To the Editor:
The Steamship Authority (SSA) general manager, Robert Davis, recently received a very high job performance approval rating (95 percent) from SSA Nantucket representative and board chair Robert Ranney. Considering the incessant SSA ship failings year after year, its refusal to have meaningful dialogue with anyone but itself, its cost overruns, which are forcing it to increase rates, and an abundance of other ill-thought-out management decisions, this is an outrageously generous approval rating.
But before attacking Mr. Ranney’s scoring further, we must ask whether his exceptional rating should be supported by claiming “we are a little more forgiving” because “we are out here in the middle of the ocean”?
Based on the facts, there should be absolutely no forgivingness. None of the failings of Mr. Davis are related to being “out here in the middle of the ocean.” What does the ocean have to do with continuous communications failures, a faulty ticket reservation system, buying old boats that must be converted at excessive cost before use, persistent refusals to act in consideration of serious community concerns, building a massive ticket mausoleum in the village of Woods Hole in the age of electronic ticketing, the complete refusal to deal with problems caused by its clients with increasingly numerous, large, and very noisy trucks in residential neighborhoods, traffic backups, and its refusal to do the right thing, such as stopping the 5:30 am freight runs when opposed by the Falmouth community? The list goes on …
Even Falmouth board member Peter Jeffrey’s failing grade of 53 percent evaluation of Mr. Davis is excessive, although I give Mr. Jeffrey credit for being more realistic in evaluating the SSA general manager’s true performance.