Tag Archives: Joseph Petty

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!!😄😄😄😄💗💗💙💛

VOTE TODAY!

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America

By Edith Morgan
 
It’s here: Decision time has come, ready or not! TODAY Worcester votes! We elect or re-elect our local government officials.  And against all reality, I am still hopeful that we will erase the dismal figures of past local elections and show up in greater numbers.
 
Before casting our ballots, we should give a few moments’ thought to some very fundamental questions: because local government touches most of us most directly – in our homes, our streets, our children, our neighborhoods, our daily lives, we should be most concerned who makes decisions about these things, but we should also learn what the limits of the powers of the local officials really is.
 
I am often amazed at how little so many of us really understand about the structure of our government, the powers that each position actually has, and how to get things done by our local leaders.

Too many of us go directly to our councilors for help with things that are better and more quickly taken care of by the established bureaucracy – like filling potholes, trimming trees, reducing traffic, picking up trash, etc A call to DPW and P, at 508-929-1300 is the best way to go – they will direct you to the right department if needed, or give you a number to refer to if they can not help you immediately.  

For help with school matters, it is best to go up the ladder – from the classroom teacher, to the principal, to someone at 20 Irving Street, then as a last resort, to the elected members of the school committee.
 
I always encourage people to start with those most likely to be able to solve problems directly, because that is their job, and because they are the most likely to have the answers.
 
So, what can our elected officials really do?

While we are accustomed to expect “favors” from those we elect,  I do NOT expect that. That is the road to nepotism and corruption. Rather, I expect that those I elect will provide leadership, long range planning ideas, make sure that the city is governed by the basic philosophy that we can agree on. Often, a single occurrence bring out the hysterics, so we end up with ordinances that are not well thought out and affect too many of us negatively.  

There is always a temptation to win votes by taking on tasks that should be done by hired employees, but I look to my elected representatives to keep their eyes on the broader picture – they all represent the entire city, whether they are elected from a district, or at large.
 
I look for a person who has a vision for the future, who knows and understands our city, who is well-informed, and can listen to other viewpoints.

I am not impressed by buzzwords, by “kissing babies”, hiring relatives, being seen at all events, ( we grew up believing that “:fools’ names and faces are often seen in public places”) – and I also hope that voting for people who represent a variety of viewpoints will bring good discussions to our meetings.

Above all, I want to be represented by people who are guided by FACTS, not emotions or the drive to power.
 

For these Worcester times: Re-elect Mayor Joseph Petty!

By Rosalie Tirella

When did Worcester cease being the city of my childhood (rough and tumble working-class town with so many shining stars!) and become the Worcester of 2015? Kids with guns killing kids, home break-ins galore, folks addicted to heroin dying in stairwells, slug-fests at local high schools with teachers taking it (literally) in the chin, poverty so encompassing many of our school children look like they’ve walked out of a Charles Dickens novel?

It is heartbreaking to see what former president George Bush (and before him prez Clinton and vp Gore with NAFTA) have done to this once great country.

Cities and towns all over America suffer because of our warped economy – one that rewards and perpetuates a healthy upper middle class but creates a bigger and bigger under class every day.

The factories are gone, the mines shut down, the farms industrialized … and the good paying American jobs that immigrants and uneducated folks used to catapult themselves and their families into the American middle class are gone with them.

Now it’s service jobs galore and everyone makes $8, $9, $10 and $11 an hour. Everyone lives pretty much on the cusp of homelessness. No wonder we see hunger, violence, drug addiction … despair in cities and towns all over this great land – Worcester, included.

Have you ever seen so many Dollar Stores in Worcester? You used to see them in the poorer parts of the South. Now they are here and all over the country – and doing gangbusters.

Where are the stores for the working middle class in Worcester? The old American Supply on Front Street? The old Sylvia’s Dress Shop on Franklin Street? All gone. Yes, we can blame Wal-Mart, but it’s their cheap prices that drive working families there. Stores built for the $9 an hour paycheck.

Where does the Mayor of Worcester, a supposedly ceremonial job, fit in with all this?

Why should we care so passionately about giving the Worcester MAYOR’s job to incumbent Joe Petty or challenger Mike Gaffney in a few weeks? (We love Bill Coleman but, seriously, he’s gotta get a new hobby!)

Because THESE TWO GUYS HAVE TOTALLY OPPOSITE WORLD VIEWS … DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED SOLUTIONS TO THE SOCIAL ILLS THAT ARE EATING away at Worcester – and America’s – soul.

It’s more than Democrat (Petty) versus Republican (Gaffney).

It’s more than KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY POCKET BOOK (Gaffney) versus IT’S NOT THE POCKETBOOK – GOVERNMENT IMPROVES PEOPLE’S LIVES (Petty)…

It’s about TRUST, DECENCY, NO GAMES and FAIRNESS/RESPECT FOR ALL OUR CITIZENS.

That’s what Worcester needs now and Mayor Joe Petty, who is running for re-election, has all of the above!

Today’s Worcester has a huge amount of people who are poor. The Worcester of 2015 has a majority minority school system. Our housing is expensive and our people don’t have the dough to pay for it and all the essentials. THIS IS AMERICA. THIS IS GRINDING POVERTY that never lets up for lots of Worcester families. Plus: So many of our kids and families are folks of color, come from different parts of the world. This adds more layers to our challenges. So many Worcester families are under duress – racism, poverty, domestic abuse, shitty apartments, violence in the streets …

Mayor Petty has worked to RELIEVE THE PAIN AND BUILD BRIGHTER FUTURES FOR ALL WORCESTER FAMILIES.

He gets that we have a diverse population with lots of needs. He believes good government helps meet some of those needs.

Mayor Petty has:

Pushed for the RECOVERY SCHOOL for Worcester kids once addicted to drugs and now ready to learn in a supportive classrooms

Pushed for an ACADEMY FOR THE MOST GIFTED WORCESTER PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS. Sorta like a mini Boston Latin housed in Doherty High School

Beautified Elm Park so it is gorgeous and there for all folks to enjoy

Worked effectively and sensitively with Worcester folks of all colors and creeds

Pushed for city programs that support Worcester inner-city youth and families

Pushed for several playgrounds and playscapes to be built at some of Worcester’s neediest inner-city schools in some of Worcester’s poorest neighborhoods

Championed Woo’s inner city neighborhoods and small businesses

Has taken an even-handed approach to the violence that erupted in the city and around our public schools. Petty did NOT bash anyone, was no alarmist … HE JUST WORKED THE PROBLEM and things got better. And he took the heat from morons who had a less nuanced view of the problem.

NUANCED!

That’s the word!

In the Worcester of 2015 we need NUANCE! We don’t need folks screaming:

WE HATE DR. BOONE!

BRING IN THE NATIONAL GUARD!

KILL THE CDCs!

WHITE TEACHERS IN WORCESTER RULE!

MAUREEN BINENDA FOR WPS SUPERINTENDENT – OR ELSE!

CUT OFF THE MOSAIC FOLKS AND STICK BRENDA JENKINS HEAD ON A STICK!

These folks, on a very deep SUBCONSCIOUS level are racist/classist, but will never see it. They are not living in the Worcester of 2015. THE WORCESTER OF TODAY.

Or maybe they feel the societal/economic changes in Worcester and they’ve panicked.

They want to preserve the old Worcester World Order – one where you CALL IN THE COPS, GET THE IRISH TEACHERS WPD BACK-UP, STOP BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING, EXERT SOME TOUGH LOVE.

This is the Old Worcester World Order that Worcester city councilor at large and Worcester mayoral candidate MICHAEL GAFFNEY IS EMBRACING AND ESPOUSING.

It ain’t gonna work, Mike!

GAFFNEY IS SO WRONG FOR THE WORCESTER OF TODAY IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY.

IT’S DOWNRIGHT SCARY!!!!!!!!!

Like presidential candidate Donald Trump, Worcester mayoral candidate Gaffney reflects the fears and prejudices of people.

Also their rage, disappointments, longing for an America, a Worcester, that simply no longer exists. That is gone FOREVER.

It was always complicated, but the big factories and big employers that gave folks – in America and Worcester – the foundation (filled stomachs, bills paid, a little house maybe) from which to solve problems is GONE. Now we’re in crisis mode. And people are wicked freaked out.

You can vote your fears and prejudices and vote for Gaffney November 3.

As a city councilor Mike Gaffney’s done shit. He’s for cutting everything. Then he demagogues the problems that he helped create with his scorched earth politics.

Sure he’s bright and very articulate and a good writer, but so were the Harvard professors and scientists who years ago published papers on the intellectual superiority of men over women because women’s brains were physically smaller. The brilliant professors papers were elegantly written and people all over the world bowed down to their brilliance. But they were still full of shit. STILL WRONG.

They had used their intellect to SUPPORT PREJUDICE. They had elegantly, scientifically backed into their era’s deepest prejudices.

This is what Mike Gaffney is doing today, in Worcester.

Let’s vote for a guy who is bright, hopeful, open and willing to admit great ideas can come from any one – even a gang banger’s mum, even a former drug addict, even a slip of a black girl running up Harrison Street to get to Union Hill School on a lovely Worcester autumn day.

VOTE JOSEPH PETTY FOR MAYOR OF WORCESTER!

Today, Worcester! Get out and vote!

By Rosalie Tirella

The Worcester of 2015 is multiracial, multicultural and multi-voiced. It’s a city with a healthy middle and upper-middle class and biz community. But it is also a Gateway City filled with immigrants, second generation Americans … lots of poor families, hungry children … youth violence, racial strife – BIG CITY CHALLENGES!

We need city leaders who can work our problems with: INTELLIGENCE, SENSITIVITY, OPTIMISM.

So, today, ELECTION DAY, please vote for:

Mayor – Joseph (Joe) Petty (incumbent)

Great person! Smart, thoughtful on the issues, won’t be swayed by the naysayers or the alarmists. Rebuilt Elm Park, pushed for a recovery high school AND a high school for the gifted, working to upgrade so many of our public schools, working with the police department to keep our schools safe, building playgrounds and safe spaces for our inner-city kids. THIS IS WHAT JOE PETTY IS ABOUT. COMMUNITY. All of us sharing the good things,feeling we have a say … that we ALL matter: black, white, poor, straight, gay, inner city, suburban style …

He’s our QUIET MAN – and we mean the JOHN WAYNE flick! Don’t let his modesty fool ya! Petty’s tough and determined! Go, Joe, go!

RE-ELECT JOSEPH PETTY!

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Councilors at Large

PLEASE VOTE FOR:

Joseph Petty (see above. You have to vote for Petty in this category too, if you want him to be re-elected mayor).

Morris (Moe) Bergman

A steady voice. A calm, thoughtful, smart guy who LOVES our public schools. He’s had three kids go/going through the system – so he’s not just talk! He knows the school buildings, the teachers, the courses. He is PROUD of what our public schools offer kids and their families. Moe is also for a brighter downtown, economic development … a better Worcester for all.

Juan Gomez

We love Juan! He is so real! Warm, yet tough! Fun and cute but biz savvy. We have been a Juan fan for years, back when he was a Worcester city councilor who was business friendly but never forgot the peeps! He was always honest about the issues, where he stood. Sometimes that cost him a vote or two but, for us, that spells INTEGRITY.

Ronald O’Clair

InCity Times writer and long-time Main South community activist Ron O’Clair KNOWS THE ISSUES, KNOWS THIS CITY. Ron is a life-long Worcester resident and truly enjoys the people and our zippy Woo vibe. He gets a kick out of the great things, but the guns, violence, drugs bring him down, like it does all of us. He wants to help us save our inner city – stop the violence and the drugs! And that is a wonderful thing!

VOTE RONALD O’CLAIR!!

Philip Palmieri

This District 2 guy wants to graduate to At Large! And why not?! The district Phil’s been serving for years encompasses downtown Worcester, the bustling Shrewsbury Street, parts of Green Island, pretty middle class neighborhoods – in other words: Worcester in microcosm. And Phil has NEVER been shy about weighing in on city-wide issues anyways – or beginning the conversation on some important Worcester issue, outside his district. This has always been a good thing for Worcester.

Phil Palmieri is an experienced Worcester city councilor, works the problems Hard and SMART, like there’s no tomorrow!

Worcester needs Phil! GIVE him your vote!

William Coleman

Billy Coleman has been a pal for years. What you don’t see when he’s kinda got the spotlight all to himself is: HE REALLY IS A VERY CARING, LOVING PERSON WHO IS THERE FOR ANYONE. Billy is a GREAT PERSON! Which means he’ll work hard for ALL THE PEOPLE OF WORCESTER – meet you, talk with you, hear your side of the issue. He’s a gentle soul who doesn’t hurt folks, and he is especially sensitive to the poor, the homeless, city kids … the people others sometimes forget.

VOTE WILLIAM COLEMAN!!!

District 2:

Vote for Candace Mero Carlson!

She wants to take Phil’s place – she’d be a great voice and advocate for D 2. Candy holds a special place in my heart because she is a GREAT DOG LOVER! Has had English bull dogs that are just gorgeous! And spoiled, like my Jett and Lilac. Candy is also people focused, has done so much volunteer work, community advocacy ….LOVES WORCESTER! She knows District 2 and would represent it with smarts, grace and intelligence.

VOTE CANDACE MERO CARLSON!

VOTE TODAY! Vote for the Worcester you hope to see!!!!

Worcester City Clerk David Rushford: The Marrying Man? (parts 1 & 2)

(editor’s note: We ran these pieces a few years ago. Seems like Mayor-elect Joe Petty missed them – and is going to enable Rushford. Shame on Petty. This is not the way things should go down. No, Joe P., the solution – a done deal, no doubt – will not be “amendable” to all parties! – R. Tirella)

By Rosalie Tirella

Let’s see: the city is cash strapped, the state is cash strapped (until the new MA state sales tax kicks in!) and the country is searching for the bootstraps it needs to pull itself out of this financial hell hole. What better time for Worcester City Clerk David Rushford to add as much as $95,000 to his base salary of $131,000!

Meet David Rushford – Worcester’s Marrying Man!

This Sunday we learned that Rushford, who is already closing the Worcester City Clerk’s office a couple of hours earlier than 5 p.m (creating banking hours for himself and his staff while still collecting the same pay check) has been making some serious side money ON CITY TIME and CITY PROPERTY marrying people. He won’t say how much he charges, but thanks to yet another whacky Massachusetts law, Rushford, or any city/town clerk in Massachusetts can charge $50 – $95 every time he/she officially marries a couple.

You would think that the fee would go to the city or town. After all, the momentous event is happening in a city or town hall. It is being performed by a city/town clerk who is working at his city/town job in a city/town hall (thus collecting his/her city/town pay check). You would think with all the whining David Rushford has done about losing a few city clerks and not being able to perform all his work with the staff he’s got, that he would be tickled pink if marrying people meant more moeny for the City of Worcester. Maybe then City Manager Mike O’Brien could rehire some of Rushford’s city clerks he laid off earlier.

Nope. The dough goes to the city/town clerk doing the marrying.

Last year, Rushford married 950 couples. Do the math: 950 x $100 = $95,000!

WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THIS STATE?! HOW NUTTY CAN WE GO? WE (City of Worcester) LAY OFF CITY NURSES AND TEACHERS AND PARKS PEOPLE AND STILL ALLOW RUSHFORD TO MAKE AS MUCH AS $95,000. WHY DON’T THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN WORCESTER GET RIGHTEOUSLY PISSED AND WORK TO HAVE THIS ARCANE STATE LAW CHANGED SO THAT THE MONEY GOES TO THE CITY OF WORCESTER? Not our city clerk who lives in an amazingly huge mansion on Mass Ave – for being little more than a glorified secretary.

Insane!

Here’s hoping city councilors do something productive during their two summer meetings. Let’s have them petition the state to rescind the law or at least pass some local ordinance that allows the City of Worcester to collect – and KEEP – the fee.

$95,000 could go to Worcester’s parks, city pools – city kids. It could go towards public health, AIDS awareness.

It amazes me to see how Blow Mag and many city pols just seem to enable/excuse this bad behavior. Why? Because they know Rushford. Because they are all in the same boys club, standing in the same swill.

Pathetic.

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City Clerk David Rushford, part II

By Rosalie Tirella

This Sunday Worcester City Clerk David Rushford whined about his reputation being sullied via the news rags. Bull shit! Rushford has brought this tsunami on himself.

And let’s give him the benefit of the doubt: OK, David, you only charge $50 per marriage. Let’s do the math. $50 x 950 marriages (the number of couples you married last year) = $47,500.

$47,500!

That’s what you pocketed last year, if we go with the conservative number.

Now let’s take you pal Jordan Levy’s statement – that you usually perform half that number of marriages, that last year was atypical. Half of 950 marriages is 475. Let’s do the math with 475 marriages and the $50 fee:

475 x $50 = $23,750.

Why should the taxpayers of Worcester pay you a nice little sum of $23,750 on top of your base salary of $131,000?

The money belongs to the City of Worcester. That $23,750 could go towards the hiring of a city youth worker – someone who can work with city gang members, some young kid fresh out of college who needs a job, needs a break. That’s the trouble with Worcester – the same people keep giving themselves and their relatives/pals break after break.

Let’s not allow City Clerk David Rushford to be yet another Worcester hog at the municipal trough.

P.S. Rushford lives on Regent Street – the street before Mass Ave.

From ICT website reader Stanley …

A) Why are you being so kind with Joe Petty?

Thanks goodness that you, Miss Tirella, are firmly putting the words down that describe that flaccid, impotent, puppet aka Joe Petty.

Mr. Petty says he wants to “continue the work of Jim McGovern and Tim Murray” all the time. First, this: it tells me that Petty lacks original ideas. Second, it tells me he is a lapdog for the “machine.” Third, it says he approves of all the work of Murray and McGovern.

So I guess balding Joe is OK with the secret, sleazy emails that Jim McGovern did behind closed doors for the St. Vincent Cancer center.

(BTW didja notice that Rushton was the other lapdog who called into Jordan Levy to smooth over the email fiasco on that deal the day after it hit the press? Thanks, Ricky. You’re another one)

b) Paul Giorgio — what else needs to be said about … (except we aren’t too sure Petty has a pulse)

c) The anti-Konnie conspirators

There is a large gang of anti-Konnie folks, starting with Tim Murray and Jordan Levy who hate this great lady.

They don’t even like to mention her name! They are seething. But she stands up to the sleazy deal makers and questions the facts that need to be questioned.

Here it is: Petty was the machine’s choice after Joe O’Brien backed out. And Rushton will be the next fall guy should Petty fail in this election.

Mayoral candidate Joe Petty’s campaign strategy?

By Rosalie Tirella

So this is it? Mayoral candidate Joseph (Joe) Petty’s strategy to keep Worcester’s mayoral seat in the mitt’s of the Rushton/Murray brigade?

A reliable source said political operative – and alleged pedophile – Paul Girgio could be seen racing around after Joe Petty at a public event. Hot on Joe’s heels Paul was! Well, well, so Joe Petty – the guy who says he’s got integrity – is taking advice from Giorgio, a guy who was taken to court by a man who said he was sexually assaulted by Giorgio as a kid. So Joe is listening to Paul Giorgio – a guy who was taken to court yet again for voting in the East Side of the city when he lived on the West Side of the city – just to keep his mitts in the Italian/political side of the city. A federal offense.

Thank God Joe Petty has hooked up with Paul Girorgio!

I wonder if it was Giorgio who gave Petty the “wise” advice to mail out election push cards to people like my mom – campaign “literature” that listed Joe Petty’s accomplishments (zero) like being pro-education and pro-neighborhoods. I don’t know a Worcester city councilor who is ANTI these issues. The truth is after watching Worcester City Council meetings for years, I have never ever ever heard/seen Petty get up and get passionate about Worcester neighborhoods or education. Mostly he just sat in his seat and stayed quiet. Voted for these issues but certainly never led on them.

Which, to me, signals: STAY A CITY COUNCILOR, JOE! You are an OK councilor but you don’t have the vision or leadership skills to Worcester’s mayor.

But Petty’s mailing (in which his lackluster city council record was burnished into a shiny piece of BS) revealed something more insidious: Petty was focusing on subtext when he “wrote” in his mailing that he would not be “polarizing,” would work with everybody, blah, blah, blah.

What Petty was really saying: his opponent was the above. Which Konnie Lukes, when she was mayor, proved NOT TO BE. She was NOT polarizing and she got along well with her peers on the council. She led a great council meeting – business got done in a timely, productive way – and in an atmosphere where everybody respected everybody else.

But let’s go to last night’s meeting. Lo and behold! City Councilor “pinhead” Ric Rushton had to roll out a birthday cake for Konnie last night – just to be ageist. Just to be an asshole.

Konnie should have thrown it into his dopey puss.

Really, do we want this crew back in the saddle again?

The switcher-oo! (OR: This is why no one votes in Worcester!)

By Rosalie Tirella

Why did just 9% of registered voters in Worcester go to the polls in the recent city preliminary election? Moves like this one: After Mayor Joe O’Brien announced he would not seek re-election, Worcester At Large City Councilor Joe Petty, one of the boys in the Murray/Rushton boys club – the boys club that has been running this town for years, decided – just hours later – to run for Mayor of Worcester.

Petty made his announcement in less than 24 hours!

Just like that! Amazing! Spectacular!

I bet Petty wasn’t planning on running for mayor of New England’s second largest city, had no pressing issues he wanted to champion, had no special vision of the Worcester that he wanted to realize. He simply got a phone call from the boys club and they said: Run, Joe, run! Run for mayor! KILL KONNIE LUKES! RUN AGAINST HER SO SHE WON’T BE WORCESTER MAYOR AGAIN! (Lukes was mayor prior to O’Brien) And Petty, the good soldier, said OK. No biggie.

What a cynical move – on Petty’s part and the Boys’ Club. What a cynical way to run your politics. What a crumby way to run a city or present yourself to the voters.

This is why no one votes in Worcester! What’s the point? voters ask themselves. It’s all pre-planned, pre-ordained.

Hell, Petty is a good egg, but he has zero charisma and has never displayed any kind of leadership on any city issue – and I have been watching our city council for years. Yes, he wants Verizon’s tax loopholes closed; yes, he wants our cable contract with Charter looked at very carefully. But that is all I remember Petty getting passionate – well, not exactly passionate about – but at least leading a discussion about at city council meetings.

Other than those few times, you don’t hear a peep from Petty on Tuesday nights (when the city council meets).

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Does the city of Worcester need another gas bag/blowhard city councilor a la City Counilor Phil Palmieri, who can blather on and on and on and on before his colleagues and TV cameras, reporters? I mean, Palmeiri can actually make his eyes well up (they are filled with crocodile tears, no doubt!) as he takes a stand for or against something! An academy award for Phil! (those melodramatic Italians!!!)

Then there’s District 3 Paul Clancy who – as the “dean” of the city council – feels obliged to get up on all Tuesday nights and put things in perspective (historical, social, psychological – you name it). Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Shuddup already, Paul!

But Petty is not an egomaniac like these guys. He actually speaks when he has something to say – when he wants to make a point. He usually follows the Rushton/boys club lead but sometimes he stakes his own ground.

Still, Petty’s performance/record as city councilor doesn’t indicate a mayor in waiting – a mayor just waiting to be born. Someone who is going to WOW this town.

Why is Joe Petty running for Worcester mayor then? Because he got a phone call from the Murray boys club. The club that has made Worcester politics/governement and the City of Worcester workforce so incestuous. And the club – lead by Tim Murray and Rick Rushton screamed: DON’T LET KONNIE LUKES BECOME MAYOR! THROW YOUR HAT INTO THE RING! WE WILL HAVE ALL OUR TROOPS BEHIND YOU!

And Petty, like the good “pol-bot” he is, said OK.

Not exactly the way folks want their mayor to “arrive.”

Realty check: Worcester loses when politics are “played” this way. New ideas don’t come to the fore. New people don’t bring their new perspectives. The same characters and ideas are recyled election “cycle,” after election cycle.

So why should voters vote for a person/system that has locked them out for years? It’s true. Most Worcesterites are locked out of good paying City of Worcester jobs (they all go to the city councilors’ pals and relatives), good Worcester careers (political and municipal – it’s who you know), good Worcester real estate deals, the inside track – on anything really. Their lives don’t change in big ways. The unions get fatter, our teachers get more high maintenance and tax payers foot the bill.

Voters are fed up! That is why they aren’t voting.

If Worcesterites know they are simply going to re-annoint the person – Petty – who has been annointed by the Power Club, they say: To Hell with it. I will stay home. It is always the same old same old in this town.

Being the mayor of Worcester is a great job! It is a great, important job that needs to be mulled over for years maybe, dreamed about for years, prayed for even. Not something to just say OK to just because you got a phone call telling you to run for mayor, just to keep another person – Konnie Lukes who truly wants to be and loved being our mayor – from holding the office. The position deserves a person who is serious about the job – and also wicked excited about it!