Boston: City Hall Bureaucrats Get Free Cars?

Posted: May 18, 2012 7:00 PM

I think we can all agree that living your life as a government bureaucrat has its perks, especially in Massachusetts:

City Hall bureaucrats, “executive assistants” and other pencil-pushers enjoy free commutes from as far away as Falmouth and Nahant in taxpayer-funded city cars — including many who get sleek sedans as nothing more than a lucrative job perk, a Herald review found.

“I look at stuff like this and wonder, ‘Why is this happening?’?” said Matt Cahill, director of the Boston Finance Commission, a city watchdog agency. “It’s not something I’m happy about. Taxpayers are paying a bill they shouldn’t be paying.”

In all, 122 of the 199 city workers with take-home vehicles make more than $100,000 a year, including nine who earned over $200,000. At least 36 employees with take-home cars live outside the city, including officials who reside in Duxbury, Marshfield, Hingham, Norwell and Framingham, among other suburban towns...

Perhaps finding out City Hall hacks are ripping off taxpayers wouldn’t be quite so infuriating if times were good. But given the fact Massachusetts faces a $1.3 billion deficit in FY 2013 one wonders why these “executive assistants” haven't been fired yet. In any case, there must be a logical explanation for why government employees earning exorbitant salaries are also entitled to free cars too, right? Wrong.

Dot Joyce, spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said the vehicles generally are assigned based on employees’ duties but are sometimes issued as “part of the benefits package of the particular position.”

Perfect. No transparency, accountability or oversight. The Bay State way! Oh, and before I forget, I’m glad I paid taxes to the state of Massachusetts last April – it’s comforting to know my money’s being well spent.