single customer whose wait...
This op-ed originally appeared in The Worcester Telegram & Gazette May 3, 2019 The sleeping giant of MetroWest and Worcester commuters is about to be stirred, thanks to an ill-conceived plan by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation that would severely impact their daily rides to and from Boston. As part of the plan to straighten...
Here’s another one for that bulging “It could only happen in Massachusetts” file. Outsourcing bus maintenance would save $11 million a year and bring three of the MBTA’s nine garages into the 21st century. The work would continue to be performed by the mechanics (albeit slightly fewer of them) who do it now, and they...
THE MBTA’S BUDGET SHORTFALL, once pegged at $335 million for the current fiscal year, is now down to $30 million.  That’s good news for riders, taxpayers, employers, and legislators—really everyone except the T’s unions.  Much of the savings is the result of a three-year exemption from the Commonwealth’s anti-privatization law that the authority was granted...
By Jim Stergios   JUNE 02, 2017 The MBTA has hundreds of thousands of daily riders and 6,000 employees. You would think that the interests of the people consuming 1.3 million daily rides might matter more than those of 6,000 public employees. Not so in the Massachusetts Senate, which used a voice vote to undo...
A version of this op-ed appeared in The Berkshire Eagle, The Salem News, The Gloucester Times, the Patriot Ledger, The Brockton Enterprise, and The New Bedford Standard-Times. BOSTON — Moody's Investors Service estimates that total U.S. state and local government pension unfunded liability will reach $1.75 trillion this year and the commonwealth is hardly immune...
By Greg Sullivan Friday, April 14, 2017 The University of Massachusetts at Boston faces seemingly intractable financial difficulties, but it’s wrong to pin the blame on outgoing Chancellor Keith Motley. Many of the problems flow from decisions made by the UMass board of trustees’ and president’s offices. At the direction of the trustees, UMass Boston has...
When doing the people's will is secondary to legislators' self-interest, how strong is our democracy? The state Legislature is on the verge of overriding the Governor's veto of legislation that includes sizable pay raises for state and legislative leaders. Their actions on this front will answer the democracy question. Since legislators can't raise their base pay, the hikes are limited to leadership positions in the form of increased legislative stipends. Base pay increases are formulaic and tied to the state's median household...