For the last eight years, Deval Patrick has mismanaged state government. That is a fact that is becoming increasingly clear. The $700 million+ budget deficit Baker was left with, a malfunctioning Health Connector, among many other scandals. Patrick’s most egregious and cruelest legacy may be Beverly Scott as head of the MBTA, which millions of people rely on every day to get to and from work.
Image Source: Public Domain via MBTA.com
Why? Because Deval Patrick’s MassDOT board hired someone who had already run another mass transit system into the ground. Here’s a Boston.com article from November of 2012 that explains it all.
The newly selected director of the MBTA was required to undergo counseling with a business psychology consulting firm while she was running the mass transit system in Atlanta, a fact that state officials say they were not aware of when they hired her.
Beverly Scott’s relationship with her board of directors in Atlanta had grown so strained that the board in 2010 paid $144,000 to a business psychologist to help Scott and her leadership team improve their management styles.
How bad was MARTA being run by Scott? Here’s the results of an independent KPMG audit, as reported by Boston.com.
The KPMG audit found MARTA to be in deep trouble, with a operating budget deficit of as much as $33 million a year, a shortfall that is being made up by dipping into reserves. The audit projects complete depletion of the system’s reserves in 2018. The “current economic model is unsustainable,” the audit said.
KPMG itemized tens of millions of dollars in potential savings that could be realized if MARTA privatized certain functions, restructured excessive compensation to employees, and curbed high absenteeism among its 4,500 workers.
Continued after the jump…
Surely, Beverly Scott wasn’t the only person from the floudering Atlanta mass transit system who was considered for the job, right? Wrong! The Boston Business Journal reported that Scott’s COO at MARTA was also a finalist for the job.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation board voted unanimously to hire Scott following public interviews with Scott and her fellow finalist, Dwight Ferrell, MARTA’s COO.
Now Scott has run the MBTA into the ground. Shutting down the system on a day where it isn’t even snowing, because she can’t keep the system open. Having to lean on New York City, Boston’s arch-rival, for help. It is an utter failure of leadership and management, that was clearly apparent if the Patrick Adminstration had bothered to do its due diligence on Scott.
The Scott hire is one of the many mismanagements of the Deval Patrick administration. For the millions of commuters who can’t get to work today, it is by far the cruelest.