By Rosalie Tirella
The City of Worcester can save some precious dough if it stops treating its top cats so royally. During these tough economic times, scary days when City Manager Mike O’Brien is talking about cuts to senior citizen services (the podiatry clinic at the Worcester Senior Center?!), permanently closing our inner-city swimming pools and ditching city park upkeep, we find it galling that city big wigs are given (on the taxpayers’ dime) SUV’s (complete with gasoline stipend worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars). For what? To tool around town! To take their kids to their soccer game (according to one of our sources)! And, of course, pollute the air with these gas guzzlers (didn’t the City Manager say he wanted all city vehicles replaced with hybrids?).
Talk about hogs at the trough!
Let’s take the SUV’s away from the city’s lawyers and planners and assistant city managers! Their salaries top $100,000! They can surely drive their own SUVs/BMW’s to meetings at the Beechwood! We taxpayers can reimburse them for the gas! And if they have to attend a meeting in Boston? Well, that’s where our shiny new Union Station comes in! We hear there are more trains than ever at Union Station and they are on schedule 75% of the time! Or why not car-pool and make it a fun road trip!
Why does City Hall have such little respect for the Worcester worker/taxpayer – many of whom make $25,000 a year or $45,000 a year?
Let’s be clear: We’re not talking about pulling vehicles from the city’s board of heath workers who actually need a city car to do their job – drive around town and check distressed buildings. Or animal control. They need their van for dogs and other critters … . But we’re mad as hell about the City Manager and the City Manager’s cabinet and other City of Worcester officials cruising around twon in pricey, gas/money guzzling vehicles! Give the vehicles back to the car dealerships, if they are leased. Or, if we own them, let’s take a cue from Sarah Palin and sell them on e-bay. Then we can use the money saved to fund city parks, pools and podiatry clinics!
Let’s go, Worcester!