Oh Mr. Flagman, Why Do We Pay You So Much?
A few years ago, if you drove down any Massachusetts road where work was being done, you’d pass a state cop in a Crown Vic with the engine running. All day. Unlike all of the other states, Massachusetts for decades used off duty staties instead of civilian flagmen…paying them $40 or more an hour to stand there and look menacing with their jack boots and caps. Today’s Gazette outlined how hard it is to save this money.
By God, a few years ago a miracle happened when Governor Patrick was able to pry a change out of the paid-off legislators…and the state has saved $12 million in the year since we allowed our highway projects to be monitored not by cops but by men and women in orange vests holding flags.
But this decision isn’t easy, as Deval found out in Lowell when signs declaring that he hates cops were waved by local police officers. Now you can see why the governor’s two rivals, Tim Cahill and Charlie Baker, are opposed to saving us that money, and that we should actually use the cops, not the civilians, on the job. Hey if you were a state cop and could earn $40 and higher for sitting in a cruiser on the highway, you’d be out there holding signs to keep that dough, too.
There’s a flimsy theory that the flagmen are pulling down the same big bucks as the cops…but others dispute that. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to save money, hey, these guys aren’t doing difficult jobs. Just sitting there, really.