Rhode Island Poaches Talent from Big Dig

1213984482People often ask me why I left Rhode Island, especially when I’m down there a couple of times a month during the summer to enjoy the sandy, relatively sex-free beaches and Del’s Lemonade.

The main reason is that everyone I grew up with is still there. Secondly, it’s because the Ocean State’s politicians may be even more inept than their Bay State counterparts.

The Rhode Island Senate confirmed Michael Lewis, the former project director of the Big Dig, to be director of the state’s Department of Transportation.

The state hired Lewis for the job only months after it spent half a million dollars to convince Rhode Island’s drivers that their highway rerouting project was in no way associated with the boondoggle to the north.

Like anybody with a slightly uncomfortable item of their resume, Lewis spun his misfortune as a learning experience during his confirmation hearings.

Lewis said the collapse highlighted the importance of paying attention to small details in big projects.

Lewis talked to the committee about the importance of “transparency,” and “being open with people” about public works projects.

He even has some reading suggestions for his colleagues.

He said all public works officials should read The Path Between the Seas, a David McCullough book about the planning, financing and construction of the Panama Canal.

He’s your problem now, Rhode Island. Enjoy!