BOSTON: A mid-August outing by several members of the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) consulting team - a ’booze cruise’ on taxpayer dollars - has done more than merely tarnish the group’s image.
BOSTON: A mid-August outing by several members of the Massachusetts
Port Authority (Massport) consulting team - a ’booze cruise’ on taxpayer
dollars - has done more than merely tarnish the group’s image.
Following director Peter Blute’s resignation and the appointment of
Virginia Buckingham as his replacement, Massport has undertaken a review
of its consultant contracts, a move that may result in the ouster of PR
pros who have been advising the group.
According to a September 12 Boston Globe article, nearly a dozen
’politically connected Republicans’ hold ’lucrative and, in some cases,
questionable consultant contracts’ ranging from dollars 1,000 to dollars
120,000. ’All of the contracts will be reviewed to ensure that the money
is being well-spent,’ said Massport communications chief Jose Juves.
Among the agreements under scrutiny are a dollars 120,000 annual
contract with Raymond Howell, principal of Howell Communications and an
advisor to Governor Paul Cellucci and former Governor William Weld; a
six-month, dollars 24,000 deal with Mayor Menino advisor Edward Jesser;
and a dollars 6,000 contract held by lobbying consultant David McCool.
All three were overseeing a communications strategy for Logan Airport’s
proposed new runway.
Of the three, Howell is the only PR pro currently working with Massport,
as Jesser’s contract expired in June and McCool’s services were
terminated as a result of his appearance on the party boat.
’It’s Massport’s decision, not mine,’ said Howell, whose annual contract
with the authority expires at the end of December. ’I’ve added a lot of
value to the agency and I hope that they agree.’
While Massport has taken a beating in the press for Blute’s recent
escapades, Juves said that future plans do not include a reputation