City Councilor at Large

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Wonderpoop on Kate Toomey, District 15 state rep. candidate

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Again, Wonderpoop libels/loathes everyone in Worcester! From our city leaders, to our schools, our kids, our parents, our businesses, our downtown, our media – everyone!

He needs to move far, far away …

Here he is (a few years back) on City Councilor at Large Kate Toomey, who has just announced she’s running for the District 15 state representative seat.

R. T.
Blogging Fool Award – Councilor Kate Toomey

By Wonderpoop

A City Councilor who knows technology rules. Still want to stand by that statement Councilor Kate?

After weeks of searching, WWW’s editorial board finally found the perfect candidate for Wusta’s Blogging Fool Award. Not that there ain’t enough blogging fools in Wusta mind you. So garnering the unanimous vote of the editorial board, Worcester City Councilor Kate Toomey the indefatigable defender of the status quo.

This week’s inept handling of a citizen’s banal inquiry [Wonderpoop's, perhaps?] – a meatball pitch if ever there was one – turned into a comedy of errors.

As many of you know if you’ve ever tried interacting with a councilor, the process is rather frustrating – no response to emails or telephone calls. No response to anything. If you’re lucky, the response is ambiguous. But ask yourself, why contact a City Councilor to get your neighborhood stop sign fixed or errant trash removed? What is the job of City Councilor? It’s what they say it is. So Councilor Kate finally accomplished something – she publicly fucked up. All on her own.

There’s not a whole lot to say about Toomey. Except that she pioneered the use of Facebook and Twitter as a communication tool to parry with with the electorate. Perhaps more noteworthy, in 6 years on the city council she’s hasn’t profiled herself on any single issue – always the lackey. When history looks back on her time, her legacy will read: Indistinguishable from the proverbial bump on a log.

Admittedly Toomey’s use of Facebook and Twitter to communicate with the electorate is democratic. Perhaps even laudable. Her droids – all three of em – call her a leader in the use of gizmos to communicate with the public – a quantum leap in open government! Ever read the posts? More like a quantum heap of pabulum.

And how about that Toomey website? Dead since March 2010. With so much happening in city politics she can’t put her thoughts into complex sentences? By golly she’s a teacher. Or maybe she’s smarter than we think. Knowing how dim-witted the electorate is, 140 characters is more than sufficient to get her message out. Thinking back, Councilor Rick Rushton made a couple lame attempts at connecting with the electorate on his personal website. The content though intelligible – using more than 140 characters and complex sentences – is unadulterated BS.

So, as the winner of the Blogging Fool Award, we heartily commend Worcester City Councilor Kate ”Green Eyes” Toomey for being a true detriment to the principles of democratic government.

… I say, what’s so privileged about asking a Councilor to get a sidewalk fixed? Folks want to know if they follow through. What they’re thinking. That’s not a whole lot to expect from them?

If Toomey’s recent interaction is indicative of the quality of response from one Councilor, imagine what the other 10 are like?

Mayor Joe O’Brien: a true progressive who took us to higher ground

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

By Rosalie Tirella

In a way, we didn’t deserve him. In a way, Joseph – “Joe” – O’Brien, Worcester’s first true progressive mayor, was too darned forward-thinking for the dunderheads in this city – most of whom took to calling him “commie,” “socialist,” and other such perjoratives when O’Brien did enlightened things like advocate for immigrants in Arizona and district representation on the Worcester School Committee. etc. – ideas and proclamations that we at InCity Times CHEERED! Absolutely cheered! But the morons of Worcester – of which there are scads – couldn’t see the light that Joe O’Brien shone for all the heat they were generating. I couldn’t believe, as I read cop-ed columns, people’s/community leaders’ quotes in local papers, etc how positively cuckoo for cocoa puffs the nuts in this town would go when confronted with new, good ideas – ideas that O’Brien put out in a clear, thoughtful and sensitive way.

The bashing was something we at InCity Times thought only happened to us! Not to (basically) a Worcester insider like Joe O’Brien. I mean, he had the Irish name, Congressman’s Jim McGovern’s support, the Tim Murray impramateur tattooed on his butt, for Cripes sake – and yet – yet – the morons of Worcester went at O’Brien like the Roman gladiators went after the first Christians in the Colesseum!

But Mayor Joe O’Brien continued to bravely follow his head and his heart – put out one great idea after another. Even when people like fellow city councilor Paul Clancy – the so called “dean of the Worceser City Council – slagged him in the press. Even when the T & G treated him like some martian who had just disembarked from his shiny flying sacuer. It was heartbreaking – and yet inspiring. No matter what the powers that be said – Joe O’Brien stayed true to his ideas – ideas/plans that we have applauded on these pages, plans that have included: a Latino student task force, the banning of exotic animal acts in Worcester, the cheerleading and creation of community gardens in Worcestwer’s inner-city neighbrohoods, his total support of the MCAS-weary Goddard School staff/teachers, families and students. Also: O’Brien’s support of raising chickens in city limits (very cool!), his belief that all kids – no matter what their color or socio-ecomomic backgrounds must succeed in our Worcester Public Schools, his support for improving/repairing the buildings/grounds of Worceser’s inner-city schools, his desire to make our public schools the best in the state – so the city can continue to draw middle- and upper-middle-class families.

And the list goes on: such as O’Brien’s PURPOSELY living in Worcester’s inner-city, suporting the good work of the Main South CDC, WALKING to work so that he can get a true taste of what is going on in our city and talk with folks who may not otherwise feel comfortable accessing him in City Hall, creating longer mayor office hours so working people can meet with him in city hall to discuss their concerns. And, let’s not forget, O’Brien’s pushing the City of Worcester to hire local contractractors/companies for local city construction work and other jobs.

My list goes on and on. We have become one of O’Brien’s biggest cheerleaders! We regret the not so great past in which we defended Grace Ross to Joe’s detriment (BUT GRACE would support Joe on all his issues – we know it!)

But I digress! Everything that Mayor Joseph O’Brien proposed for this city was the right thing to do – the Catholic thing to do.

Many of O’Brien’s detractors – the morons – couldn’t wait to kick O’Brien out of the mayor’s chair this election cycle because they were afraid of the vision of the city Joe was presenting to us all – a picture, I think, that is the true snapshot of where Worcester is in the early part of the 21′st century and where it is going. Immigrants, the rising Latino population, an underclass that has not been helped enough, good, safe housing for our poor families (to stabilize our schools!), the environment … . These are all truths that will continue to bloom as the years pass, years after we all bite the Wormtown dust.

My guess? O’Brien would have won the mayoral seat again. He is too well liked and respected by lots of good people, he had the support of the unions (even though he pushed them to pay a teeny bit more on their health insurance premiums), and the business community likes what he was/is doing for them (for example, the business round table he set up).

This would be a truly sad time if O’Brien had decided to pull out of the Worcester city council all together.

We, however, are lucky. Joseph O’Brien is still running for an At Large City Council seat. We are ecstatic!

We say YES to Joe O’Brien – yes! to his vision of Worcester and his continuing the fab work he is doing for all of us – especially the Worcester of tomorrow.

Joe O’Brien bows out of Worcester mayoral race

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Worcester’s Joe O’Brien has decided not to run for mayor again. On Tuesday, September 20, city voters will still be able to vote for him – as City Counilor at Large.

Here is the letter (citing the reasons for his decision) O’Brien emailed to his supporters.

- R. Tirella

***************

Dear Friends,

I am writing to inform you of my decision to not seek the office of Mayor. Instead I will only run for City Council At-Large.

This has not been an easy decision. I recognize that it will come as a surprise because I have already launched my Mayoral re-election campaign. But over the course of the last month I have come to realize that the pressures of running another campaign and then serving as Mayor for another two years would be too much for myself and my family at this time.

When I ran for Mayor two years ago I promised that I would be a full-time Mayor and I have kept this promise. In doing so, I created significant challenges for my family.

While I have been honored to the Mayor of this great city, I have struggled to balance the life of politician, husband, and new parent. My wife Lisa and I, in our mid forties, became parents for the first time of four year old twins from Ethiopia a couple of months after I took office. As everyone knows, while being a parent is joyful it is also a challenge. Our children need to have two parents who can commit themselves to their development and integration, particularly our son who has had some special challenges adapting. To do the job of Mayor right, the commitment required me to be out for many nights, weekends, and holidays. I don’t believe it is in the best interest of my family to do this for another two years. In addition, earning a part-time salary while serving as a full-time Mayor, in our form of government, has also created financial pressures that are not sustainable for our family at this time.

It has been a honor to serve the people of this great city as Mayor and it has been great to work with so many people to make s difference. Working with the City Manager, the City Council and our School Committee and administration we have accomplished a lot of great things, and undertaken some important initiatives. Today, two years after taking office, long planned construction projects are underway, our economy is growing, our city schools are improving and our neighborhoods are more stable. With extended office hours, neighborhood walks, the new Civic Academy, and almost daily visits to local community groups we have worked hard to engage the people of Worcester and bring a new sense of accountability to local government. The Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Development produced a host of recommendations, most of which have already been implemented. We launched a Mayors Small Business Roundtable, and my office has helped lead a community initiative to improve the academic experience of our Latino students. I am especially proud of the work we have done together with our Immigrant and Refugee Roundtable to help our new Americans become fully engaged in our community. And we spent many hours working to insure that our working people have a voice at the table and that as we have grown our economy we have insured that good jobs were created for the residents of Worcester.  

I am proud of this record and I hope that with your help I can continue to support these efforts as a City Councilor at Large. I plan on working with the new Mayor to insure that many of these efforts continue and I will still be on the front-lines when needed to help advance our shared agenda.

I want everyone to know, as I exit the Mayor’s office, that our city is blessed with outstanding leaders in our City Manager Mike O’Brien and our School Superintendent Dr. Melinda Boone. I have truly enjoyed working with them and I hope I will be able to continue to do so in the City Council.

Most of all I want to thank all of you for your friendship and support. I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful people who have helped with my campaigns and cared for me and my family. I could not have done it without countless people who have stepped forward to lend a hand and I will always be grateful that you helped me have the honor of serving the great people of this city.

I hope that we can continue to find ways to work together to make life better for the people of our city, state and nation. Some among us dislike politics, as if we could have good government without it. We disagree. For us politics is the way we turn citizenship into a verb. I hope we can continue to do our public work together.

Yours in friendship,

Joe

InCity Times candidate endorsement #2: Mike Germain for City Councilor at Large

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

By Rosalie Tirella

On September 20, we ask you to vote for incumbent City Councilor at Large Mike (Michael) Germain

Vote Mike Germain!

Readers of InCity Times may not see or hear Mike Germain, one of Worcester’s City Councilors (at Large), in our ICT pages very often. Sometimes we may not agree with Mike on some of the issues; sometimes we may. But on this crucial issue, one that is near and dear to our hearts, Mike Germain and ICT are absolutely simpatico:

BANNING EXOTIC ANIMAL ACTS FROM THE CITY OF WORCESTER.

Yes! This means no Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus for Worcester! Yes! This means no travelling bottom-of-the-barrel mini-circuses/animal shows – where exotic animals like lions and tigers and leopards are chained in teeny cages, rented out to various travelling hell holes for weeks upon weeks. Many die on the road from dehydration, heat exhaustion, stress, the cold. Just like they do with Ringling Bros. – a rich global organization that has the millions of dollars to hide the facts. Ringling Bros. Circus is making one of their bi-annual pit stops in Worcester in October.

This must be stopped/protested!

By re-electing Mike Germain to the Worcester City Council, I can promise you this: We will always have a vote on the city council – along with a few other of our progressives – for BANNING wild/exotic animal acts from Worceser. For keeping the cirucs OUT OF OUR TOWN! A vote for compassion – a vote against cruelty to animals.

Last year, InCity Times tried to get the ball rolling in terms of having the Worcester City Council keep Ringling Bros and other animal (torture) shows out of Worcester. We tried to make the case to our city councilors that Worcester is economically healthy enough to do without these shows. We have great restaurants, museums, the Hanover, etc. We DO NOT NEED THE BLOOD MONEY that Ringling Bros. brings into our city when they come to town every fall and spring. The march of the elephants down Soutbridge Street is heart breaking! I cry every time I see pics or film footage!

But there is hope! I was ELATED when Mike Germain told me last year: YES! YOU have my support! You have my vote to ban exotic animal acts. Then Germaine went on to say how he and his girlfriend took her little child to a travelling “animal show” in Worcester. He said they walked in, saw how the animals were stuffed into cages, saw a kind of freak show with some of the animals having two heads and some dead – in a jar and pickled in formaldyhyde.

“”We walked in – we walked out,” Germain told me, shaking his head and looking sad.

I knew then I would always vote for Mike Germain.

Germain, an animal lover who is the proud owner of lovely parrots, told me what he was against exposing kids to such horrific sights and having animals experience such cruelty.

Recently, upon hearing the circus was coming to town again, we again went to Germain and he just shook his head in sadness … . We know the lions and tigers and elephants have the love and support of Mike Germian. We want to keep his voice on the Worcester City Council. (To learn more: Please look at our past blogs and read all about “The Cruelest Show on Earth.”)

This is why I am voting for incumbent Michael (Mike) Germain next week, Sept. 20, and why you should too. We believe InCity Times, Mike Germain and a few other of our city councilors – Mayor Joe O’Brien, District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller and City Councilor at large Konnie Lukes – are way ahead of the curve on this one – joining Western Europe and, in Massachusetts, Cambridge, Northampton and Revere.

By voting for Germain, a man who can appreciate the beauty and intelligence of some of the most magnificent animals on earth, you are also voting for a person who is compassionate – a person who cares about vulnerable beings, and that includes our children, and our elderly.

Good people make our great city!

Vote for – re-elect – Mike Germain!