Boston Transportation Commissioner Resigns
After mounting tension between the Boston Transportation Department and the mayor's office, the commissioner of transportation, Thomas J. Tinlin, announced his resignation yesterday. Tinlin complained that mayor Thomas Menino and a climate of fear were making his job impossible.
Last week Menino called for the traffic lights in the city to be removed and investigated following increased complaints by Bostonians. Several hundred of the stoplights had to be destroyed by bomb squads. Tinlin expressed concern at the time that the investigation was causing traffic problems throughout the city.
Police Commissioner Ed Davis responded saying, "We can never be too careful when it comes to public security. I am sure most Bostonians would rather experience a few delays than be killed in a terrorist attack." The investigation cost the police department over two million dollars. Davis added that he was proud of the coordinated effort between state and local police, "It ran about as smoothly as we could have hoped. The bomb squads were exceptional."
Tinlin had a barrage of accusations for the mayor, "I don't think the mayor fully understands how expensive these lights are. Factoring in installation an individual stoplight can cost $150, the Department of Transportation simply doesn't have that kind of money to throw around with all the maintenance we are doing elsewhere. These lights have been up for years in almost every town in America, I don't understand why he would suspect they were some . I have tried to communicate with him and inform him the nature of these devices, frankly I think he has become paranoid."
Menino held a press conference to respond to these attacks, "What Mr. Tinlin doesn't realize is that this is not 2000, this is 2006. The DOT should be held responsible for its carelessness in putting up these electronic devices in a post 9/11 world. This was a costly investigation. Security is no laughing matter."
After seeing one of the traffic devices first hand, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said, "It had a very sinister appearance. It had a battery behind it, and wires."
Tinlin, looking exasperated, told local news stations, "I've had enough of this, I quit."