Tag Archives: Mayor Joe Petty

Worcester Mayor Joe Petty …


… told me a few hours ago HE WON’T BE DOING ANY PR with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at/in front of Worcester  City Hall or on our Worcester Common next week …


“Busy all week.” Mayor Petty told me. (I took this pic of him, with his son, last summer!) He didn’t sound too excited about the wild animals in the circus … “Busy all week,” he said again.

Good enough for this gal!

Petty’ll pretty much be following the lead of former Worcester Mayor Joe O’Brien, whose office just stepped away from the whole Ringling elephant/wild animal horror show.

Petty also agreed with me: Fewer and fewer kids – people in their late 20s /early 30s – are into circuses that have wild animals. They don’t want to go – they skip the whole scene.

More and more young people just get the total up-side-down-ness of  forcing wild animals into a kind of servitude for humans. Cruel, cruel, cruel … THEY GET IT! I predict circuses with wild animals will soon go the way of the old circus “freak show,” a cruel term used not so long ago to describe hustlers parading people like “The Elephant Man” or little people, etc in front of large crowds, totally oblivious to their loneliness, sadness, emotional deprivation, often physical pain …

Most of Europe’s done it. Lots of other countries, too. Why is the U.S. lagging behind? We try to be first when it comes to human rights. Why not animal rights? The two are inextricably bound!

– R. Tirella

p.s. Petty also said, quite nicely, that YES, he listens to/hears me! Very nice telephone conversation. I felt like I was talking with a smart, sensitive guy! Made me feel good about my city!

Look who we bumped into this weekend …












By Rosalie Tirella

… Worcester’s well liked, easy going mayor, Joe Petty! Pictured here, Mayor Petty and his son, give us nice smiles in the summer sun. Petty, like the weather these days, is  sunny. He has a friendly, sweet disposition, which is why he seems to be just what Woo ordered during these days of our downtown rebuilding, economic engine rev-revving and all the big egos vying for a piece of the action. Big egos with their big ideas, and Joe “The Quiet Man” Petty keeps everyone in check, keeps everyone at the table. Good family man, too.

But there are downsides to being so nice and easy … . Sometimes you have to go to the mat for something you believe in, fight for something near and dear to your heart and not be worried about hurt feelings or mixing it up with some tough customers. That’s just not our Joe. For instance, he floated the idea of a Worcester EXAM SCHOOL a la Boston Latin several months ago. EXCELLENT IDEA! So many Worcester parents – from all socio-economic backgrounds – would have loved something this special for their kids. It would have made everybody try so much harder –  to get into the exam school, to plan on getting in or even to say: I almost got into our exam school, but I didn’t. That’s OK. I am in all honors classes at my school these days. And I like me teachers … etc etc

A rising educational tide WOULD HAVE LIFTED all Worcester Public School students and their families. Made all our students better learners and strivers!

Believe it or not, there are brilliant immigrant kids and first generation kids in Worcester. Most families in urban/immigrant (poorer) neighborhoods know who’s brilliant, super bright in their families, churches, etc and they are not afraid to have them compete with West Side kids or upper income families. My mom thought I was smart. She expected me to get all A’s in school and to take honor classes in junior high and high school and AP classes in high school, which I did. She expected me to be just as smart as my gal pals in the Burncoat area ( I attended Burncoat High). She did not say: I only work at a dry cleaners, Rosalie’s friends’ parents are school principals and engineers and live in big houses across town. We just can’t keep up! We need to roll over, give up. NOPE. The thought never entered my mom’s mind. EVER. For one nano second. My relatives were the same way. … First- and second-generation Americans are super competitive. They are strivers who are proud to be American and proud of  their kids and public school teachers and great public schools.

But, of course, the Worcester School Committee didn’t think of WPS students and families when Petty presented  his dream. No, they thought of the politics and came up with crap.

Joe Petty, as head of the Worcester School Committee, should have stood up to them and pushed, pushed, pushed his vision. Defended his idea. SOLD his idea to his colleagues.

He didn’t.

He’s still a nice guy. Still doing great things for Wusta.

But he needs bigger … shamrocks.

Re: Strong Mayor movement … A strong mayor of Worcester could/should:

Superman: June 1938 cover of Acton Comics

The first sighting of the Man of Steel in June 1938 on the cover of Action Comics. The issue originally cost 10 cents but now sells for seven figures at auction

By Rosalie Tirella

*  Articulate a vision for a city. Pull all our disparate urban elements together and tell/show the people what is happening.  Tell them where we want to go.

* Lead a city when things get horrific, ie  shootings, fires, riots.  (a la NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and his proposed gun control legislation;  not like Mayor Petty after the mini-riots at North High) It helps if the strong mayor is also poetic, can write a great speech (a la Lincoln or even Obama).

* Inspire a city with his/her compassion when it comes to the homeless, the panhandlers, the dispossessed. Get out in front of these problems and LEAD! LEAD with the angels pushing up up up against the soles of your shoes.

* Shoot for the stars! Dream big dreams! … and then with charisma, take folks along for the ride. Again, to write beautiful words and deliver them to the masses with grace and passion is lovely.

* Have charisma! Tons and tons of charisma! What did Buddy Cianci, former mayor of Providence, have that our Mayor Petty doesn’t have? Charisma! Sexy sexy charisma! You know, Buddy wore a toupe and the ladies were still wild about him. He’d be at Water Fire events and the ladies were straining to catch a glimpse of the guy. Who’d get all dolled up for a glimpse of Joe Petty? No one. That’s who!

* Be colorful. Wouldn’t it be great to have a mayor who wore cool clothes?! Or donned great hats a la Hedda Hopper? So that when you saw him or her, you’d smile at his/her STYLE?

* Have intelligence AND street smarts. Killer combo. To be smart and connected a la Mayor Petty is OK. To be smart and street-smart is fantastic! That means you can connect with the city engineers/assistants/geek squad but you can also get into the ghetto and wallow in the vibes there! Think Cianci and  Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino and former Worcester Mayor Joe O’Brien (who has lived/played in Main South for years).

* Deal with movements that are sweeping/changing the country – even if they are a tad rad. This is what former Worcester Mayor Joe O’Brien did with the Occupy Worcester brigade. He knew where this crew was coming from and he talked with them and wanted them to have their say on our City Hall Common. City Manager Mike O’Brien sicced the police after them, made the group feel like outsiders, put the kibbosh on everything, in a very heavy handed way. NO VISION whatsoever.

* Try to be superman/woman.

Save Worcester and you save yourself.