Oped: Transparency

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...
By Mary Z. Connaughton and Charles Chieppo Guest Columnists Originally published in The Berkshire Eagle, the Milford Daily News, New Bedford Standard-Times, and The Lowell Sun. It would be easy just to shake your head and turn the page upon learning that the MBTA Retirement Fund (MBTARF) is underfunded by nearly $868 million. Unfortunately, you cannot. Every...
By Mary Z. Connaughton and John Sivolella Guest Columnists This article originally appeard in the Milford Daily News. Read it in its entirety. Posted Apr. 19, 2015 at 7:13 AM There is a lot of justifiable talk about the need for government transparency these days, but the concept is far from new. In fact, the...
By J. Patrick Brown and Mary Connaughton. This op-ed originally appeared in the Boston Herald on Oct. 30, 2014. As election day fast approaches, the fever pitch of coverage is a not-so-gentle reminder that it is our civic duty to learn as much as possible about the issues and the candidates, so that when we pull...
This article was published in the Boston Herald on June 9, 2014. Author: Charles Chieppo Rarely is state government’s dysfunction on display more than in the waning days of a legislative session. This time around, exhibit A is the rush to approve a $1.1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) despite...
Massachusetts performs dismally when it comes to government openness. Pending legislation filed by state Rep. Peter Kocot (D-Northampton) could begin to change that.
Op-Ed by Mary Connaughton & Josh Archambault Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Think because you live in Massachusetts you’re protected from the Obamacare insurance premium spikes that you have seen in the national news? Think again, especially if you work at a small company. Ineffective cash-flow management is the No. 1 cause of business failure and layoffs....
Legislature must open up on spending  Monday, April 1, 2013 By: Mary Z. Connaughton, Adam Campbell Why would the Legislature spend $525 on a tailor, $1,050 on limousine service and $59,000 at WGBH last year? And the numbers get even bigger. How about over $1 million on consulting services, with close to half of that going...
Watch Pioneer's Administration and Finance Director, Mary Z. Connaughton, on Fox 25 with Maria Stephanos. "Expert Discusses Surprising New EBT Numbers."
http://www.wickedlocal.com/medfield/news/x1157706593/Medfield-residents-get-around-2K-if-House-GOP-OKs-payroll-tax-cut?zc_p=2#axzz2OHGE6ymJ Medfield residents have reaped thousands of dollars in savings from a  one-year cut to a federal payroll tax whose expiration looms Dec. 31. Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress have agreed broadly on  extending the temporary cut to the Social Security tax withheld from workers’  paychecks, but they disagree on how to pay for...