By Rosalie Tirella
Yes! Yes! The synapses in my head are firing like mad! How they crackled this afternoon when, coming out of a store in Holden (near the Jefferson line for Gawd’s sake!), I saw a WORCESTER DPW truck sitting in a parking lot with four Worcester public works employees – slurping on milkshakes! What the heck were our DPW workers doing in Jefferson practically – on city time? Couldn’t they slurp on their McShakes in Worcester, the city that employees them? The DPW pickup truck had a double cab – a front and back seat – so no one was cramped. Thank goodness! Because it was such a fine summer day! A sunny, perfect day to take a jaunt through the country! ON WORCESTER TAXPAYERS’ DIME!!!
This is why Worcesterites have so little respect for the municipal workers we pay $50,000, $80,000, even $100,000 and $150,000 (our cops’ salaries). Only to get … this – sitting in the middle of Holden in a Worcester DPW truck. Using gas that Worcesterites paid for, showing no incentive, showing no respect, sneaking around. So, how long is their lunch break? Why couldn’t these four guys take their own vehicles? Was that it for today, as far as their work goes? Were they calling it a day? Giving themselves the afternoon off – far, far away from the peepers that sit in the head of DPW and Parks Commisioner Robert Moylan? Jeepers, creepers! Or were the DPW guys going to bring Moylan back some of that good country cookin’?
We’ll never know.
Even more outrageous: the sight of Worcester Police Officers Don Cummings and Tom Daly whining during this week’s Worcester City Council meeting about losing their Quinn Bill benefits (read lots and lots of dough). Wah! Wah! We can’t make over $100-grand now! Wah, wah! We can’t take our nice vacations! Wah! Wah! We won’t be able to put in that Jacuzi! Wah! Wah! We will lose our upper-middle class way of life.
That’s exactly right, boys! Our cops should make what they are worth: $50,000 – $70,000 per person – tops. A good pay check for a good blue collar bloke/blokette, who tries to keep his/her city safe. (If they even live in it!) Thanks to our non-residency requirement, our cops can live in the real badlands … Princeton!) Thanks to the Quinn Bill (and police details even though we can get civilian flag folks), we have guys with the IQ’s of speed bumps pulling down $125,000, $130,000 and $150,000 a year. Many of our police officers make more money than the lieutenant governor! Many of our cops make more money than doctors or lawyers – professionals who, are the brightest of the bright and have to do things like take medical boards and the bar exams. They have to do things like take organic chemistry classes (with labs!), or have to know every organ, muscle, bone and tendon of the human anatomy! They must spend four years in medical school and then residency at hospitals … . Men and women who study, study, study …. only to come out of med/law school saddled with loans and not very high-paying jobs.
These lawyers and doctors should have become Worcester cops!
They should have become Worcester cops and then enrolled in the super-duper, mind-stretching Quinn Bill classes at the prestigious Anna Maria College!!! The Harvard of Paxton, Massachusetts!!! That way their pay check could have risen as high as 25%!
But I digress!
Back to the last City Council meeting where Officers Cummings and Daly said Worcester would absolutely go to pot without the Worcester police force keeping everyone safe! Go ahead, they dared the council, don’t pay the state’s half of the Quinn Bill (the state refuses to prop up this joke, so has refused to fund the bill, which means Worcester loses 1/2 its Q. Bill money – millions of dollars!) Yes, the cops said to the city councilors, don’t pick up the tab! That will mean lay offs! That will mean much fewer cops! Look at how low Worcester’s homicide chart is! Look at how safe our streets are now – unlike the way things were years ago when Worcester was practically one of those Wild West towns. The kind of town only Gary Cooper would dare to civ’lize!
What a crock!
Worcester is so much safer than Springfield or Hartford or Lowell or Lawrence because it has SUPERIOR HOUSING STOCK. The cities I just mentioned have nothing like Worcester has. They have no West Side, Burncoat area, Grendale. They don’t even have some of the great housing stock we have in East Side, Quinsig Village or Vernon Hill or Webster Square area near the Auburn line. The great homes in these fab houses are inhabited by people who have money. And let’s face it, when you have money, it’s much easier to keep your shit together. You don’t go robbing someone at gun point, if you are taking a trip to Paris – or Disneyland – next week.
Worcester is safe becauuse of its strong middle class – not becaus of our cops.
Let’s not fund the Quinn Bill. Let’s layoff the 20 or 30 cops – focusing on the officers with desk jobs. Let’s redeploy the foot patrol guys in the downtown, inner-city areas and other sketchy places. We’ll be fine.
Don’t let Officers Cummings and Daly – the Chicken Littles – scare you!