(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.
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.
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.
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.