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The Boston Globe

Letters

letters | harsh focus on state’s hiring practices

Keep shining light on brazen political patronage

Sean P. Murphy’s reporting concerning our state’s so-called director of highway safety, who was recently reassigned by our secretary of public safety, highlights the discouragingly brazen political patronage that bleeds the Commonwealth dry (“Highway safety chief is removed,” Metro, Nov. 19). The Globe should be commended for this coverage.

The paper would continue to gain a lot of respect if it went on to pick one or two state agencies per year and examine every high-level, exempt salaried position paying more than, say, $75,000 for the following:

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Is the person occupying the position reasonably qualified?

How was the position filled?

Was it a reward for political work or political contributions?

How was the job created?

Does it overlap or duplicate another position?

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Is it a job that could be eliminated or combined into another existing position relatively easily?

Again, thanks for your good work on this. Of course, it would have been nicer if the governor's office had done the work instead. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Commonwealth can be trusted to eliminate this practice without a strong flashlight from the Globe and other news media.

We all wonder whether the state could save a small fortune from a much harder look at its overall staffing — something businesses need to do constantly in order to manage their costs and survive.

John Lucking

East Falmouth

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