Four of the five members of the state Transportation Board dismissed by Governor Deval Patrick last month have been appointed to a new, larger board charged with overseeing Massachusetts highways and public transportation.
Only Elizabeth Levin, a management consultant and sometime critic of the administration, was not seated on the new board. In an interview, Levin said she found it discouraging that, despite her expressed interest in continuing to serve, she was not appointed. She blamed it on asking too many questions.
“I ask a lot of probing questions, and that can make some people uncomfortable, and it can take more time than just saying fine,” she said.
Levin said she had many questions during her tenure on the board, particularly about choosing a company to run the commuter rail service, now operated by the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. Mass. Bay’s contract expires next year, and the company is one of only two that have committed to bidding on the multibillion-dollar contract.
Another board member who has criticized Mass. Bay and the bidding process was reappointed. Ferdinand Alvaro Jr. said in an interview last month that he was skeptical he would be invited to return to the powerful, policy-making board because of his criticism.
Alvaro did not return a call Tuesday.
Three new members were appointed: state Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey; Alan Macdonald. a longtime business leader; and Joseph Bonfiglio, a member of the Massachusetts and Northern New England Laborers’ District Council.
Asked why Levin was not reappointed, Davey said Levin has been asked to serve in an advisory role, while Macdonald and Bonfiglio presented a “better fit” to the challenges facing the board.
In addition to Alvaro, those reappointed Tuesday include John R. Jenkins, president of an insurance company, who will continue as board chairman; Andrew Whittle, an MIT civil engineering professor; and Janice Loux, a labor leader.
The positions are unpaid. The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at Somerville City Hall. Commuter rail is on the agenda for discussion.
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