Tag Archives: City Manager

Ice skating on the Worcester Common ice oval … $25 per pair of skates …

By Rosalie Tirella

… rental fee, if you don’t have a major credit card to go with the $3 rental fee

$2 per person – admission fee to this public space

Imagine being a poor family of, let’s say, five: a mom and a dad and three kids, 10, 12, 7 years old, and two of you don’t own skates, and you don’t have a credit card or your major credit card is tapped out. A day on the Worcester Common, public land, will cost you. And if you don’t have the dough, tough luck. You’re not allowed on public space.

Thank you, former Worcester City Manager Mike O’Brien!! The ice oval was O’Brien’s baby – he didn’t ask the community for any input – and so was the Ebenezer Scrooge price policy. O’Brien was not at all sensitive to poor folks and their struggles. He created this ice oval admission policy with his typical arrogance and rammed it down our throats. Yep. Create an ice rink on public land, in the middle of an impoverished city neighborhood, and charge $$$$. His line was: People will see its worth ONLY if they have to pay for the PRIVILEGE to skate on it.  What bull shit. O’Brien’s arrogance turned lots of human service workers and neighborhood activists against him. At the end of his Woo stint, Mike O’Brien stopped serving the PEOPLE of Worcester, a GATEWAY CITY, and got stuck doing somersaults inside the pockets of local biz folks.

We and others in the community railed against his insensitivity (remember how he lied to us all about keeping our neighborhood swimming pools open?) … boo boo boo we repeated over and over again. Then came the feds …HUD investigated Worcester and found O’Brien’s office wasn’t minding the store … . His people weren’t keeping track of how fed monies were being spent. So O’Brien  left, looking haggard, gray and peeved. Near the end he told me his job  had aged him in dog years.

Woof! Woof! You have no one to blame but your micro-managing self, Mikey!



Augustus is making almost $200,000 a year! A single guy. No kids, no college funds, no big headaches …  It is tough to relate to people on the edge when you are so lucky and privileged. Here’s hoping Ed Augustus can empathize and rise to the occasion!



Here’s the official Ice Oval admission policy  and rental fees from the CITY OF WORCESTER:

Admission for public skating is $2, children 6 and under skate free.

“Skate Rentals .During public skating hours at the Worcester Common Oval, ice skate rentals will be available for $3.

“Planning to rent skates? Save time by printing the attached form below and completing the application in advance. Remember you will need a MA driver’s license or a MA state identification, PLUS a major credit card in order to rent skates. If you don’t have a credit card, a $25 fully refundable cash deposit is required for each pair of skates rented.




On CM Ed Augustus and Woo residency … There will be protests outside the …


Elephants suffer from painful arthritis when they are forced to be in circuses. 

By Rosalie Tirella

… DCU Center in Worcester this weekend AGAINST RINGLING’S USE OF WILD ANIMALS in their circus.  The public is being fed, by the local media, the same garbage Ringling feeds its animals: the elephants love being in Ringling. They are so happy amid all the people.

Just because elephants have faces that people perceive as sweet, docile, happy does not make it true.

People need to know THE TRUTH about wild animals in circuses!  They need to learn about the natural habitats, the physical and emotional needs of wild animals! THE TRUTH.

Remember when journalists were ravenous for the truth? When Woodward and Bernstein brought down a presidency?  When reporters were  called muckrakers by the powers-that-be cuz they got the dirt on all the politicians and captains of industry and printed it?

In Worcester the only muckraking local reporters engage in  is raking the animal muck for Ringling!

Better to get your circus news from The Boston Globe or The New York Times or even the Los Angeles Times …Great writers. Great reporting.

Learn about the Ringling protest planned for Worcester this weekend at  ringlingbeatsanimals.com



Come live in Worcester, Ed! Live the life many of us experience here!

On Ed Augustus and the City of Worcester’s  “flexible” residency requirements

By Rosalie Tirella

Why aren’t local scribes putting the heat on the Worcester City Council for not making a peep about Worcester  City Manager Ed Augustus living in Millis, a BOSTON SUBURB?

Millis is 19 miles south of Boston, a more appropriate place for Ed Augustus to live if Ed were city manager of Boston (yes, we know – Boston has a strong mayor government) – not Worcester.

Years ago, when Augustus – who became Worcester’s new CM a few weeks ago – was a state senator for a Worcester district, he took heat for living in Boston. In fact, he  kinda crowed about it! That got Augustus into a bit of hot water in Worcester, so he didn’t run for re-election.  Things may have gotten … messy.  Instead, Augustus high-tailed it to California where he hung out for a year or two working for the children’s defense fund. Things cooled off in Worcester. A new state senator took Ed’s place. Ed Augustus came back to Worcester, eventually got a job at Holy Cross college because of his political connections – and bought a home in Millis! 19 miles south of Boston. The Boston area.

I don’t get it. If Augustus is so in love with Boston, why doesn’t he just work there? Plenty of political jobs for a good libby dem like Ed out there.

Why be the City Manager of Worcester and live 19 miles south of Boston?

Where is the Worcester City Council on this?

Worcester city councilors have been clamoring for Woo residency  for all top City of Worcester administrators FOR YEARS. Our school superintendent was pressured into and did locate to Worcester when she took her high-paying job. Same with our head librarians (who all flew the Woo coop anyways). Mayor Joe Petty demanded it, god damn it!

That was before Petty nominated and pushed for pal Augustus to get the city manager gig.

This isn’t personal. I like Petty a lot and Augustus is a good, capable egg.

But Millis?  Only a few minutes away from Boston? … Don’t you wish you lived only a few minutes away from an amazing city like Boston? The museums! The plays! The beautiful, historical architecture!  The music! The food! The celebrations and special events! …

Too expensive!

… Unless you’re the City Manager of Worcester!

Choosing the NEXT city manager of Worcester – special Worcester City Council meeting today! 3:30 p.m. Be there!


Thursday, September 11

City Hall – 455 Main St.

Esther Howland Chamber  – 3:30 P.M.

Joseph M. Petty
Morris A. BergmanTony Economou – District 1
Michael T. GaffneyPhilip P. Palmieri – District 2
Konstantina B. LukesGeorge J. Russell – District 3
Frederick C. RushtonSarai Rivera – District 4
Kathleen M. ToomeyGary Rosen – District 5
David J. Rushford www.worcesterma.gov
Edward M. Augustus, Jr. CITY AUDITOR
Robert V. Stearns






4a. Peter Graczykowski, Edgartown, MA – 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

4b. David M. Moore, Worcester, MA – 5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

4c. Oscar Rodriguez, Taos, NM – 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

If we want downtown Worcester to come alive …

By Rosalie Tirella

… we need a STRONG mayor. And I ain’t talkin’ pecs and abs! I’m talkin’ City of Worcester government. We need to change Woo’s form of government from a strong city manager type  to a STRONG MAYOR type.  Under former City Manager Mike O’Brien, we were half way there! But … We have to consider the under belly of this beast!

The push for a turbocharged downtown Worcester lead to the side-lining of some of our urban neighborhoods, some folks would say to the absolute shitting on our inner-city neighborhoods and their iconic institutions. This began in earnest under Mike O’Brien. I believe it’s his true legacy. You either love him or you hate him for it. O’Brien, earning his spurs in Worcester’s parks department, started out as a Woo inner-city neighborhood booster, but as the years wore on, he grew less progressive and aligned himself with local biz folks (some slobbering, bullying, down-right mean, whacky and clueless) who lead him to believe abandoning Woo inner-city cdcs and neighborhood centers and neighborhood activists was a good thing. O’Brien turned a deaf ear to lots of good folks – really, anyone who dared to disagree with him. He was dismissive, didn’t return their phone calls, slashed their funding, didn’t meet with them … . In a nutshell: Former City Manager Mike O’Brien could be a real prick!

Like I said, this latest Woo clamoring for a strong mayor form of government is rooted in O’Brien’s my way or the high way reign. Yes. He made stuff happen. Roads got paved, downtown Woo streets were reconfigured,  the colleges paid us a few pennies and made a commitment to our downtown and public library system. But a lot of  good people got thrown under the bus, poorer neighborhoods became more downtrodden, poor people who needed services sometimes went without … and he brooked no divergent view points. He was positively dictatorial!

Maybe now that O’Brien’ s gone we can do this thing right and ELECT A STRONG MAYOR. Not get stuck with one for 10 years just because our city council is too weak and idea-bereft to pull a pushy city manager in – or set some parameters for him. Just because our city council and city economic development team can not lure big businesses to Worcester – businesses that will create hundreds of jobs for our people, just the way our mostly extinct factories did decades ago (not everyone wants to own a small biz).

Maybe a kick ass strong mayor and his or her kick ass strong mayor staff can set a real economic development agenda for Worcester, come up with some fresh ideas and not get too bogged down by our teachers union and other municipal unions.

Maybe if we choose a strong mayor form of government we can get a strong mayor in the Walsh or de Blasio mold. (O’Brien was too Bloomberg for us!)

Or maybe not!

It would all be up to the Worcester voters, WHICH WOULD MAKE THINGS AROUND HERE INTERESTING, EXCITING, AND FUN!  Which would also make things around here more democratic and sensitive to our changing demographics (more minorities who tend to vote Democratic and will want their fair share of the Worcester pie.) … But the change in Woo’s way of governing itself might also make Worcester political life more cut throat, and tough, and open to $$$$, bribes, desperation, shady characters, etc. But that’s OK! We have former lieutenant governor and Worcester mayor  Tim Murray to teach us all about crooks and crooked fund raisers and crooked political crimes that come with wanting to be elected to a cool office!

So, with a strong mayor we could end up with a guy or gal who could really make downtown happen. But we would want our strong mayor to show the love to and support inner-city neighborhoods and the immigrants, lower income people who often live here. Plus, be a moral, upright, forthright human being!

Easier said than done!

I drove into Hartford …

By Rosalie Tirella

… a few days ago to do some city exploring and visit some old stomping grounds.  I was there years ago, and back then Hartford was, in many ways, shabbier than the Worcester of almost two decades ago. …

But two days ago it was like … WOW.  Their downtown freaking blossomed during the last 15 or so years! Looked fantastic. Looked cosmopolitan. Looked bustling and hip and busy, busy, busy. Call it a mecca!  Call it a hub! Call it hubba hubba! Call it A REAL DOWNTOWN.

When I was there many moons ago the captal of Connecticut had long ceased to be the insurance capital of America. You’d go downtown to the art museum on a Saturday and the city would be a ghost town. During the work week it was busy, as the folks from West Hartford, Wethersfield, Bloomfield and other suburbs commuted into work, but the core of Hartford looked and felt a lot like Worcester’s core. Maybe a bit buzzier but still kinda old, outdated … not at all exciting. Zzzzzzzzz…

Then WHAM! BAM! BOOM! Two days ago I saw a totally revived downtown Hartford: It had pizzazz! It was cool, vibrant, artsy, big biz/small biz-ridden, chock full of busy people of all ages, colors and walks of life.  People actually looked pumped to be making their way down the streets. I wanted to be a part of it! Just one of a million peeps running their lives, together, diverse, engaged with their city.

Why does downtown Worcester still suck? Why does it still look pretty much the way it did 15 years ago? Yes, our neighborhoods put Hartford’s to shame. From the few Hartford hoods I was in, they felt just as dangerous and looked just as poor as they did almost 20 years ago. Hartford  just doesn’t have a west side, Burncoat or many other fab WOO-like hoods.


Let’s not argue them versus us. Let’s admit that an incredible downtown like Hartford’s would make Worcester pretty much purr-fect!

So … is it our city manager form of government that keeps downtown Woo back? Is it stupid, brain-dead Woo city movers and shakers who just don’t have the talent or ambition to aggressively get new biz to move to Worcester, bring new ideas to the table? Is it the stifling Worcester nepotism that enables mediocre city leaders to stuff our tax payer-financed city government with their uninspired and uninspiring moron pals and relatives? Is it the vicious Worcester back-biting that can leave folks black-balled for years? Is it our urban factions, cliques filled with self-righteous prigs who refuse to work with folks who have different world views, different styles of talking, writing, living, BEING? Is it Catholicism at its most puritanical, punitive, circumscribed, SHITTY?

I don’t know what the causes are for our still pretty lackluster downtown. But I do know, Worcester, we better get moving!

If only Ed Augustus were a Republican!

By Rosalie Tirella

Things would be so different over at the Telegram and Gazette’s editorial desk. Chief editorial writer Chris Sinicola would be singing the candidate’s pro- biz, pro-money agenda! The Telegram has always been a Republican rag, out of step with the city it covers.

Now, more than ever, we see the clunky chemistry.

The peeps love Augustus. He’s in the neighborhoods, much like the super hands on Mike O’Brien was. Only he’s not hanging with thr money crowd. He’s talking with firefighters and school teachers and regular folks, folks who may not even own real estate!

Mon Dieu! What’s a used car saleslady like Beth Proko gonna say about this? Four or so years ago the Old Injun Fighter looked at a used truck Beth and hubby wanted to sell him. He said Beth came on to him. Yuck! (The OIF was always a broad-magnet.) And they tried to sell him a used truck that wouldn’t pass inspection. Double yuck! (And ILLEGAL!)

But hey, Proko owns some real estate. That makes her more important than the kids or inner city neighborhoods of Worcester! It makes her more important than a muscular City of Worcester board of health.

It’s all about money, her money, for Beth. Lower taxes for Beth and the T and G. Forget the neighborhoods and making the Woo of tomorrow, our kids of today, healthy and strong. Former city manager Mike O’Brien spent too much time listening to Proko and her ilk. So much so that the federal funds and projects that he took credit for, but were really secured by the good Dems in our state house and in DC, seemed to say I LOVE WOO HOODS. Not so. He loved Woo developers. He had no taste for neighborhood activists. Just like the T and G editorial board, which intimates that district city councilors are intellectually inferior to at large city councilors. A recent T and G editorial says at large councilors have the vision. District councilors whine about potholes. What kind of cocaine has T and G chief editorial writer Sinicola been snorting? We can only guess the kind cut with rat poison.

Ed Augustus is proving himself to be a hit.

The T and G and the biz community want him to be a miss. Cuz they are more into money than helping people. Hence, Beth Proko asks straight out ASK ED IF HE WANTS THE JOB AND … HE REALLY SHOULD NOT TAKE THE JOB BECAUSE SHE WILL THINK LESS OF HIM IF HE DOES. Beth is full of shit.

And the T and G now wants a paper pusher/desk nerd city manager when former city manager Mike O’Brien was the opposite, as in the hoods as you can get. But he was singing a Republican tune.

The T and G thinks the people pushing for a neighborhood-centric city manager are morons. We cannot wait until this stupid rag gets dumped by Mr. Henry and becomes THE WORCESTER TAB.

In the meantime: GO, ED, GO!!!!!!

Worcester City Council agenda for Tuesday, Jan. 22, and a song for City Manager Mike O’Brien

Meeting begins at 7 p.m., at City Hall, Main Street, downtown Worcester. Click on link below:  R. T.


City Manager Mike O’Brien’s report to the city council. Click on link below:


At some point, City Manager Mike “The world is my oyster, right?” O’Brien will take time out to tell the City Council what a big hit the Ice Oval is. Click on link below to see what he will present/say to the council (go to tool bar and hit 100% to enlarge the font.) Especially galling: O’Brien crows that he has gifted the lower classes with a free skating day now and then on the Ice Oval so Worcester Public School students can skate on THEIR and THEIR PARENTS’ common! Elm Park and other schools have taken advantage of  O’Brien’s special days for poor kids. Noblesse oblige, courtesy of Worcester’s very own Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Strong-mayor movement NOW!


Song for City Manager Mike O’Brien. Click on link below:


Free the Ice Oval!

Yes this is our skating rink! Pretty cool looking

By Rosalie Tirella

We’re hoping Worcester City Manager Mike O’Brien’s Thanksgiving vacation has squeezed the Scrooge out of him/softened him around the edges some. We’re hoping when the Ice Oval opens to the public, it will open as a FREE SPACE (it is on our COMMON, after all!). We are hoping it will be a free, community space where the public, especially low-income families/homeless kids (and Wusta has plenty of  ’em!), can exercise and have fun without spending dough.

City Manager, you shut down the city’s (free) neighborhood swimming pools two years ago. The city has only two branch libraries, after most of them were shuttered and sold off years ago. Our main public library is closed to the public most Mondays and Sundays. Our public schools have no school libraries (the way each school building did when I attended the WPSchools). Our public schools’ arts and music programs have been decimated.

City kids and families have taken the hit long enough!

Now is the time to do the right thing! Open the ICE OVAL to all city kids and families!!!


How dumb can they get?

By Rosalie Tirella

Why is it that we have a plethora of yahoos on the Worcester City Council? First there is City Councilor at Large Frederick “Ric” Rushton, whose trials and tribulations I chronicle in “Dope-o-rama” – ’cause he’s so dopey. Whether Rushton’s talking about the “vortex” in his brain or browbeating his council mates with a half-baked version of some historical event, Rushton never seems to get anything right.

Then there’s City Councilor Joff Smith, who, when recently complaining about the Asian Long-Horned Beetle in sentences cobbled together with thumb tacks and dangling participles galore, took his moron-ness to an even higher level: During a recent city council meeting Smith said that some of his conversations with officials reminded him of “episodes of Scooby Doo.” Scooby Doo?!

For the uninitiated, Scooby Doo was a 1960s Saturday morning cartoon – the star of which was a goofy Great Dane named Scooby Doo. Scooby had all these silly adventures with four 20-something kids (they’re Joff’s age) – one of whom always yelled: “Scooby Doo, where are YOU?!” Continue reading How dumb can they get?