BOSTON - After removing Republican-appointed Revenue Commissioner Alan LeBovidge in June, Gov. Deval Patrick wants the man he ousted to lead one of the most problem-ridden state agencies.
After removing Republican-appointed Revenue Commissioner Alan LeBovidge in June, Gov. Deval Patrick wants the man he ousted to lead one of the most problem-ridden state agencies.
"I think a lot of Alan LeBovidge,” Patrick said Monday after recommending that LeBovidge be appointed executive director of the Turnpike Authority.
“I think he's a good (addition) for the turnpike. I think he'll help drive our agenda there.”
MetroWest lawmakers approved of Patrick’s choice to replace Interim Executive Director Mary Jane O’Meara, who was moved from MassPort to the Turnpike Authority over the summer.
Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, said that LeBovidge’s sharp financial eye will make up for what he lacks in transportation experience.
“I’m heartened that the governor and the secretary are looking to have someone there on a permanent basis,” she said. “I’m hoping the skills that he brings will shed some light on the turnpike’s finances and some other alternatives.”
LeBovidge will be the authority’s first permanent director since Matthew Amorello was forced to resign the position amid Big Dig failures that climaxed with the 2006 tunnel ceiling collapse.
Patrick declined to say how long LeBovidge would hold the job, given the governor’s plans to merge state transportation agencies into one entity.
Patrick has also charged the authority, whose financial outlook was recently downgraded from stable to negative after the board approved smaller-than-expected toll increases, with cutting costs.
"We need somebody who is going to scrub down deep and look for every available efficiency, try to make a blunt assessment of the talent we have and the talent gaps that we have and I think he can do that," Patrick said.
Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, said the Patrick administration is fulfilling its promise to be inclusive of all minorities, including Republicans.
“At this point political parties are off we just need to find qualified people who can fix the problems,” Brown said.
The appointment is subject to approval by the governor’s transportation secretary, Bernard Cohen, who is also chairman of the Turnpike Authority Board.
“I like the fact that he’s financially oriented and will bring about the type of skepticism that should be used when dealing with the turnpike,” said board member Mary Connaughton of Framingham.
According to Turnpike Authority spokesman Mac Daniel, LeBovidge will meet with board members over the next few days, and Cohen could make the appointment official within a few weeks.
LeBovidge was not available for comment yesterday.
MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News staff writer Lindsey Parietti can be reached at email@example.com