The “Secret Garden”? (or: Strife-ridden retreat ahead!)

By Rosalie Tirella

How sad! Worcester Mayor Konnie Lukes’ attempt to bring folks together at a special retreat at the classy Botanical Gardens in West Boylston is – of course! – scuttled by her nemesis City Councilor at Large Ric “Dope-o-rama” Rushton. Rushton shows us once again that he isn’t the brightest bulb in the Christmas tree and that he will do or say anything to be the next mayor of Worcester (a sad day for this community, if Dope-o-rama ever does win the votes). 

Mayor Lukes was just trying to deal with all the wretched woes chomping away at the nation, state and Worcester (literally in Worcester  – with the Asian long-horned beetles feasting on our trees!) in a setting that might be conducive to 1) clear thinking 2) a minimum of political grandstanding and 3) a respite from a cold, cruel, ugly Worcester winter. Problems seem less … problematic when you’re surrounded by beautiful fauna and sipping herbal tea!

As a gal, I can understand Lukes’ motives. When things are troubling me, it’s nice to take a mini-retreat somewhere beautiful – a museum, an antiques shoppe, the Botanical Gardens in West Boylston! This is the way most women think. When the going gets tough, we like pretty! The retreat wasn’t a power-grab by Lukes or an attempt to hide governement from the people. It was just a gal’s way of saying: let’s take a breather and think new thoughts in the orangerie! (The Gardens has a greenhouse filled with lovely, always blooming orange trees!) There will be a moderator; the retreat is open to the public. Perhaps it should be streamed live on  TV 13. No big deal.

We find the dopey Rushton especially disingenous when he knows that when his buddy-buddy now Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray was mayor of Wormtown the “in crowd” of the City Council would meet for beers and then leave the barroom/eatery to run the City Council meeting. What was happening at these “impromptu” gatherings? Was the public invited? Heck, three or four members of the City Council were freezed out! Sources told us what went on at these gatherings: real decisions, with the council votes to back them up.

Sources have also told us when Tim Murray wanted a person to run for City Council he AND Worcester City Manager Mike O’Brien would make a personal visit to that individual’s home and do some flattering/arm-twisting/grovelling, hoping to convince the person to run for city council. (another vote for Timmy’s agenda!)

So, for Cripes sake, give Konnie a break! It’s not the “Secret Garden” where magical things happen. It’s the Botanical Gardens where a bunch of too-pale pols are gonna get together to try to solve Worcester’s myriad problems. And we’ve got some doozies! Like a $20-plus million budget gap, the prospect of losing (good) cops on our streets, the foreclosure crisis, massive layoffs, the list goes on and on and on … .

Herbal tea, anyone?

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