April 10, 2007

City Council Meeting

I reviewed the City Council Minutes, in particular IMG:

Staff continues to work with IMG, aviation industry experts, on various airport-related issues, including operational strategies and the identification and marketing of the Airport to increase aviation activity. IMG continues to provide the City with the analysis of potential carriers and the creation of specific marketing packages and strategies for those identifies airlines. The City and Massport are focusing efforts on identifying and recruiting airlines that employ efficient aircraft and service popular destinations which were identified through the local and FAA conducted surveys of passenger preferences.

I have a few questions:

  1. What happened to the two airlines packages, which I never received, by IMG to two prospective airlines?
  2. How long has IMG been analyzing potential airlines, have they identified any airlines that meet the above critiria?

Please keep in mind that we have paid over 200,000 for the above answers.


Anonymous said...

March minutes for Airport Commission are available at the airport website.

Anonymous said...

Not much to read.

Anonymous said...

Apr 12, 2007

City’s CFO is headed to Massport

Pranckevicius ends 16-year local career



WORCESTER— The city is losing its longtime chief financial officer and budget chief to the Massachusetts Port Authority.

The Massport board of directors yesterday appointed John P. Pranckevicius as the agency’s new director of administration and finance. He will fill the position vacated earlier this year by Leslie Kirwan, who became state secretary of administration and finance.

Massport, which has an annual budget of about $500 million, oversees the operation of Logan International Airport and Worcester Regional Airport, among other transportation properties.

Mr. Pranckevicius, 38, who has been with the city for more than 14 years, is expected to begin his new job in mid-May. He will remain with the city until then and continue to oversee preparation of the fiscal 2008 municipal budget, which the city administration plans to present to the City Council April 24.

“It’s been a great ride, but it’s time for me to move on,” Mr. Pranckevicius said in an interview. “Working for the city has been a great experience, but a situation came up at Massport that I simply could not turn down. It’s a great opportunity and exciting new chapter in my career. I am looking forward to the challenges my new job will present.”

Mr. Pranckevicius is the second high-ranking finance employee at City Hall to be leaving in seven months. In October, Thomas F. Zidelis, who had been city treasurer and tax collector for 14 years, left to take a job with the Worcester County sheriff’s office.

His departure also comes at a time when city officials are grappling with a projected $21 million budget gap for fiscal 2008.

City Manager Michael V. O’Brien said work on the budget will continue uninterrupted. He said Mr. Pranckevicius informed him a few months ago that he was in the running for the Massport job and, as a result, he was able to develop a contingency plan.

Mr. O’Brien plans on naming an acting chief financial officer in the next seven to 10 business days so that person can work alongside Mr. Pranckevicius and with his administration to ensure continuity of the city’s financial management systems.

He also plans to advertise the position through a variety of media, beginning this weekend. He said it is his goal to permanently fill the position before July 1, which is the start of the new fiscal year.

“The community can rest assured that there is a firm hand on the wheel and the hard work of good government will continue uninterrupted,” Mr. O’Brien said last night.

Mr. O’Brien praised Mr. Pranckevicius for his years of service to the city, calling him a consummate professional whose talents will be sorely missed at City Hall. He said his appointment to a top management position at Massport keeps the city and Central Massachusetts on center stage statewide.

“I am very happy for John and his family,” Mr. O’Brien said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for him and the right career move for an individual with his level of knowledge, expertise and business acumen. Massport clearly landed one of the best and brightest, and it’s great to see one of ours in such a key role.”

In his new position at Massport, Mr. Pranckevicius will be paid $168,500 a year. As the city’s chief financial officer, his salary is $115,952.

During his tenure at City Hall, Mr. Pranckevicius worked as the city’s budget chief for three city managers: William J. Mulford, Thomas R. Hoover and Mr. O’Brien. He began with the city in June 1991 as an intern in the city treasurer’s office. In October 1992, he was hired as a staff accountant in the treasurer’s office and one month later he became chief accountant/senior budget analyst in the Budget Office.

In 1993, Mr. Mulford made him the city’s budget director. When Mr. O’Brien became city manager in 2004, he reorganized his administration and made Mr. Pranckevicius chief financial officer and a member of his cabinet, overseeing all finance-related operations of the city government.

In addition to developing and implementing municipal finance policies, Mr. Pranckevicius played active roles in negotiations on the CitySquare development agreement, the deal that led to the construction of the Worcester Medical Center and improving Worcester’s bond rating.

He also worked with Mr. O’Brien in developing a first-ever, five-point plan for city finances, which outlines various actions the city needs to follow to maintain and enhance its financial standing.

“If we can execute that plan, it will put us (the city) on firm financial footing,” Mr. Pranckevicius said. “I’m very proud of that plan and the improvements we made to the (city) budget documents over the years. Before, the budget was nothing but numbers, but now it is a much more complete document that includes goals and objectives as well as accomplishments of the past year.”

John J. Monahan of the Telegram & Gazette staff contributed to this report.

Harry Tembenis
Worcester, MA

Anonymous said...

The portability of these government pensions is taking its toll on Worcester's managerial ranks.

If you were a National Express and you owned facilities that were a $500M annual operation, would you hire a former CFO or would you hire someone with a background more consistent with your type of operations?

At 38 years old would you be looking to increase your commuting time from 30 minutes to 230 minutes or alternately, move to the Boston area and watch your 45% salary increase get chewed up in the Boston housing market and still be stuck with 90 minutes of Boston area commuting time?

This question is not meant to belittle anyones credentials, but was this a nationwide search? (McMurray Nation)

If you were a medium sized city CFO and you saw the city is hitting a financial brick wall and a year from the deficit will be not $21M, but $121M would you move on, too?

If you're a talented municipal CFO, are you interested in working for a municipality known as Chelsea West or Springfield East and/or working in receivership? Probably something that one would like to avoid putting on one's resume.

I wish these municipal trash haulers who work 4 1/2 hours a day would move to Massport, too. Waste Management guys go just a fast everyday till 400 or 500pm.

Never, ever, listen to a municipal CEO or an engineer or a former verbose mayor when they start telling you what a great money saving deal a certain municipal trash operation is and how the towns pay 4 and 5x more for similar service provided by private haulers.

If it were true, then the towns would hire the City of Worcester to haul their trash. Ask the departing CFO what the real cost is when vacation time, sick days, personal days, hauladays, IOD, pensions, health insurance, etc area all tallied up?

Bill Randell said...

Annie Mouse:

I do not share as a bleak a picture, but it does greatly concern me that three what I consider very talented individuals (Jill DaGillis, Tom Zidelis and now John Pranckevicius) have decided to leave the City of Worcester. It surely does give the appearance that things may get a little worse in the short term, before they get better.