Consultant to review top brass at Pennsylvania Turnpike
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, long a target of criticism for handing out patronage jobs and contracts to the politically connected, plans to seek an outside consultant to review the agency's top management.
"There is no stated objective, other than we want to make sure we have effective and efficient management," said turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo.
Created in 1937, the turnpike commission today oversees 545 miles of toll highways across the state that generate more than $700 million in revenue.
DeFebo said an outside consultant conducted a review of the agency when former Gov. Ed Rendell took office and appointed Joseph Brimmeier of Ross as CEO. The consultant's recommendations included changing job titles and responsibilities, he said.
Turnpike Commissioner Pasquale Deon of Bucks County said they resulted in the elimination of millions of dollars in wasteful spending.
"This is a different agency than it was even four years ago," Deon said. He said he has not been briefed on the latest proposal but is "always willing to look for ways to make the agency better."
DeFebo said this review would "be more limited in scope" than the previous one, looking at the agency's top 14 management positions, not the entire organization. A list of the top jobs, and who holds them, was not available on Wednesday afternoon.
Some lawmakers hope the review's impact is not limited.
"The question is: Is this business as usual or is this a new day for the commission• We can only hope it is a new day," said Rep. Rick Geist, R-Altoona, chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
Rep. Mike Vereb, R-Montgomery County, agreed.
"If it's a true reassessment and not some politically connected consulting firm getting the work, then that has to be looked at as a positive note," Vereb said.
He introduced legislation last session to fold the commission into PennDOT, but he said it went nowhere because there is "very little appetite in the Legislature for such a large shift of management."
Rep. Joe Markosek, D-Monroeville, House minority chairman, questioned hiring an outside consultant.
"It seems to me the new CEO is from the outside," Markosek said, referring to Roger Nutt, a former New Jersey transportation official who previously served as executive director of the state's highway authority. "It begs the question: Why do you need to pay someone from the outside to determine what the new folks should perhaps be determining?"
It's unclear how much the review might cost. DeFebo said the commission could begin soliciting bids this summer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LCB ruling could mean home-delivered beer in Pa.
- Sandusky won’t get his pension back
- Liquor Control Board, Pennsylvania universities target problem drinking
- Erie man charged with 1990 slaying of Virginia Beach woman
- Philadelphia mother pleads guilty as boy, 2, shoots, kills sister
- Poor sales sink multi-state Monopoly Millionaires’ Club lottery
- State lottery scratch-off tickets bring instant cheer as holiday gifts
- Water leak found at Pa. nuclear plant
- ‘Chaos on the street’ alleged in Philly
- Great Lakes in line for $300M for cleanup, habitat protection projects
- Most Penn State trustees boycott special meeting on legal action against football program