President elect Joseph Biden's selection of former South Bend, Indiana Mayor and 2020 Democratic Party primary rival candidate Pete Buttigieg as the next U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary was disappointing. USDOT has 55,000 employees and a budget of $71.4 billion. It is comprised of the federal Highway, Transit, Motor Carriers, Maritime and National Highway Traffic Safety administrations along with the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and its own Office of Inspector General. Mayor Buttigieg ran a city of 100,000 with 1,143 employees and an annual budget of $358 million.
There are hundreds of better qualified city and state DOT commissioners, transit agency presidents and others who have significant experience in many of these units within USDOT. Many spent years managing thousands of employees and budgets in the billions. They would have stood head and shoulders above Buttigieg in their ability to hit the ground running such a complex agency as USDOT.
It appears that Biden is a disciple of the same old Washington inside-the-Beltway practices. He who has the gold rules. Reward those who have been politically loyal such as Buttigieg, who dropped out of the Democratic primary, at a key moment, to assist Biden in becoming the front runner. Quid pro quo is alive and well in the incoming White House. It is business as usual at the expense of taxpayers.
LARRY PENNER, Great Neck