David Bernstein’s essay (Perspective, May 5) fails to mention the reasons voters, and therefore (hopefully) their elected representatives, do not support massive funding increases for the MBTA: the legacy of patronage and a history of ridiculous salary and benefit packages for employees. Although recent changes by the Patrick administration to reform pensions are a good first start, the agency needs a serious lesson in transparency. Opening up the pension books and negotiations with unions to establish sustainable wages and benefits would go a long way in persuading a skeptical public that additional revenue will be used where it is most needed. Show us that the MBTA is on a road to fiscal responsibility, and taxpayers and our elected representatives should be far more willing to give it more money for much-needed physical improvements.
Mark Whalen / Newton
While I absolutely concur that a strong, reliable transportation system is truly an “investment,” let me tell you what outrages me: the complete inability of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to manage money. From the state welfare system overpaying federal food stamp recipients by nearly $28 million to the alleged mismanagement of Annie Dookhan in the crime lab (which could cost up to $332 million in re-litigating criminal cases) to the Chelsea Housing Authority’s Michael McLaughlin lining his pockets with thousands of dollars on the way out the door, I do not trust the Commonwealth to properly oversee the taxes that we, the people, provide. The State House and Governor Deval Patrick need to look in their own house before coming to mine for yet more money.
Kathy Hassey / Pembroke
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