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"Trust, but verify"

Ah, another Massachusetts-bashing post...

Massachusetts, like so many states, uses private contractors to supplement highway department workers in clearing snowfall. In recent years, though, there have been scandals of plow-drivers taking the state's money and simply not doing their job. In response, the state issued drivers GPS locators, so they could track them and make sure that areas that needed plowing got plowed.

Drivers protested at the requirement, but the state's simple answer was this: you want our money, take our trackers. A few said to hell with it, but most swallowed their pride and took the gadgets.

But a few still decided they could cheat the system. One fellow, Paul V. Gratta, allegedly decided he could "beat" the system.

On at least one occasion Gratta stuffed his tracker in a paper bag and left it in a snowbank and went off and plowed a few private clients. Another time, he had one of his employees take the tracker in his private car and drive Gratta's route (sans plowing, of course) while Gatta again went off and did a few private jobs.

The irony here is that Gratta didn't have to go to those lengths. Highway department workers noted the discrepancies at the time, but didn't bother to report it to anyone. Gratta was uncovered when a private tipster turned him in.

Gratta has collected over $68,000 from the state for (allegedly) plowing over the last two years.

The state is now reviewing all the GPS records over all the past storms, looking for all the times the trackers went red (indicating they'd been sitting still for over an hour).

It's a pity the people who were watching them at the time didn't actually DO THEIR JOB and catch them in the act. But I guess that's asking too much of state employees.

There's an old saw that if you make something foolproof, all people will do is make a better fool. Nice to see Massachusetts' public employees are continuing to prove the truth of that.



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Comments (11)

Wait a minute. You’re sayi... (Below threshold)

Wait a minute. You’re saying plow drivers are not showing up then being paid anyway. Correct me if I’m wrong but if snow is not removed it follows it would still be there, doesn’t it? No removal, no payment. Are these people taking lessons from their esteemed senators? The GPS experiment is a waste of money. It can show where they were, not what they did.

Umm... One of the nice thin... (Below threshold)

Umm... One of the nice things about GPS services that the state is using happen to be a logging function.

The company I work for has all of their Taxi's hooked up with GPS. Tells them where the cab is at all times. A quick phone call can retrieve a log of everywhere the cab has been as well, in paper form or as a pdf via email.

Gotta love how resourceful ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Gotta love how resourceful some of those contractors are.

I have a friend who works in the Boston area, and it he sent a picture of the road outside his office, it looked worse than some of the crappiest parking lot jobs here in NH.

I may not live in the richest City in NH, but they at least do a good job plowing the roads.

Darby, a company works effi... (Below threshold)

Darby, a company works efficiently. The state....especially left-leaning ones...don't
They work to LOSE money.




Ah, another Massachusetts-b... (Below threshold)

Ah, another Massachusetts-bashing post...

Crapola Jay, can you pick on another state? How about Maine? Vermont? Rhode Island? Connecticut?or any other New England State? Hell, ANY FUCKING state in the entire United States will do. God, I'm getting tired of this.

Want to know what pisses me off?? All these plow trucks driving down the street and highways (all major roads in NH are highways) going elsewhere to plow when they could plow their way there just as quickly. I know if I had a plow and had clients, if I was on the road, I'd damn plow it, too!!!! Now those people piss me off.


Kennedy and Kerry have noth... (Below threshold)

Kennedy and Kerry have nothing to do with what goes on in the state when it comes to plowing or paving or anything else like that - it's your regular state reps that have jurisdiction over that matter. And it's these people who meet (say 125) like Congress with the Governor who has say over how things are done, NOT and I mean NOT Kennedy or Kerry. They're FEDERAL. As it comes to anything else - that's STATE. Big Difference. Mass has always sucked when it came to plowing; it would be better if the people got their cars off the road!!!!!! Plowing in NH has always been better and for most places cars are off the road which makes it a lot easier for them.


Skybird - please try to und... (Below threshold)

Skybird - please try to understand this - Ted Kennedy and John Kerry are FEDERAL; it's the STATE REPS and STATE ACCOUNT which meets usually in the CAPITAL of that particular STATE who make the decisions on paving, plowing, costs and everything else - not your federally voted senators and representatives, but your voted STATE REPRESENTATIVES. Huge difference. Try learning the difference.

And there's nothing wrong with GPS units on a plow. If there is an emergency and an ambulance has to get someplace that has not been plowed yet, they can find the closest plow to get there and help them. That's one reason for the GPS system.

Massachusetts, because of the people of Massachusetts, don't put enough money into the account for plowing, so they should not bitch. They should put a good appropriate amount in and if there is any left, leave it there for next year. Another thing Mass should do is GET THE CARS OFF THE STREET and if the people do not want to clean off their cars and get them off the street, then they should be fined or their vehicle towed away; it's that simple. The streets should be free of all vehicles until the plowing is finished but instead they bitch.

And we don't need Jay here to tell us how often tax payers in Massachusetts bitch. Time to take my blood pressure medicine.


Mr. Gratta is a GOOD Republ... (Below threshold)

Mr. Gratta is a GOOD Republican. In fact, he is head of the town's Republican Committee.

My dear friend, Do you eve... (Below threshold)

My dear friend, Do you ever see Paul make fun of LA or it's surrounging states or Kevin who is in PA make fun of his state and surrounding state? They never do. Why do you have to pick on your surrounding state of MA?

Maybe you should try following their example, get out more often and even go on a date or a dinner with a friend?? Can't hurt, might help.


E-nouh is ENOUGH!!!!!!!... (Below threshold)

E-nouh is ENOUGH!!!!!!!






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