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Mr. Masch to Harrisburg: Secretary of Budget

Michael Masch

Michael J. Masch, vice president for Budget and Management Analysis, was nominated last Friday by Governor-elect Edward G. Rendell to serve as Secretary of the Budget in the Rendell Administration. Mr. Masch will take a leave of absence from Penn to serve the Commonwealth.

This is the second time Mr. Masch has been recruited by Mr. Rendell, C '65, H '00. Before coming to Penn in 1996, Mr. Masch served then Mayor Ed Rendell as the City of Philadelphia's Budget Director from 1992 to 1996. When the Rendell Administration took office, the City was on the brink of bankruptcy following ten years of persistent deficits. Mr. Masch and the Rendell economic team succeeded in balancing the budget in their first year, and then went on to successfully implement a ground-breaking program of annual tax cuts and budget surpluses.

President Judith Rodin said, "During his six years at Penn, Mike has played a major role in enhancing our University's financial structure, one of the key goals of our Agenda for Excellence strategic plan. Under Mike's watch we have developed comprehensive long-term planning processes that integrate policies and budgets for both academic and administrative units. We have also instituted new procedures for financial review and approval of capital projects. In short, Mike has set in motion a program of fiscal management and governance that positions us well for the future."

President Rodin added, "We are fortunate that we have on board Bonnie Gibson, who will assume the role of Acting Executive Director of Budget and Management Analysis, in addition to her continuing responsibilities as Executive Director of Administrative Affairs for the Office of the Provost. Bonnie has been at Penn since 1987, serving in a variety of increasingly responsible roles and is well positioned to continue our successful fiscal management programs. We greatly appreciate her willingness to take on these additional responsibilities."

Governor-elect Rendell is optimistic that by working creatively in a bipartisan manner with legislative leaders, the state can come to grips with its looming fiscal crisis, and achieve similar success in the area of economic growth and job creation that Michael Masch helped to usher in Philadelphia during the 1990s.

Governor-elect Rendell noted, "There is no one better than Mike in working with departments to control spending, and finding innovative ways to cut waste while increasing production."

"I selected Mike for this critical post not only because he is one of the best at what he does in America, but because we've succeed together in the past and he shares my vision for balancing budgets while improving services," Governor-elect Rendell added. "Together with legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle, we will give the people of Pennsylvania property tax relief, more equitable funding for our schools, and economic growth for towns and cities across our great state."

Given the magnitude of the fiscal crisis, Governor-elect Rendell called on his new Budget Secretary-Designee to Chair a bipartisan Budget Crisis Task Force aimed not only at defining the full scope of the problem, but to provide recommendations and guidance that will potentially lead to solutions and solvency.

"So much of what ails Pennsylvania can and will be solved as revenues free-up through economic growth. But even as I work with the legislature to stimulate such growth, the fiscal deficit we are inheriting will require honest, imaginative leadership from all the parties involved.

This is why I am appointing a group of experts to this Task Force* to examine all the weapons at our disposal to fight and beat this projected deficit that may well reach two billion dollars," said Governor-elect Rendell.

*(Ed. Note: see Honors & Other Things for other Penn people appointed by the Governor-elect to this Task Force and his Transition Teams.)


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 17, January 14, 2003