Tag Archives: November

On Worcester City Councilor Mike Germain’s integrity

By Rosalie Tirella

City Councilor at Large Mike (Michael) Germain has never, ever, EVER taken the 84% pay raise the Worcester City Council so sneakily awarded itself four or so years ago – right after the November election, of course! Right in the middle of a recession, of course!

Mike Germain stood tall. He told his colleagues that it didn’t seem right to take city/taxpayer money (almost another $15,000 per city councilor) – especially at a time like this. Hooray! We applauded such behavior then and we applaud it now, seeing Mike continues to refuse the money – a good chunk of change. Germain’s decision smacks of integrity – something sorely lacking in many of our Worcester political “leaders” these days!

We remember our old pal, former city coucnilor Dennis Irish, doing the same – he refused the pay hike, too. Dennis had/has a ton of integrity, too!

Germian’s good choice, something he hasn’t played up this election cycle, should be noted by the voters. Germain, who is up for reelection, could have taken the dough – raising his stipend from almost $15,000 to almost $30,000 a year. HE DID NOT. He believes in Worcester, loves Worcester and felt during these tough economic times, the City Council doesn’t need to wring blood out of a turnip.

Everyone else on the Worcester City Council is taking the money. Add it up! That’s a minority teacher recruiter pay check – or maybe a jumpstart for the Worcester Public Library Book Mobile program!

This says a lot for Mike Germain (and Dennis Irish). If re-elected, Mike Germain will still forgo the pay raise, unlike his colleagues who, we think are being a bit greedy, since as a city councilor, you get tons of perks like getting city health insurance at the cheapo premium rate (25%), getting a city pension and a free lap top.

Again, voters should remember this come November.

The switcher-oo! (OR: This is why no one votes in Worcester!)

By Rosalie Tirella

Why did just 9% of registered voters in Worcester go to the polls in the recent city preliminary election? Moves like this one: After Mayor Joe O’Brien announced he would not seek re-election, Worcester At Large City Councilor Joe Petty, one of the boys in the Murray/Rushton boys club – the boys club that has been running this town for years, decided – just hours later – to run for Mayor of Worcester.

Petty made his announcement in less than 24 hours!

Just like that! Amazing! Spectacular!

I bet Petty wasn’t planning on running for mayor of New England’s second largest city, had no pressing issues he wanted to champion, had no special vision of the Worcester that he wanted to realize. He simply got a phone call from the boys club and they said: Run, Joe, run! Run for mayor! KILL KONNIE LUKES! RUN AGAINST HER SO SHE WON’T BE WORCESTER MAYOR AGAIN! (Lukes was mayor prior to O’Brien) And Petty, the good soldier, said OK. No biggie.

What a cynical move – on Petty’s part and the Boys’ Club. What a cynical way to run your politics. What a crumby way to run a city or present yourself to the voters.

This is why no one votes in Worcester! What’s the point? voters ask themselves. It’s all pre-planned, pre-ordained.

Hell, Petty is a good egg, but he has zero charisma and has never displayed any kind of leadership on any city issue – and I have been watching our city council for years. Yes, he wants Verizon’s tax loopholes closed; yes, he wants our cable contract with Charter looked at very carefully. But that is all I remember Petty getting passionate – well, not exactly passionate about – but at least leading a discussion about at city council meetings.

Other than those few times, you don’t hear a peep from Petty on Tuesday nights (when the city council meets).

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Does the city of Worcester need another gas bag/blowhard city councilor a la City Counilor Phil Palmieri, who can blather on and on and on and on before his colleagues and TV cameras, reporters? I mean, Palmeiri can actually make his eyes well up (they are filled with crocodile tears, no doubt!) as he takes a stand for or against something! An academy award for Phil! (those melodramatic Italians!!!)

Then there’s District 3 Paul Clancy who – as the “dean” of the city council – feels obliged to get up on all Tuesday nights and put things in perspective (historical, social, psychological – you name it). Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Shuddup already, Paul!

But Petty is not an egomaniac like these guys. He actually speaks when he has something to say – when he wants to make a point. He usually follows the Rushton/boys club lead but sometimes he stakes his own ground.

Still, Petty’s performance/record as city councilor doesn’t indicate a mayor in waiting – a mayor just waiting to be born. Someone who is going to WOW this town.

Why is Joe Petty running for Worcester mayor then? Because he got a phone call from the Murray boys club. The club that has made Worcester politics/governement and the City of Worcester workforce so incestuous. And the club – lead by Tim Murray and Rick Rushton screamed: DON’T LET KONNIE LUKES BECOME MAYOR! THROW YOUR HAT INTO THE RING! WE WILL HAVE ALL OUR TROOPS BEHIND YOU!

And Petty, like the good “pol-bot” he is, said OK.

Not exactly the way folks want their mayor to “arrive.”

Realty check: Worcester loses when politics are “played” this way. New ideas don’t come to the fore. New people don’t bring their new perspectives. The same characters and ideas are recyled election “cycle,” after election cycle.

So why should voters vote for a person/system that has locked them out for years? It’s true. Most Worcesterites are locked out of good paying City of Worcester jobs (they all go to the city councilors’ pals and relatives), good Worcester careers (political and municipal – it’s who you know), good Worcester real estate deals, the inside track – on anything really. Their lives don’t change in big ways. The unions get fatter, our teachers get more high maintenance and tax payers foot the bill.

Voters are fed up! That is why they aren’t voting.

If Worcesterites know they are simply going to re-annoint the person – Petty – who has been annointed by the Power Club, they say: To Hell with it. I will stay home. It is always the same old same old in this town.

Being the mayor of Worcester is a great job! It is a great, important job that needs to be mulled over for years maybe, dreamed about for years, prayed for even. Not something to just say OK to just because you got a phone call telling you to run for mayor, just to keep another person – Konnie Lukes who truly wants to be and loved being our mayor – from holding the office. The position deserves a person who is serious about the job – and also wicked excited about it!

Mayor Joe O’Brien: a true progressive who took us to higher ground

By Rosalie Tirella

In a way, we didn’t deserve him. In a way, Joseph – “Joe” – O’Brien, Worcester’s first true progressive mayor, was too darned forward-thinking for the dunderheads in this city – most of whom took to calling him “commie,” “socialist,” and other such perjoratives when O’Brien did enlightened things like advocate for immigrants in Arizona and district representation on the Worcester School Committee. etc. – ideas and proclamations that we at InCity Times CHEERED! Absolutely cheered! But the morons of Worcester – of which there are scads – couldn’t see the light that Joe O’Brien shone for all the heat they were generating. I couldn’t believe, as I read cop-ed columns, people’s/community leaders’ quotes in local papers, etc how positively cuckoo for cocoa puffs the nuts in this town would go when confronted with new, good ideas – ideas that O’Brien put out in a clear, thoughtful and sensitive way.

The bashing was something we at InCity Times thought only happened to us! Not to (basically) a Worcester insider like Joe O’Brien. I mean, he had the Irish name, Congressman’s Jim McGovern’s support, the Tim Murray impramateur tattooed on his butt, for Cripes sake – and yet – yet – the morons of Worcester went at O’Brien like the Roman gladiators went after the first Christians in the Colesseum!

But Mayor Joe O’Brien continued to bravely follow his head and his heart – put out one great idea after another. Even when people like fellow city councilor Paul Clancy – the so called “dean of the Worceser City Council – slagged him in the press. Even when the T & G treated him like some martian who had just disembarked from his shiny flying sacuer. It was heartbreaking – and yet inspiring. No matter what the powers that be said – Joe O’Brien stayed true to his ideas – ideas/plans that we have applauded on these pages, plans that have included: a Latino student task force, the banning of exotic animal acts in Worcester, the cheerleading and creation of community gardens in Worcestwer’s inner-city neighbrohoods, his total support of the MCAS-weary Goddard School staff/teachers, families and students. Also: O’Brien’s support of raising chickens in city limits (very cool!), his belief that all kids – no matter what their color or socio-ecomomic backgrounds must succeed in our Worcester Public Schools, his support for improving/repairing the buildings/grounds of Worceser’s inner-city schools, his desire to make our public schools the best in the state – so the city can continue to draw middle- and upper-middle-class families.

And the list goes on: such as O’Brien’s PURPOSELY living in Worcester’s inner-city, suporting the good work of the Main South CDC, WALKING to work so that he can get a true taste of what is going on in our city and talk with folks who may not otherwise feel comfortable accessing him in City Hall, creating longer mayor office hours so working people can meet with him in city hall to discuss their concerns. And, let’s not forget, O’Brien’s pushing the City of Worcester to hire local contractractors/companies for local city construction work and other jobs.

My list goes on and on. We have become one of O’Brien’s biggest cheerleaders! We regret the not so great past in which we defended Grace Ross to Joe’s detriment (BUT GRACE would support Joe on all his issues – we know it!)

But I digress! Everything that Mayor Joseph O’Brien proposed for this city was the right thing to do – the Catholic thing to do.

Many of O’Brien’s detractors – the morons – couldn’t wait to kick O’Brien out of the mayor’s chair this election cycle because they were afraid of the vision of the city Joe was presenting to us all – a picture, I think, that is the true snapshot of where Worcester is in the early part of the 21’st century and where it is going. Immigrants, the rising Latino population, an underclass that has not been helped enough, good, safe housing for our poor families (to stabilize our schools!), the environment … . These are all truths that will continue to bloom as the years pass, years after we all bite the Wormtown dust.

My guess? O’Brien would have won the mayoral seat again. He is too well liked and respected by lots of good people, he had the support of the unions (even though he pushed them to pay a teeny bit more on their health insurance premiums), and the business community likes what he was/is doing for them (for example, the business round table he set up).

This would be a truly sad time if O’Brien had decided to pull out of the Worcester city council all together.

We, however, are lucky. Joseph O’Brien is still running for an At Large City Council seat. We are ecstatic!

We say YES to Joe O’Brien – yes! to his vision of Worcester and his continuing the fab work he is doing for all of us – especially the Worcester of tomorrow.

Today is the day!

By Michael Moore

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Friends,

This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves.

Today, we have one job and one job only: Stop the return of the bigger criminal class, the Party of War, the people who (with a few Democratic enablers) manufactured the very mess we are in.

There is good news this morning: The final ABC/Washington Post poll shows that, among registered voters, people still say they prefer the Democrats over the Republicans by 5 percentage points. It’s only when the pollsters ask “likely voters” who they want that the Republicans come out ahead by a few points.

So it’s clear the majority of voters want the Dems, but the prediction is the Republicans will win because Dem voters are going to stay home.

So, our mission is simple: MAKE SURE NO ONE WE KNOW STAYS HOME TODAY. Continue reading Today is the day!

Exercise your franchise!

By William S. Coleman III

“How many marbles are in that jar over there, boy? What do you mean you don’t know? Well, boy, you cannot vote in this here election.”

“Good morning, Miss. Who was the first President of the United States? George Washington is correct. Please proceed and cast your ballot in this here election.”

At one time in America, in order to vote in an election, you had to be a white male who owned land. In 1920, women were given the right to vote throughout the country. But it wasn’t until 1964, when the Voting Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, that voting became a civil right that was guaranteed to every U.S. citizen.

The Voting Rights Act gave every American citizen over the age of 21 the right to vote in local, state and federal elections. Continue reading Exercise your franchise!

InCity Times endorsement: Jim McGovern for Congress!

By Rosalie Tirella

Tuesday, make the world (and Worcester) a better place, please vote for Jim McGovern, one of America’s (in our humble opinion!) best congressmen!

This election cycle incumbent Jim McGovern is up against nutty/racist/cynical Tea Bagger mouthpiece Marty Lamb. Anti- social security, civil rights laws, department of education, etc, etc Lamb makes my blood boil! I damn near wanted to mow him down as I was driving by the DCU Center and Lamb just walked in front of me, arrogant and out of touch – on his way to one of his fake, paid-for-by-the Tea-Party commericals/debates.

“Ugh!” I screeched to my little dog Jett, who is a boon companion and goes everywhere with me. “Pup!” I said, as Jett looked out the car window, “It’s Lamb!”

And then I got depressed about the cynical, racist wave that Lamb and all the other extreme right-wing candidates in America are riding this election cycle. But, I truly believe, their bullshit won’t stick here. Continue reading InCity Times endorsement: Jim McGovern for Congress!

InCity Times asks you to Vote NO on Question 3!

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

“Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

They’re at it again! The Committee for Small Government has qualified to place another anti-tax question on the ballot Tuesday – this one to slash the state sales tax from 6.25% to 3%. These are the same people who brought us Question 1 in 2008, the initiative which the voters sensibly and soundly defeated – the repeal of the state income tax.

If passed, the Sales Tax Initiative would slice revenues by $2.5 billion a year on top of the billions in cuts already made during this recession.

How much is $2.5 billion?

It equals one-half of all state spending on our 1,900 public schools. Continue reading InCity Times asks you to Vote NO on Question 3!

ICT endorsement: Deval Patrick for Governor! AND: We love Jill Stein, but …

By Rosalie Tirella

… Stein should drop out of the Mass governor’s race. Incumbent Deval Patrck and his main opponent, businessness whiz kid Charlie Baker, are running pretty much neck and neck (as of Oct. 24 – pre-last night’s debate). It was reported in the Boston Globe that Patrick is beginning to break away from Baker (43% to Baker’s 39% of likely voters surveyed), but his lead is so slight that is within the margin of error. So Patrick could still lose to Baker! Even though the Globe poll showed Patrick was considered way more likeable than Baker (I agree), the two candidates were TIED re: leadership ability. Which is killer important here, which is what the people are craving.

For the first time in months, the poll shows, voters really like our Deval! Easy to see during these debates, visits to towns/cities. Patrick shows a lot of compassion and goodness. He reminds us that during this global economic shitstorm, he and his team have been steady as she blows. Massachusetts still has an AA bond rating, and as Patrick told viewers of the debate yesterday: he’s delivered a state budget that was balanced, responsible and in on time. AND: During this shitstorm, Patrick (calmly, it seems) has invested in jobs/job growth (green jobs, stem cell banks at UMass/Worcester, etc) and burnished our ed creds (which on some level means more charter schools but still … .)

Our teachers, cops, fire fighters still have their jobs. Mass cities and towns did not go belly up during this tsunami because Patrick wisely used Mass rainy day funds and fed stimulus money to fill the budget gap. Things will be just as brutal next year! I would prefer to have Patrick sailing the Mass ship (with compassion and intelligence) than Baker who seems wicked smart but too hard and cool for my tastes. I don’t want to see people who care for the mentally disabled lose their jobs! I don’t want poor mothers Continue reading ICT endorsement: Deval Patrick for Governor! AND: We love Jill Stein, but …

Marty Lamb: Tea Party mouthpiece in “Lamb’s” clothing/Vote for McGovern and Chandler!

By Rosalie Tirella

So besides having to put up with Marty Lamb’s fake news interviews on TV 3, we have this: Lamb claiming in radio ads that his opponent, incumbent Congressman Jim McGovern, has been arrested during these past few years. Arrested! What poppycock!

What the radio ads don’t tell listeners: Jim McGovern was arrested for protesting America’s slow response to the tragedy in Darfur and our two catastrophic wars in the Mid East – both of which McGovern was staunchly against from the get go. He and other folks were calling attention to the issues by calling attention to themselves. Civil Disobedience. You can’t get more American than that (think of Concord’s Henry David Thoreau!).

Jim McGovern will win reelection no sweat, but if he feels he needs to, he should tell voters Marty Lamb wants to kill Medicare, Social Security, the minimum wage, and the civil rights that Martin Luther King Jr. died trying to make a reality. King didn’t get to “the mountain top” Continue reading Marty Lamb: Tea Party mouthpiece in “Lamb’s” clothing/Vote for McGovern and Chandler!

Tom Foley for Sheriff!

From: Ben and Betty Tedesco, Holden

We decided to vote for Tom Foley because of the outstanding qualifications he has. I know people are upset over the pension he so deserves. What you don’t know is: He will TAKE NO PENSION FROM THE JAIL! He wil not take benefits FROM THE JAIL! HE WILL TAKE A $30,000 PAY CUT from the sheriff’s salary.

Tom Foley will save the taxpayers $50,000 a year compared to the other sheriff candidates. He is not using this posititon as a stepping stone to furthur his political career. We know now that what we have read about Tom is how qualified and professional he is.

We want to let the voters know that when you vote November 2nd to not believe the negative attacks from Tom’s opponent. For those that would like to know more about Tom, please email to: foleyelection@ami.com. If you want to read something on Lew Evangelidis, please read InCity Times, www.incitytimesworcester.org

We appreciate your attention to this! Thank you!