MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby Rbts Stn » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:50 am

I have to believe she has a landing spot picked out. Maybe not as fancy a position as she had with MARTA or the MBTA, but a place she can serve until retirement.

She wasn't right for the job . . . but the job isn't right for pretty much anyone.
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby jbvb » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:20 pm

I expected someone like F-Line would have the details. They illustrate that, since Mr. Weld became governor, the MBTA hasn't even had money to maintain work equipment it already owned, let alone buy anything new. And I, at least, will always remember Mr. Cellucci for buying the endorsement of the Carmen's Union. You can knock management, you can knock labor, but they who hold the purse strings call the tunes. I've been a regular MBTA customer since the 1970s; I (or my companies) have spent tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on their services. But I haven't felt like the customers were Job 1, or even Job 2 (after safety) since Mr. Dukakis left office.
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby BandA » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:12 am

http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2015/02/mbta_gm_beverly_scott_spared_no_expense_on_trips_record_review
MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott jetted off at taxpayer expense nearly every month during her two-plus-year tenure — sometimes several times a month — to conferences and meetings around the country, even as the troubled transit system was collapsing around her, a Herald review shows.

A review of Scott’s monthly expense reports provided by the MBTA as part of public records request shows she spent 106 days traveling out of state while at the helm of the T, taking 30 trips in 24 months.

During that time, Scott, who announced yesterday she’s stepping down in April, racked up $56,753 in expenses on lodging, airplane tickets and dining tabs, including at least $1,132 on hotel laundry and dry-cleaning bills.


At the end of the article they throw in this otherwise unrelated gem:
"Dr. Scott mentioned today the Orange Line cars never had a mid-life overhaul. Why didn’t that happen?” [Transportation secretary Stephanie] Pollack asked. “Why did people think we could take these vehicles and make them last another five to eight years, or was there a plan?”


There are several other articles and an editorial in the last few days in the Herald worth reading. I wonder if this cover page from 2/11 triggered her resignation that same day
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby Rbts Stn » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:01 am

I'm not sure that $2-3K of travel expenses per month for a person in that position is out of line. Would have to compare it to her predecessor or folks in similar positions in other transit authorities before I could make a determination
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby deathtopumpkins » Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:30 am

I don't get why the Herald is making such a big deal out of this (well, it *is* the Herald....). That amount is perfectly normal, not at all surprising. I expect the MBTA GM to be out and about, attending conferences and the like, as long as she's around during an emergency, and it's really easy to rack up that much in expenses. Honestly I'm surprised it's not more.

$56k over 24 months, or just over $1,000/month is perfectly reasonable just if you attend one or two out of state conferences each month.
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby TrainManTy » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:05 pm

As a journalist, I find that cover absolutely revolting. I would never publish that image anywhere, much less on a cover. I also wouldn't use a photo of Ms. Scott to illustrate this story. The T's decades of underfunding are not her fault, and visually connecting her to all of the agency's troubles is inaccurate, unfair, and uncalled for.

Talk about sensationalist tabloids masquerading as journalism.
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby jaymac » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:13 pm

To go seriously OT, you can take the Herald out of the News Corp., but you can't take the News Corp. out of the Herald.

(Mods: I promise I'll try to be better. Yes, that was "better," not "bitter".)
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:54 pm

jaymac wrote:To go seriously OT, you can take the Herald out of the News Corp., but you can't take the News Corp. out of the Herald.

(Mods: I promise I'll try to be better. Yes, that was "better," not "bitter".)

The difference between the papers is that the Globe prefers slow poisoning, the Herald goes for the carotid. (Sorry, couldn't resist!)
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:26 pm

Rbts Stn wrote:I'm not sure that $2-3K of travel expenses per month for a person in that position is out of line. Would have to compare it to her predecessor or folks in similar positions in other transit authorities before I could make a determination


It's out of line if the system is running a deficit. Period. We don't have to compare it with anyone.
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:29 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:
Rbts Stn wrote:I'm not sure that $2-3K of travel expenses per month for a person in that position is out of line. Would have to compare it to her predecessor or folks in similar positions in other transit authorities before I could make a determination


It's out of line if the system is running a deficit. Period. We don't have to compare it with anyone.


You realize that closing procurements for equipment and construction--which goes on every month all month despite it only making the papers on Really Big Things™--often requires unglamorous travel to factories or some company's headquarters out in the middle of nowhere that doesn't have direct discount flights on JetBlue, right? $2-3K not only isn't very much by the standards of someone who does frequent business travel, but some of it is to pretty dreary places no one in their right mind would consider a job "perk".


I don't recall the Herald skewering former Interim GM Jonathan Davis for going to Korea to sort out the Rotem debacle while the system was running a deficit. So what makes the heightened scrutiny about Ms. Scott's business travel different. I wonder. Image
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby BerndinMA » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:16 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
Rockingham Racer wrote:
Rbts Stn wrote:I'm not sure that $2-3K of travel expenses per month for a person in that position is out of line. Would have to compare it to her predecessor or folks in similar positions in other transit authorities before I could make a determination


It's out of line if the system is running a deficit. Period. We don't have to compare it with anyone.


You realize that closing procurements for equipment and construction--which goes on every month all month despite it only making the papers on Really Big Things™--often requires unglamorous travel to factories or some company's headquarters out in the middle of nowhere that doesn't have direct discount flights on JetBlue, right? $2-3K not only isn't very much by the standards of someone who does frequent business travel, but some of it is to pretty dreary places no one in their right mind would consider a job "perk".


I don't recall the Herald skewering former Interim GM Jonathan Davis for going to Korea to sort out the Rotem debacle while the system was running a deficit. So what makes the heightened scrutiny about Ms. Scott's business travel different. I wonder. Image

I will agree the funding issues are not her fault. I have never heard that she was a bad person or GM for the T. When in public service job you have to swallow what ever the funding body says your budget is. You are not a full master of your job sometimes you are given half of what you need and must salute and try to make the "genius" plan of your boss look good. I never heard Ms Scott say the budget was good.
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby johnpbarlow » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:36 am

Interesting short WBZ-TV clip from Friday 2/13/15 of Jon Keller interviewing Speaker DeLeo re: the T's defensive underfunding allegations. The Speakah says not so as under his watch there were two bond bills passed for T funding in the past few years. At approximately the two minute mark in the posted clip below, Keller says that DeLeo suggests some of the T's expansion projects might be back-burnered in favor of investing in making the current T system more reliable.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/keller-large-speaker-deleo-mbta-232500964.html
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:18 am

johnpbarlow wrote:Interesting short WBZ-TV clip from Friday 2/13/15 of Jon Keller interviewing Speaker DeLeo re: the T's defensive underfunding allegations. The Speakah says not so as under his watch there were two bond bills passed for T funding in the past few years. At approximately the two minute mark in the posted clip below, Keller says that DeLeo suggests some of the T's expansion projects might be back-burnered in favor of investing in making the current T system more reliable.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/keller-large-speaker-deleo-mbta-232500964.html


DeLeo already said right after the gas tax indexing ballot question votes were tabulated that there was no way in hell he was bringing any tax increase bill to a floor vote, so he has already cut off at the knees any possible avenue of addressing it this term. Finding funding is going to be more ineffective annual service cut threats to shoot the hostage, more attempts to refinance the debt at a better interest rate (though I doubt they're going to be able to do better than the most recent Patrick/Davey refinancing), and in general rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. It doesn't matter if they mothball South Coast FAIL because barely any of the funding has actually been appropriated for that giant slab of vaporware. That was one of many funding gaps in Patrick's ambitious Transportation Bill that you could drive...a train?...through because Mr. Speakah gutted the revenue sources like a fish within nanoseconds of the bill hitting the House. The implied threat here is not to the commuter rail expansion crap they really should be re-evaluating their senses on...it's DeLeo pointing a gun square at the Green Line Extension. And saying "Look at all the rhymes-with-ducks I give!" to every voter statewide.


This is the problem in a nutshell. The Commonwealth has three branches of government like any sub-unit of a representative democracy, with a legislative chamber of 160 members tasked with initiating spending bills...and this guy ends up holding all the cards as the single most powerful statewide politician by a mile. With total dictatorial control over those 160 House members, a sheepish caucus indocrinated by a half-century of fear-and-intimidation to sign their lives away to the chamber leader, and far and away (like...far and away) the largest recipient of outside campaign donations of any politician in the state. Including all the Gov. candidates and the entire U.S. House delegation. Who controls all of the state's purse strings despite there only being 7300 votes cast for him in the town of Winthrop and a slice of Revere Beach Blvd. There may not be another state in the country where the House (or House-equivalent) chamber leader monopolizes power like Massachusetts politics structurally encourages. And you only have to look at his 3 felony-convicted predecessors in that position and the near-constant stench of deftly-averted ethics inquiries that have followed him to see what the problem is here. In the Senate too, where the chamber Prez. has had equally checkered (though with somewhat less-depressing consistency) history dating back to the Billy Bulger era as the de facto #2 strongman of Massachusetts politics. It's not even anything about DeLeo himself. It's the structural inequities of the position and absolute power corrupting absolutely. This isn't even a constitutional issue like we have a codified "Strong Speaker" government. It's just been habitual use of fear and intimidation shaped over decades by using committee assignments as weapons to enforce absolute fealty from the chamber Prez.'s caucus, and one-party rule from the complete collapse of any effective opposition party pretty much making the Speakership a hereditary monarchy of deputies-to-the-strongman.

Until the voters put more fear into their local Legislators than the Speaker or Senate Prez. does, this is always going to be the case. It wasn't always like this...this situation was conditioned through constant repetition over time. But I can't even imagine how bad things have to get for any outside pressure to affect the power imbalance in state gov't. Like I said before, it's hard to see what Baker could even do at a substantial level if he wanted to be a Mr. Fix-it whiz when the Governor is effectively the third-most powerful singular official in state gov't...and a distant third at that.
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:57 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
Rockingham Racer wrote:
Rbts Stn wrote:I'm not sure that $2-3K of travel expenses per month for a person in that position is out of line. Would have to compare it to her predecessor or folks in similar positions in other transit authorities before I could make a determination


It's out of line if the system is running a deficit. Period. We don't have to compare it with anyone.


You realize that closing procurements for equipment and construction--which goes on every month all month despite it only making the papers on Really Big Things™--often requires unglamorous travel to factories or some company's headquarters out in the middle of nowhere that doesn't have direct discount flights on JetBlue, right? $2-3K not only isn't very much by the standards of someone who does frequent business travel, but some of it is to pretty dreary places no one in their right mind would consider a job "perk".


I don't recall the Herald skewering former Interim GM Jonathan Davis for going to Korea to sort out the Rotem debacle while the system was running a deficit. So what makes the heightened scrutiny about Ms. Scott's business travel different. I wonder. Image


Let's try mentioning that she couldn't do her own laundry, for openers. Silly, I know; but: it's the principle of the thing.. :wink:
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Re: MBTA GM Beverly Scott Resigns

Postby ThinkNarrow » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:51 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:Let's try mentioning that she couldn't do her own laundry, for openers. Silly, I know; but: it's the principle of the thing.. :wink:

I thought that the laundry bills were accrued during travel. I gather that when you go on a multi-day business trip you seek out a local laundromat? Packing enough clothes or using quick-dry clothes are the best alternatives, but using the hotel service is not totally unreasonable for a busy traveler. I think "couldn't do her own laundry" is a bit harsh.
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