12 days ago, I wrote an entry about the MTA continuing its cost cutting measures in the blue-collar workforce as they laid off 120 more workers. In that same story in the New York Daily News, it was announced that the MTA hired a new state commissioner to fill a newly created managing director post that comes with a 6 figure salary, $217,000 to be exact.
The new post was awarded to 54 year old Diana Jones Ritter, who served as a state commissioner in the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities agency. The main task of her new job is to oversee consolidation & cost cutting measures within the MTA’s administrative area. As could be expected, I & others questioned this new position & salary considering the pace the MTA is currently eliminating blue-collar jobs.
However it turns out that these are not the only concerns about the new position or Diana in question. Skeptics are out in full force as it turns out she does not have a stellar track record for the tasks she was hired for. Michael M. Grynbaum of the New York Times has more:
It may be one of the toughest tasks in New York government: taming the bloat of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, long considered one of the most unwieldy bureaucracies in the state.
The latest official to be given the job is Diana Jones Ritter, 54, who was tapped this month to oversee consolidation and cost-cutting at the authority’s administrative office after serving four years as commissioner of a similarly cumbersome agency, the State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
Any effort to reform the transportation authority is likely to be met with skepticism. But Ms. Ritter has raised eyebrows even before she starts work at the agency on Monday.
Of particular concern, critics say, are reports issued this year by the State Senate and the state inspector general that described her previous agency as marred by runaway overtime, nepotism and wasteful spending — the very vices Ms. Ritter has been instructed to combat in her new job.
Mr. Walder said that he had created Ms. Ritter’s position because he wanted an administrator solely focused on remaking the authority into a leaner, more efficient operation. Her first task will be to lead a merger of several departments, which is expected to save $10 million a year.
Click here for the complete report.
Should I be surprised that she comes from an agency overrun with overtime abuse, nepotism, & wasteful spending? Honestly those three phrases could be used to describe at least 90% of government agencies locally & up to & including the federal level.
Personally I will not trash her specific work as I have no first hand knowledge of her work. Needless to say, I will be keeping an eye on her as I am sure can be said for others. Hopefully she pans out as if she does not, nothing less but an elimination of her position will do.
xoxo Transit Blogger