Today, President Obama signed into law a stimulus bill that will release the biggest influx of federal dollars since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society program. The $787 billion package is aimed at reversing the country's economic problems with billions going to individual states.
Governor Deval Patrick has appointed real estate developer, Jeffrey Simon to oversee the money that will flow into Massachusetts. With 30 years of experience in the real estate industry, Simon oversaw the redevelopment of several closed military bases, including Fort Devens in Massachusetts and four bases in Bermuda. Simon's title will be Director of Infrastructure Investment and will be paid a salary of $150,000 from the federal-stimulus share.
The governor cited the failure of the Big Dig as an inspiration for appointing Simon to his position. With the central artery project there was no single point of contact watching over the expenditure of public funds.
With the stimulus money headed our way, the infighting over whose projects will get priority has already begun.
Mayor Michael Bissonett of Chicopee sited the tension between mayors and governors across the country over who is going to receive which dollar amounts and for which purposes. He also said that a council of mayors and other leaders are outraged that one proposal will be sending millions to the Massachusetts Turnpike rather than to a backlog of local road and bridge projects.
The Mass Turnpike saga continues.
Currently, our state is slated to receive well over $2 billion with $408 million for highway work and $386 million for mass transit projects according to Senator Kerry. One of the projects on the table is a possible rail link from Boston to Fall River and New Bedford.
With the signing of the bill today, the Obama administration implied that the economic stimulus plan will create or save 79,000 jobs in Massachusetts over the next two years.
Copyright 2009 - Claudette Millette, President, TheBuyersCounsel - 800-392-1446, E-mail
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