Secretary named to turnpike post Bernard Cohen will be chairman.
BOSTON - Gov. Deval L. Patrick has appointed state Secretary of Transportation Bernard Cohen to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to fill a vacancy created by the departure of Thomas H. Trimarco, former secretary of administration and finance in the Romney administration.
Mr. Trimarco resigned from the five-member board after leaving the administration at the end of Gov. Mitt Romney's term. Although his appointment to the turnpike board was not set to expire for several years, Mr. Trimarco cited his interest in private employment with a firm that has done business with the authority.
Mr. Trimarco was a key supporter of an effort started in September to eliminate tolls on the turnpike west of Route 128, a move now halted by Gov. Patrick.
Mr. Cohen is scheduled to become chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority July 1 under legislation that expanded the board two years ago, making the secretary of transportation chairman. Until then the board is being chaired by former Secretary of Transportation John Cogliano.
Mr. Cohen opposed the toll elimination plan, which could not go forward without the approval of the governor, to transfer the 123-mile section of Interstate 90 to the state Highway Department, saying it was "fiscally irresponsible" to eliminate the source of $114 million a year in turnpike tolls at a time when the state was facing funding shortfalls for other transportation projects.
Under state law tolls collected on the western sections of the turnpike must be spent to pay off debt and for operation and maintenance of that portion of the turnpike.
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|Title Annotation:||LOCAL NEWS|
|Publication:||Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)|
|Date:||Feb 20, 2007|
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