Tag Archives: District 4

Ron in Rose’s space … Politically speaking, Coreen Gaffney = bleh … and you ain’t gonna win if you don’t have the dough re mi

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Worcester politicians Coreen and Michael Gaffney are against a living wage for all workers and workers’ unions.    photo: Rose T.

By Ron O’Clair

My interests lie in the 700 Block of Main Street in Main South and the quality of life issues that affect the people who live and work in this area.

I have been a vocal advocate of citizen activism – and a neighborhood activist – for many years. I’ve worked with all of our District 4 city councilors since the late great D 4 Councilor Janice Nadeau. I worked especially closely with former District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller (and now Worcester Zoning Board of Appeals member). Barbara loved her job and  passionately  served the people.

I have come to work with our present D 4 city councilor – Sarai Rivera – on issues affecting MY District after a period of inititial dejection because she won the race against my favorite Worcester city councilor, Barbara Haller.

Now we have a challenger to the District 4 seat – Coreen Gaffney, wife of toxic Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney. Coreen comes with major political connections via marriage to Mike Gaffney, also head of the city Republican committee, and she has the silver spoon effect: plenty of money to spend to finance a decent battle for the District 4 seat. Her husband spent $40,000 of his own money in advertising to win his election two years ago.

Barbara Haller’s defeat came as a surprise to veteran councilor Haller and myself. I believe it was due in large part to Sarai garnering a substantial voter base of her own ethnic background, working with the get out the youth vote and registering many neighborhood voters who previously did not participate in city elections. It was a masterful piece of political saviness for a heretofore unknown politician.

Now many of you know that I ran for a Worcester city councilor at-large seat in the last election. What hampered me most, besides my relative obscurity as a political candidate, was the lack of a  nice little nest egg$$$ to buy airtime, campaign literature, mailings and the other gimicks that politicians use to get their message out to the voters in time for election.

I relied on my own record of service to the community and my obvious success in transforming the most blighted area of my District – the area around the former PIP wet homeless shelter – into a cleaner, safer and QUIETER place for my tenants and me here at 707 Main St. It’s a rooming house I have managed since June of 2003. I have actually resided here since July  1996 and have worked, as I say, with ALL of the DIstrict 4 Councilors, many city officials, the Worcester Police Department and WFD firemen and women. My issues, from years of living with and dealing with these challenges: grime, safety, the opioid crisis, the PIP, prostitution, noise…

I naively believed that my years of work in a very challenging part of the city, LIVING ACROSS from the PIP, the popular articles I wrote for over a decade for InCity Times would have been enough to show the voters my level of committment to District 4. I thought that perhaps the people who reside in my District would see that I was the RIGHT person.

Last election cycle when I ran for office I did manage to pull in 580 votes – so there were at least that many people who agreed with me. My years of work have paid a few dividends here in what was once the absolute most crime-infested spot in the City of Worcester.

The old WPD, under now retired Chief Gary J. Gemme, would have liked to contain all the nefariousness/crime in my immediate vicinity, which of course made it easier for them but very unfair for poor residents, biz folks, families, kids.

So now we have  Coreen Gaffney running against the indomitable spirit of Sarai Rivera because Mr. & Mrs. Gaffney have moved into MY district and think they are going to take credit for accomplishemnts that were the result of many years of hard fought battles beginning with William Breault and continuing with myself and many other people who worked tirelessly to put a clamp down on illegal behavior regarding illicit drug sales and prostitution in this Main South area that comprises District 4.

City Councilor at-Large Michael Gaffney and now Coreen Gaffney – who declined my request for an interview prior to my authoring this story – are the interlopers here.

They believe they have rights because they have begun a “beautification” project, cleaning local weeded sidewalks and picking up trash here and there. They think this is a new and novel approach! Ha!!!

Well, they aren’t doing anything new and special. We District 4 residents, business owners and volunteers have done all this many times in the past – to not too much in the way of success long-term, or appreciation in the near-term. I myself picked up litter on my Main Street 700 block for a number of years on end –  and got physically attacked while doing it. This happened more than once.

To me, Coreen Gaffney comes off as mini me carbon copy of her husband Michael Gaffney whose support of the offensive Turtle Boy blog belittles his very own constituency. This speaks volumes about his character as a city councilor.

That is why I urge my readers to consider carefully who they vote for in the mayoral race (Michael is running for mayor) and the District 4 race.

A vote for Coreen Gaffney would be a great disservice to District 4.

Re-electing D 4 incumbent Sarai Rivera would be a good thing.

That is as fair and impartial as I can be under the circumstances – Coreen refused to be interviewed by me.

Quite the snub from the little grub!

The pointless Coreen Gaffney! … Or: Where does District 4 City Councilor Candidate Coreen Gaffney stand on THE TOUGH ISSUES, THE REAL CHALLENGES of Worcester’s District 4? … She is NO WHERE!

Text + pics by Rosalie Tirella

MIA! Parading around our D 4 streets (where does Coreen stand on the proposed 25 MPH inner-city speed limit?!)…

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… planting fuckin’ flowers. Oblivious. When we need solutions to OUR INTENSE HEART-BREAKING, DEADLY District 4 Challenges!!:

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Like the homeless, opioid problems … . I took this photo on Millbury Street a few days ago. You see folks struggling like this every day on Millbury Street, the beginning of the gentrified Canal District.

So many homeless men and women in the Canal District …

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… hanging out under the Green Street bridge …

Sleeping on Green Street …

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District 4 cries out for help! Coreen Gaffney plants pansies!!

The Canal District – a district of the well off and very poor/homeless! No middle! Like a mini NYC or Boston!

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… Then there are the homeless, the bereft, in Main South!

Where is Coreen’s caring-for-the-homeless/drug-addicted blue-print?

“Canning” at Endicott Street:

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WHERE IS COREEN GAFFNEY’S JOB-CREATION PLAN for the undereducated?

Where is her plan to employ the thousands in D 4 who would be employed in factories, if we had an abundance of factories, like the good old days?! There is no longer this economic engine for the uneducated/undereducated in D 4! No factories to lift people out of intense poverty!

Where does Coreen Gaffney stand on FIGHTING FOR $15 – the minimum/living wage issue? WORKERS IN D 4 need a living wage!

Where are Coreen’s blue prints for D 4’s forgotten workers? Do not ask her! She is too busy posting happy pappy photos of puppies and kittens and public relations photos from D 4 AGENCIES WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE IN WORCESTER!

Sucking ass is not the solution, Coreen!

We do not need a gardener or calendar event listings person!

Are you brain dead? Heartless? So stupid that you don’t SEE what we here in D 4 see every day? That’s right – you and Mike just moved here two years ago to jumpstart our political nightmare!!

If elected, will you follow the lead of your toxic husband CITY COUNCILOR MIKE GAFFNEY and vote the way he does on the tough issues that impact District 4? Your evil hubby has been ANTI: people of color, refugees, sanctuary cities, street level social service agencies, the homeless, the drug-addicted…HE HAS BEEN PUNITIVE, DESTRUCTIVE…NO ANSWERS. Truth be told, Michael Gaffney has used all of the above as wedge issues to garner votes from the angry, confused, bigoted…

Will you follow his lead? If elected to the city council, will you vote the way your evil husband does?

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Your husband hates Woo being a sanctuary city…

You seem to echo his statements/beliefs when tough issues come to the forefront of city life!

Fuck your flowers!
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They are pretty, but we have REC, urban gardeners, college interns, teens in church groups who do/can do what you’re doing. And they do not expect to be elected to public office!

Your urban flora escapade is a pretty smokescreen … just cheap, feel-good publicity for you and Michael in an election year. We need answers to OUR OPIOID problem, to our malnourishment/health problem, to our jobs problem, to our obesity problem …

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So many folks in D 4 are overweight or underweight – either way: MALnourished. D 4’s poverty rate is the highest in the city! But on your FB page you post pics of you and hubby eating at Woo’s finest restaurants. Michael posts photos of his white Porche…

You two suck.

But you have highjacked my beloved city because a la Donald Trump you VALIDATE the socio-economic, racial prejudices and fears of so many in Worcester. People who are not adjusting to the new diverse, multicultural, urban, global world …

Kids in our city who need understanding…

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… not hatred and ignorance. The kind that pours out of Turtle Boy-Aidan Kearney and your husband Michael Gaffney.

D 4 is MY District…

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Rose’s…
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I love D 4 so much! And I can tell you, Coreen, you DO NOT GET HER, understand her complicated beauty! For one nanosecond!

You do not deserve to represent District 4 because you are clueless …

I hope to see you planting evergreens this Christmas season in D 4 – AFTER YOU’VE LOST THE ELECTION!

But I won’t be waiting for you outside the Main South CDC or Mahoney’s…cuz you’ll be gone.

Late-afternoon Gaffney musings …

Text and pics by Rosalie Tirella

Hanging with the mutts …

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… and Miss Cece …

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… drinking my java, thinking about local politics – thanking the dear sweet Jesus that former Worcester mayor, city councilor and school committee guy Joe O’Brien is coming out of his new-daddy-hood cocoon to run for public office again. Yeeeehaaaa!!! He’s running for Worcester city councilor at large, which means:  Mayor Joe Petty, who’s running for re-election, will, once again, win the mayoral seat and Joe O’Brien – because he’s well liked and a smart, compassionate and effective public servant – will be second highest vote getter and become the Worcester City Council vice chairperson, KNOCKING COUNCILOR MICHAEL GAFFNEY OFF THE COUNCIL VICE CHAIR PERCH, a perch he milks to no end! YAY! 🙌 🙌 HOORAY! Yipee! Reason enough to REJOICE that O’Brien is running  for public office! We are so sick of councilor at large Michael Gaffney – he’s brought Woo political discourse  to a new,  toxic low! Plus, by being vice chair, he trots out his mayor-in-waiting schtick at every turn. O’Brien’s strong win will make him #2, the new vice chair and …. keep Gaffney off that dias at City Hall! Rip the mayor’s gavel out of the Gaffer’s cold, clammy hands! Take the pinch-hitter title away!

Again, reason enough to be ELATED that Joe O’Brien is running for city council!!! (he’d never run for mayor this election cycle because he’s Petty’s friend and political ally.) But there are other reasons to be thankful for our soon to be new city council vice chair: First, O’Brien will be the antidote to the poison that is Michael Gaffney. Every time Gaffney uses race or class  to hurt one group of folks to win political points with the Turtle Boy brigade or twists the truth in the sickest ways a la sicko prez Donald Trump, O’Brien will call him out. Call out his twisted lies and counter them with TRUTH.  O’Brien is an articulate, progressive policy wonk who went to Harvard. He’s also a regular guy/dad/husband who loves/lives Worcester 24/7. He’ll brook no bull shit from Gaffney. For example, we could have used Joe a few days ago: The Gaffer was on his video channel crying over the fact that our City Council went on record supporting a statewide living wage of $15/hour. His cynical, slimey Gaffney intimation? That the living wage is a nefarious Socialist plot to subvert democracy! My late great mother who worked her whole working life for minimum wage and wanted a LIVING wage for the folks who came after her was NOT a Socialist! She LOVED AMERICA! SHE WAS A PATRIOT. She once told me SHE WOULD DIE FOR HER COUNTRY! Gaffney is no American patriot. He wraps himself in the American flag and sticks a WPD badge on his lapel to create the image of patriotism. It’s all marketing. For votes. Gaffney, like  Donald Trump, is a power-hungry con artist who lies to people to  win elections. Joe O’Brien will, on the council floor, rebut Gaffney’s slick lies.

Second, Mayor Petty, along with most of the other city councilors, is doing an admirable job at keeping Worcester, a Mass Gateway City, open to and PROUD of immigrants…making our public schools strong and the portal to a middle class life, a life of knowledge and a never-ending quest to LEARN MORE. Our parks are beautiful, our inner city ‘hoods need help, but we are all trying. Downtown may yet prove to be our own urban dance party – singing and swinging to a million different voices! I cannot wait! Michael Gaffney is the political thunderclap over our urban dance party. Immigration, refugees, a global multi-cultural Worcester, a Woo struggling with poverty and hunger in many of its quarters…Gaffney, like Trump, exploits all this and plays to people’s economic fears and racial prejudices. O’Brien is just the opposite – he will help lead the city council – and city! – to higher ground. He will help bring people together – not divide, to conquer.

Here are last night’s Bill Maher video clips. Maher, one of America’s most gifted satirists, has Trump pegged. But you can extrapolate and apply his satire to Gaffney, on a much teenier political scale, of course. Spiritually, Trump and Gaffney are identical twins:

Good discussion:

But enough Gaffer talk! On to:

Mike Gaffney’s wife, Coreen Gaffney. She is running for the Worcester District 4 City Councilor seat – a seat her fat patootie will NEVER warm! Not for one milli-second! Once again, the Gaffneys know/show no shame. Coreen, the wife of toxic Michael Gaffney – a politician who gets his political steam from castigating minorities, refugees and Sanctuary Cities – runs for office in Worcester’s majority-minority, mostly inner-city District 4. (And, no, Mike, it is NOT sexist to write in news stories and headlines that Coreen is married to you. IT IS NEWS-WORTHY.  You’re a CONTROVERSIAL COUNCILOR and you GET  YOURSELF INTO THE NEWS every other day. Think of it like this: If Hitler’s lover ran for Vice Fuhrer, wouldn’t you want to know that she was Adolph’s squeeze?) Yeah, D 4 could use better garbage pick up (more often – and street sweeping, too!), but that doesn’t mean we throw the district (my district!) out with the unrecycled water bottle!

Smile, people!

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This November the dynamics of the Worcester City Council are gonna change – for the better!!😄😄😄😄💗💗💙💛

The Gaffneys invade District 4

By Rosalie Tirella

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pics: R.T.

Eating breakfast today, thinking Worcester politics. Thinking: You’ve got to be shitting me! Coreen Gaffney is running for Worcester District 4 City Councilor?! The wife of Worcester City Councilor Mike Gaffney – Michael Gaffney: our very own Alabama Governor George Wallace?!!? Our very own Donald Trump stuffed with Joseph P. McCarthy? – a guy whose made his politcal name in Worcester by throwing minorities under the bus? … a guy who exploits the “race issue” every chance he gets and throws our city into paroxysms of pain for mere political gain?

The insanity! The arrogance!

Manipulative and cynical are words that do not begin to describe Coreen’s chubby hubby, Michael Gaffney – a guy who, along with his consigliere – Worcester’s very own Jerry Springer: TURTLE BOY-Aidan Kearney – has done nothing but create racial discord in Worcester.

Every racially divisive, hurtful slug fest in Worcester these past few years can be traced to Michael Gaffney and Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney. For political gain (the Gaffer wants to be mayor – ha ha) and for click bait (Turtle Boy-Aidan Kearney is also a racist hater).

Sanctuary Cities.

Brenda Jenkins.

Melinda Boone.

The Worcester rally for immigrants and refugees.

ICE.

Gaffney has purposely misinterpreted each of these issues to stir up fear and hatred in our community and to destroy Worcester Mayor Joe Petty. And the Turtle Boy blog has been with him every pernicious step of the way!

And now – just because they’ve lived in Main South’s Junction Shops for a year – wife Coreen has decided to run for city councilor in District 4 – Worcester’s majority-minority district, a district where all the above issues play out daily, hourly … a district that has been ably and compassionately served by incumbent D 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera, a pastor, educator and local civil rights leader with deep roots in and a deep love for  District 4.

The gall of Coreen Gaffney!

To think that this political couple from hell – using Coreen as their tool – can win, or even make an electoral dent – in D 4 is laughable!

For Coreen to expect to get the support and votes of the hundreds and hundreds of Latinos, blacks, immigrants and their families AND the progressive community activists/hippies who live in Main South, Green Island, Lower Vernon Hill and Piedmont Street shows you just how arrogant and deluded she is. Just like her intellectually sharp but emotionally and spiritually ugly husband, Michael.

District 4  – the district whose people, issues, kids/students husband Michael has used as a political punching bag – Coreen  Gaffney is now running to “represent”!

Mrs. Gaffney, please chew on this …

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… You have a snowflake’s chance in hell of winning (winning over) D 4!!!

Who’s got the prettiest bloomers in Worcester?-part 2

So, I was in my beloved Green Island earlier today and was lucky enough to catch the lovely flower lady behind all the lovely bloomers I showered you with last week! She let me in her lush, lush, soothing yard. Met her nice hubby! … And took these photos!

FLOWER TO THE PEOPLE!

GO, GORGEOUS GREEN ISLANDERS, GO!
– Rosalie Tirella

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Then, just a five-minute drive away you have WORCESTER CITY COUNCILOR AT LARGE KONSTANTINA LUKE’S rental property.

A DUMP.

Konnie puts the slum in my neighborhood!

She has no respect for the people here!

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The porches are NOT up to code, City Councilor Lukes!!

Welcome to Worcester’s District 4!

Daily or 3 X per week trash pick-up for D 4! An itense, inner-city district like mine needs the extra TLC!!! Urban revitalization NOW! Public health is our concern, too!

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On the other hand, the Main South CDC is doing some wonderful work in D 4 (see below):

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Go, Steve Teasdale and Main South CDC, go!!

pics/text: R.T.

Happy Easter! … and then some!

Lilac donning her Easter bonnet!:

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Not-so-Happy District 4:

Charlton Street:
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Lower Endicott Street:

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Ward Street heading into the Canal District:

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This Earth Day these filth hot spots will be cleaned up by the best of the best. The next day they’ll be clogged with garbage. A chronic problem!

City Leaders may want to institute FREE GARBAGE PICK UP IN SOME OF OUR INNER-CITY ‘HOODS. The illegal dumping will never go away …

Some questions:

Is it financial hardship that keeps folks from plunking down 10 bucks for city trash bags?

Or: Is it a symptom of something deeper, a kind of depression/malaise that stops our folks from keeping their environs clean?

We can debate the causes all year long. Meanwhile, my neighborhood grows dirtier and dirtier.

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So wonderful when our readers show us the love:

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Like William here! To hear the enthusiasm in his voice a week ago as he picked up the latest issue of ICT! To be bombarded with his compliments! To experience his intelligence and thoughtfulness! Our readers make it all STILL GREAT. After almost 15 years!

THANK YOU!!

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My friend works in a flower shop. She “sent” me these beauties a few days ago for Easter!:

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Love the soft peach roses, gal pal!

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And love the hundreds of vintage toy trucks and cars – some of them actually antiques dating back to the 1920s – for sale at Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift store at 1329 Main St., Worcester. These guys really take you back! Who can remember the Texaco jingle?

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Lilac, my tenacious hunter, caught a rabbit (or squirrel?) a week ago:

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A brutal, but quick, ending for the little guy. You can’t break your dog of his/her high prey drive. … Lilac slept like a babe that night, true to her soul:

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Easter sans Lucinda? Never in a million Easters! Reposting one of my favorite Lu songs!

HAPPY, HAPPY EASTER!

– pics+text by Rosalie Tirella

Driving around District 4 today, I saw all this shit!

So I called the mayor, congratulated him on his win, and immediately began talking trash! I said: Joe! District 4 is awash in garbage! Get rid of it! We’re dying here! Some ideas: Nix the donation boxes! Hire two D 4 garbage collectors! … I’ve seen a rat! … Eeeek!!!!

Petty said in that steady, calm voice of his: Thanks for your support … the city IS working on this issue. Donation boxes ARE being removed. Their licences/permits scrutinized. We will get there.

This is what D 4 deals with every day. I am texting Petty the photos just as soon as I post them here.

Where’s your sense of urgency, Worcester City Council?!

– Rosalie Tirella

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Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme DELIVERS

By Barbara Haller

Everybody’s got an agenda.  Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme’s agenda is Successfully Making & Keeping Worcester a Safe City.

I have worked with Police Chief Gary Gemme since he was hired as Worcester’s Police Chief in 2004, most of this time as the District 4 city councilor (2002-2011) and in the last 3 years as a local resident and active community member.  While chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee we met nearly every month one-on-one to discuss community problems.  I also met many times with him and key staff members and neighborhood constituents to discuss specific problems and strategies.

I also know Worcester for many years in many capacities.  I went to school in the City (Worcester Junior and WPI), have worked in the City (NGRID), had a small business in the City (Gilrein’s).  I own my home in the City (Main South).  My daughter and her family live in the City (Newton Square); my grandchildren attend Jacob Hiatt.  My partner owns and manages rental properties in Main South.

I know the struggle to get community policing to work.  I know about problem employees, difficult people.  I know about guns, drugs, and rock and roll.  I know about partisan politics.  I know about agendas – hidden and public ones.

Here’s what I know about Gary Gemme:

  • Chief Gemme is the real deal when it comes to commitment and honor.
  • Chief Gemme is a professional in all the positive ways – in touch, engaged, informed, pro-active.
  • Chief Gemme has made and is making a significant impact on controlling and reducing crime.

When he agreed to be hired as Chief, he made it clear to then City Manager O’Brien that he would not compromise on his vision for the Department.  The Manager agreed to support his efforts to change the Police Department culture and our community engagement in solutions to crime.  The 2004 city council was delighted with Manager O’Brien’s success in hiring Gary Gemme as our Police Chief.

The Chief delivers.

He reorganized his department using the split force model allowing for effective reaction to crime and pro-active prevention.  He put together a leadership team with targeted responsibilities and expertise.  He takes action on firing ranges, gun permits, porn houses, knives, officer discipline, technology, party houses, street crime.  He improves and grows partnerships with youth and youth-serving organizations, religious leaders, ethnic groups, athletic organizations.   He works with the Office of Human Rights to improve officer training.  He, working with Manager O’Brien, broke barriers among city departments to successfully develop inter-departments teams to address persistent problem properties.

The Chief’s commitment to neighborhood crime watches, foot beats, along with rapid response to data-driven hot-spots and developing crime trends is nothing short of great.  Last week at my local neighborhood crime watch meeting, our community impact officers were engaged – giving updates on progress for previously reported problems, listening to neighbors’ concerns.  Rather than standing up and telling us what to do, they sat with us and brainstormed possible solutions.  The feeling of partnership was strong.

All this being said there are always those who look for opportunities to criticize. For those of us who are not dogmatic in our beliefs or who feel uninformed, these people cause us to pause and reconsider if we are going in the right direction.  And sometimes they are right.  And sometimes we change our views.  And sometimes needed change comes.

And then there are always those to look for opportunities to misrepresent, demean, and incite.  My experience is that these people have some grudge, a need to see their name in the media, sell papers, get elected, and/or feel obligated to always act against authority and position.  There is an agenda and some ulterior motive.  They too cause many of us to pause and consider.  But we are mistaken if we allow them to lead us to change.

My experience with Police Chief Gary Gemme comes over many years and in many situations.  His commitment to his job and Worcester runs deep.  His motivation is honor and justice.   We don’t have to always agree with him; we don’t have to like him.  But we should respect his knowledge, expertise and professionalism.

We are fortunate to have Chief Gemme in service to our City.  Those who are attempting to misrepresent his accomplishments, demean his character, and incite others to do the same are not acting in Worcester’s best interest.   We would do well to ignore them.

The Straight Scoop on Worcester’s Community Development Corporations (CDCs)! Connect the dots!

By Barbara Haller, Main South Community Development Corporation Board member, former District 4 City Councilor, and Main South resident

There are several things going on that impact CDCs. Connecting the
dots correctly is difficult. Lots of people have lots of different
opinions. Lots of people are wrong. I believe that I can help ICT
readers understand some of the realities CDCs and the City are facing.
How I know what I know:

Over the past almost 25 years I have been involved in our Community
Development Corporations. Before being elected District 4 city
councilor I served as a board member for Worcester Common Ground and
Main South CDC. While city councilor I no longer served as a board
member but was an active advocate for the work of CDCs across the
City. Since leaving office I rejoined the Main South CDC as a board
member.

What I know:

Dot 1: Local political climate has shifted towards more support of
business development.

Dot 2: Local political climate has shifted towards downtown
revitalization.

Dot 3: Demographics show Worcester is losing its middle class.

Dot 4: Local political climate strongly favors home ownership over
rental properties.

Dot 5: Federal money for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is
declining.

Dot 6: CDBG has been used for lots of things including Code
Inspections, Operation Clean City, Friendly House, Henry Lee Willis,
South Worcester Neighborhood Center, Centro Las Americas, and much
more. It has also funded CDCs for some of their work in the community.

Dot 7: There are other Federal and State funds for developing
affordable housing — HOME, NSP, Lead Abatement. CDCs and private
developers have been awarded use of these funds either by the City
directly or under the Cityâ€Ts supervision.

Dot 8: There have been some scandals associated with some of these
funds. 5 May Street (private developer) was given money without
doing the work. Hadley Building (private developer) was completed
with public money but at excessive cost. Former Ionic Ave Boys &
Girls Club (private developer) was given public money but was never
developed. Lead removal program was corrupted by bribes.

Dot 9: There have been lots of questions around costs for developing
affordable housing. Many think it is too expensive.

Dot 10: CDCs take the sites with the most problems, in the worst
conditions, using money with the most strings attached, and
revitalize neighborhoods.

Dot 11: Local political climate wants more money to go to private
developers, home ownership, more middle class neighborhoods.

Dot 12: Federal audit of CDBG for past 3 years found City mismanaged
at least $2 million and maybe as much as $5+ million. A large portion
of these dollars were given to the CDCs. The audit is critical of the
City Administration contracts and monitoring of the contracts.

Dot 13: The dollars were used for operations that the Feds say were
ineligible under the program.

Dot 14: There is no indication that there was any misuse of funds by
anyone. No double-dipping, no excessive salaries, no slush funds.

Dot 15: The City has said it will go after the CDCâ€Ts for the money.

Dot 16: Those opposed to using public tax dollars to build affordable
housing are connecting the dots to say that it is time for CDCs to go
away or at least consolidate.

Dot 17: Those who want to protect the Cityâ€Ts Administration are
connecting the dots to say that it is the CDCs who messed up.

Dot 18: Those who want to protect the CDCs are connecting the dots to
say it is the City Administration who messed up; CDCs did as they
were contracted to do. If the City wrote contracts that scoped work
that was not covered by federal CDBG funds then it is the City who
erred, not the CDCs.

I firmly believe that the CDCs are vital to our City’s success. I
believe that the CDCs did nothing wrong and that CDBG funding was
used to fight neighborhood blight.

I also believe that the City Administration is not interested in
partnering with the CDCs anymore. I believe that the City Council
supports the City Administration’s plan to shift more resources to
other parts of the city and to and reduce affordable housing
development by CDCs. I believe this is a mistake for lots of reasons.

You can connect your own dots, but the way I see it inner-city
neighborhood revitalization is in for a serious slowdown.