The Gong Show! (aka: last night’s Worcester City Council meeting!)

By Rosalie Tirella

Last night I sat before a little TV set mesmerized – absolutely mesmerized! – by all the whackiness that was flying around the august City Council chambers. You should have been their, folks! OR: You should have at least watched last night’s Worcester City Council meeting on your TV set! You could have sliced the rancor and the nuttiness with a meat cleaver! It was “Reno 911” Worcester style! What a gas, gas, gas!!!!

Here we go: Nutty Scene #1: Sam Rosario. Rosario, a duplicitous blowhard whom everyone in Worcester thinks is a duplicitous blowhard, is representing the liveries in their quest to become taxis. Sammy is a guy who once told political opponent Joe Cassella to step out of a three-way city council primary race because he (Cassella) had no chance of winning – it was really a race between him (Rosario) and the incumbent (dope Joff Smith). That was before Cassella trounced him and then went on to run against Smith in November and do fairly well – and seemingly (thank God!) put an end to Rosario’s political aspirations. Well, last night Sammy went bonkers.

This is after City Councilor Konnie Lukes basically tells him: Sam, you’re a duplicitous, fuckin’ moron. Go away. Nothing you say to this governing body is legitimate.

You go, Konnie!

Nine tenths of Worcester feels the way you do! We felt this way even before it was reported (when Sam ran for city council) that as a student at a local college, he stole the schools’ computers. We felt this way even before he pasted his smarmy puss all over the tube and blabbed, blabbed, blabbed.

But, whoah! Konnie’s comments pissed off Sammy. So, after having his say before the city council on the livery matter earlier in the meeting (it’s a one shot deal), Sammy will not sit down. He will not sit down and shut the fuck up. He wants to mix it up – claiming he just wants to “rebutt” charges made against his lilly white reputation.

Well, Mayor Joe O’Brien tries to calm Sammy down – tells him he has had his chance to speak. Sammy keeps talking over O’Brien – and the next thing I know – while the TV camera pans the room, I see Sammy’s middle (face and legs cut off) being pushed out of the front of City Hall chambers by a blue uniform with two big guns in two big holsters. No doubt one of Worcester’s finest. As the cop shuffled Sammy away … away from the front of the room, away from the city’s elected officials, I thought: This is what Worcester has wanted to see for YEARS!

Next: While various and sundry Worcester city councilors get up to speak on the livery/taxi issue, Sammy is still squawking. This time City Councilor Ric Rushton shuts him up. Rushton get up and shuts Sammy up with: The livery services have picked “the absolute worst person” as their spokesperson.

Whoah!

We have never been a Ric Rushton fan, but his nugget of truth – spoken succinctly and with conviction – made us cheer!

But Rushton’s comment got former Worcester city councilor Juan Gomez agitated. Juan was sitting in the audience backing the liveries. Juan is a guy whom we like and respect, a guy who should have represented the livery service folks instead of Sammy, but instead had to sit and watch Sammy mix it up. Juan said he was a taxpayer and the city council had to listen to him.

No one did.

Which I thought was rude. Juan was a city councilor for several years and is a respected community leader. Heck, he’s served with half the guys and gals who would not let him say diddley last night.

Nutty scene #2 – City Councilor Kate Toomey, after hearing about the return of the dreaded Canadian Geese to Elm Park pond’s pristine shores said this: Didn’t the state expand the deer hunting season? Can we find out about hunting season? It was as if Toomey wanted to bring on a goose-shooting season right here in the city of Worcester!!! How, fucking strange … and mean spirited.

That’s right, Kate! Let’s put lots of rifles in the hands of young people. They may be “legit” hunters but who will explain that to the impressionable children of Worcester? You can tell this woman once served (for years) on the city’s school committee!

I don’t care what folks say! Toomey is NOT nice. She’s a prick-lette!

FINALLY! NUTTY SCENE #3

The police want their jobs back. That is they want the city to rehire some of the 50 or so cops City Manager Mike O’Brien laid off. Of course, THE COPS ARE UNWILLING TO PAY 25% OF THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS THE WAY ALL CITY EMPLOYESS DO (except the whiny teachers, of course). And they refuse to let civilian flag wavers replace them at some (nondangerous/busy) worksites in the city so that Worcester can save some dough. And of course, a ton of our cops make at or over $100,000 a year! And some are just sargeants! But hey, what do we taxpayers care?! We’re such dopes! Of course, you can raise our taxes so we can keeping paying the cops’ exhorbitant salaries!!!

But I digress!

The nutty scene #3: Police union rep. Officer Gunnerson. He was at the city council meeting to tell all of Worcester: You need to rehire the laid off cops! Worcester will cease to be safe if these policemena nd women aren’t rehired! 52 cops! That’s almost an entire TOWN police department, Gunnerson said. (What the hell does THAT mean?) If we don’t rehire our laid off cops, intimated Gunnerson, WORCESTER MAY BECOME AS DANGEROUS AS … LAWRENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (also noted by the mayor)

Bull shit!

Worcester is no way like Lawrence. Or Lowell. Or Springfield. Or Hartford. We are a much wealthier city. Our housing stock – especially once you cross Park Ave to the West side – is outstanding! Well off/middle-/upper-middle class people live in those beautiful homes! Lawrence looks nothing like this! So … we do not have Lawrence’s poverty, which means we don’t – won’t ever – have the attendant higer crime rate.

Stop the scare tactics, Gunnerson! Compare Worcester to Cambridge, MA – a city more similar to Worcester!!!

But what was really scary: Officer Gunnerson – I saw this on my TV screen – was off duty. He wasn’t wearing his uniform – just an Izod shirt and Dockers. But Gunnerson had the nerve to wear HIS GUNS to the city coucnil meeting. There I sat, watching my TV. There I saw tough guy Gunnerson hovering over the entrance way to city hall chambers – in the door actually – big and threatening looking with his big arms and BIG GUNS. Let’s see – beige Izod shirt and blue Dockers. What else is needed to complete this preppy spring outfit? Two guns.

This is important to note: A few months ago a police union memo was leaked to the press. I got a copy. In it a union member says this of the State Police: They go to their meetings with public officials with shaved heads looking tough and buff. People take notice.

Well, Officer Gunnerson was sporting a shaved head (now it has a little mohawky thing happening up top). He was pretty much doing what the union memo said to do. Plus the guns. Our Officer Guzzman looked scary – like a Neo-Nazi.

And that was exactly Officer Gunnerson’s intent.

If I were mayor of Worcester, I would have dressed Guzzman down – and the entire WPD for being so selfish in budget crisis time.

Not our mayor. Mayor Joe O’Brien just smiled and giggled at the sight of Gunnerson.

He didn’t get it at all.

Leave a Reply