December 16, 2006

Ultimate responsibility for DOT problems

It would seem that with all the major problems in road construction, planning, repair of repairs and mis-management of taxpayer dollar expenditures that the top person in North Carolina's Department of Transportation would bear the ultimate responsibility for bungled work. News articles are frequently seen about state funds falling short of what is needed for building new roads, repairing and repaving of existing roads and planning of major new roads needed to handle the rapid growth in many areas of the state. Could it be that there is a problem from the top down in running the DOT?

State Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett is at the top of the chain and is a political appointee in Governor Easley's organization. It's interesting that with all the problems that keep surfacing that the top man in the DOT has not admitted to being ultimately responsible for state road issues and has not been replaced. Could this be just another indicator that the "good old boy" system is alive and well in state politics and that nothing will change until a new Governor is elected?

A December, 2006, article discusses responsibilities and salaries of a number of people in the DOT organization and indicates that Secretary Tippett issues reprimands for poor performance. Nothing has been said about Tippett's salary and whether he should be held accountable for poor performance and management...
News and Observer
December 16, 2006
Bruce Siceloff and Toby Coleman, Staff Writers

3 rebuked for road failures
The transportation secretary issues written warnings, saying that the public's trust must be regained

State Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett said Friday that three department administrators were reprimanded for their involvement in the failed Interstate 40 widening project in Durham County that will require an estimated $18.6 million repair.

In a six-page report to the state Board of Transportation, Tippett identified 10 present and former Department of Transportation engineers and administrators who played key roles in planning, designing and building the 10.6-mile Durham County project, which was finished in 2004. Three of the 10 were singled out for the only disciplinary actions DOT has announced.

"The result of these errors has created a decrease in public confidence and trust in the Department," Tippett wrote in a memo. "Accountability for the errors is essential to re-establishing the public confidence and the integrity of the Department." Read more...