letters | harsh focus on state’s hiring practices

Symptoms of patronage without professionalism

Monday’s lead editorial regarding Beverly Scott, the newly selected director of the MBTA, and the same day’s Metro story about Sheila Burgess, who was removed as highway safety chief, not only “raise questions for MassDOT” and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security; they call into question the way in which the Patrick administration goes about filling top positions.

It certainly seems as if the governor made it clear that he wanted Scott to run the T, and put a damper on taking the best professional steps to select her. With respect to Burgess, it is beyond belief that no one could have checked her out before they gave her the highway safety job. Both cases are symptoms of patronage without professionalism.

In Burgess’s case, for Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray to say that he does not know her and that she never worked for him when her sister and business partner was one of his fund-raising consultants is laughable, and strikes me as another example of why Murray should not be considered a serious candidate for governor.

Robert C. Dumont


The writer was personnel administrator of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 1995.