Positive Moves in a Negative Economy

June 22, 2011

-By Joshua Resnek

Massport’s business plan for the coming year makes no concessions to the worldwide recession. In fact, total revenues for the fiscal year that begins July 1, will be $567.4 million.

That’s a $33.6 million or 6.3 increase over last year’s budget, according to Massport officials who recently released the Fiscal Year 2012 budget of $384.4 million – which represents a 7 percent increase.

Amazingly enough, the vast percentage gain comes from Massport’s container ship program and increased demand on airline employee parking programs.

Massport officials claim that that the agency generates more than $8 billion in economic impact in Massachusetts and supports about 20,000 jobs.

Whatever those figures are exactly, it represents a modern miracle for Massachusetts as Massport relies on not one dime of state tax funding to achieve its goals and aspirations from year to year.

For the millions of travelers passing through Logan International Airport every week, there are no indications that anything has changed.

But Massport is going through a dramatic time in its history now that Thomas Kinton, Jr. has left as Executive Director.

Attorney David Mackey, the able head of Massport’s legal department, was recently named interim executive director.

Governor Deval Patrick and his staff are apparently making plans to replace him with a permanent executive director. A search to that end is now underway.

There are, as well, plans to replace a number of longer term employees, claim those close to the governor.

Last week, Kathryn West was appointed to the Massport Board.

The Board has to do with everything important about the running of Massport.

West is well known in real estate circles in Massachusetts and wields great personal power as the Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities at Partners HealthCare – a position she has served in for 13 years.

Jeffrey Mullan, Chairman of the Massport Board  and the head of the state’s Department of Transportation said he was pleased with the appointment of West.

Mullan is the governor’s point man in the planned personnel changes to be made at Massport.

He has the governor’s confidence and it is expected a number of changes will shortly be announced.

West, like all Massport board members, serves without pay.

Real estate development and management are critical elements in the management scheme at Logan Airport and the agency’s other major properties throughout the Commonwealth.

West has a fabulous curriculum vitae. She is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA with hig honors from Boston University.

She was previously an Associate Dean of Harvard Medical School and worked as director of real estate development at the MBTA.