Tag Archives: Joe O’Brien

Mayor Joe O’Brien: First impressions (on his first city council meeting)

By Rosalie Tirella

It was disappointing to watch Worcester’s new mayor, the exceedingly hoarse Joe O’Brien, at last week’s city council meeting. “Zero gravitas” I told myself, as I watched the guy attempt to run (never mind lead) his first Worcester City Council meeting last Tuesday eve. He was nice enough – but not serious enough. He gave folks their turn to talk – but didn’t do much talking about anything important. He should have. He seemed to have nothing more to offer than a goofy smile when City Councilor Konnie Lukes’ suggested Worcester cap its affordable housing. (By the way, she was much more mayoral than O’Brien. She spoke with confidence. She was articulate. She grabbed that mic and held it – with authority!)

I love Konnie Lukes, but I disagree with Konnie Lukes. Totally. Strongly. Passionately. Shame on O’Brien for not coming to the rescue of the inner-city or inner-city families or inner-city kids (who he wants to make sure get the best urban education in the country). First he lives in Main South and sees the effects of poverty daily. Second: He should know a kid can’t get a first-rate education, if your family is on the run from slumlords or stressed to the MAX paying high bills or scrimping on food or clothing to pay Worcester’s $800 rents. Ya want smart kids, Joe? Then give them safe, clean apartments run by parents/guardians who dodn’t feel the wolf is at the door. ALWAYS! Continue reading Mayor Joe O’Brien: First impressions (on his first city council meeting)

Pan-handlers, all? Plus: Holy Cross and College Hill

By Cheez Wiz

A while ago, I pondered the effectiveness of government led by the forces of Mayor Joe O’Brien-Tim Murray-Jim McGovern and their biggest cheerleader, Jordan Levy. After all, how is this city going to grow when Joe’s “position papers” are basically outlines on how he is going to beg his federal and state connections for federal help? It doesn’t help matters that none of the big three has a private sector background. (Ya see, those panhandlers really do teach us things!)

The new Joe-Jordan-Jim-Tim Alliance relies on federal and state help. What they lack from the get go is a sense of ideas, creativity and business sense as a foundation for job growth. What happened to the ideas first put forth by President Obama – of the “carrot and stick” approach to building business?

What happened to increased use of No Child Left Behind? Why has that program been so watered down to suit the teachers’ unions at the expense of needy, low-income children? Continue reading Pan-handlers, all? Plus: Holy Cross and College Hill

Will things really change with Mayor Joe O’Brien at the helm? (he also heads our school committee)

By Rosalie Tirella

After reading all the pieces on Joe O’Brien’s inauguration day festivities (I wasn’t invited to the ball and InCity Times was emailed no public announcement about it to post in the paper so our readers could attend – unlike two years ago, when Konnie Lukes became mayor and I got ALL the info and a beautiful invitation to boot), I ask: Will things really change in Worcester with Joe at the helm? Will O’Brien really be any different from a pol who rewards his pals and punishes anyone who doesn’t agree with him? More important: Will things really change/improve in the Worcester Public Schools now that Mayor O’Brien says he wants to make the WPS system the best urban school system in America?

Actions speak louder than words, my momma always told me. This is what I have to go on so far: Continue reading Will things really change with Mayor Joe O’Brien at the helm? (he also heads our school committee)

Post-election analysis!

By Cheez Wiz

Plan E government makes it easy to blame others in leadership roles. Who’s gonna pay for the mess? The economy gets worse. And all we are hearing about from the political class lately is how Guy Glodis’ effort at state auditor brings with it a political domino play. Silly me, I actually thought the political class cared for us. But it seems more like they just want to get another shiny title and a bump in their state-funded retirement accounts. The police will get their salary bump because of that outdated Quinn Bill. Maybe the Worcester City Council members will be able to blame City Manager Mike O’Brien – even though the Council members were the main beneficiaries of the union funding.

The only bump the property owners of Worcester will get is in their property taxes.

Blaming Mike O’Brien might be the way to push Mike out and to give the Timmy-Jimmy-Joe alliance the “strong mayor” title that has been so elusive with a Plan E government. Continue reading Post-election analysis!

The Straight Dope

By Cheez Wiz

a) Did you hear that Scott Zoback is working for Harriett Chandler now? It’s a fact.

b) Makes sense the [T & G’s] Dianne Williamson could become a media flunky for the O’Brien-Murray-McGovern campaign.

c) The BEST thing about the story of the police union-cum-Virginia-“it’s my real hair, honest!”-Ryan: Those unionistas identified whom I would NOT vote for [election day]. It truly shows the magnificence of District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller and Mayor Konnie Lukes, trying to keep law and order in these difficult financial times.

d) It showed that public safety does not equal higher salries for police. Police Chief Gary Gemme has lost the faith of taxpayers.

e) Why don’t we start a campaign to get all city employees (teachers, police, etc.) to live in this city for a minimum period of FIVE years upon hire? Continue reading The Straight Dope

Here’s the problem …

This is what gets me nervous about Worcester’s mayor-elect, Joe O’Brien: Election night City Councilor at Large Ric Rushton was on the radio and said he is sooo glad Joe O’Brien won Wormtown’s mayoral seat! Then Rushton made this very telling statement: he said if HE had run for mayor of Worcester, Joe O’Brien wouldn’t have run for mayor of Worcester. Rushton said Joe O’Brien CLEARED IT (running for mayor) with him (Rushton) first.

Cleared it with him first.

This is what O’Brien’s detractors don’t like/fear: no matter how vociferously Joe O’Brien claims to be independent/his own man, these backroom political deals/horsetrading will be going on amongst the same 100 or so people. The same 100 or so people who have always controlled things in this town.

That is not democracy. That is machine politics … .

– Rosalie Tirella

p.s. and it just shows you (once again) how stupid Rushton is. (blab, blab, blab)

Mayoral candidate Joe O’Brien: “man of the people” has vacation home in Berkshire town where Gov. Patrick summers! And his wife Lisa’s $100 condo!

By Rosalie Tirella

… homes by he and his wife, Lisa Weinberg.

Let’s start with a quote about Joe being a true man of the people!

Telegram & Gazette columnist/Joe O’Brien-p.r.-flak Dianne Williamson was so good at pumping up ol’ Joe in one of her recent columns that he featured her pukey prose on his political mailings/push cards. O’Brien, who is running for mayor of Worcester, after a mediocre stint on the Worcester School Committee (he fought to get teachers who were on maternity leave the ability to work part-time) sent these political cards to practically everyone in Worcester! The quote: “There’s no arguing that he’s a guy [O’Brien] who walks the walk. While he and his wife could afford nicer digs elsewhere … they’ve chosen to buy a home in the heart of Main South … .” – Dianne Williamson, T & G

Oh, puhlease, Dianne! Joe and Lisa are not “walking the walk,” they’re working the real estate system and getting breaks from everyone! Take their home at Oread Place – the Main South abode Williamson writes so lovingly about. When Joe and Lisa bought the house, they paid a lot less than what it’s worth. Only days after they payed $25,000 for the home from the Castle Street Neighborhood CDC, it was mortgaged by Joe O’Brien) and Lisa (Weinberg) for $82,650, courtesy of Bay State Savings Bank. The bank obviously valued the property at over tripple what O’Brien paid for it – only one week after he purchased it! Joe O’Brien was basically paid to buy the house! How many people are able to mortgage their house for more than three times what they paid for it immediately after the purchase?!!

Since the original mortgage of $82,650 in August of 2000, Joe O’Brien and Lisa Weinberg have been given an ADDITIONAL $269,000 in mortgages on that property by various banks over the last six years, some of which have been discharged. The most recent outstanding mortgage is one for $76,000 on June 22, 2007. Continue reading Mayoral candidate Joe O’Brien: “man of the people” has vacation home in Berkshire town where Gov. Patrick summers! And his wife Lisa’s $100 condo!

Konnie Lukes: Why can’t the T & G treat her the way they treat the boys?

By Rosalie Tirella

… with respect, deference, etc.

Why must the T & G’s Clive McFarlane trash a Konnie Lukes or a Dorothy Hargrove – both strong, smart, articulate women – and give free rides to bumblers and idiots like City Councilors Ric Rushton and Mike Germain?

Listen to the boy pols and you hear: dopes.

Listen to the girl pols and you hear: complete sentences, clear ideas, plans … Continue reading Konnie Lukes: Why can’t the T & G treat her the way they treat the boys?