Watching Mayor Joe O’Brien betray Save Our Poolz …

By Rosalie Tirella

this past Worcester City Council meeting made me think: this guy isn’t gonna give anything to “the people.” His campaign was just a lot of hot air.

Case in point: O’Brien FINALLY got out of his mayoral chair, took the mic and talked on an issue: the city manager and DPW head Bob Moylan were giving councilors an update on the work that will be done at the new Crompton Park pool. Mayor Joe O’Brien got up and pretty much rubberstamped what the city administration did/said all along. In a very quiet tone of voice O’Brien said: we will, as money permits, try to open more city pools. Then, as if to throw a bone to the Save Our Poolz folks, he said the Wheels to Water program will be broadened, hopefully with more jobs for folks.

Nice back-pedalling, O’Brien! You didn’t say: STOP! These are neighborhood pools! We want them all open -we want them all repaired. We don’t want the big super pool that is slated for Crompton Park! [editor’s note: ICT supports the Crompton Park plan]

This is what the Save Our Poolz brigade wanted to hear. But they didn’t hear so much as a peep from O’Brien on that score. They heard O’Brien go along with the city administration’s plans, the big (what some opponents call) Taj Ma Hall pool at Crompton Park. For a lot of city dough.

Like I said: What a big disappointment that must have been to the Save Our Poolz brigade – a group from which O’Brien must have gotten a ton of support election time. (former Worcester Mayor Konnie Lukes backed City Manager’s Mike O’Brien’s plan.) A ton of these poor/working class folks must have held signs for O’Brien and did other necessary leg work.

To no avail.

They still got screwed.

Save Our Poolz wanted Worcester’s small neighborhood park pools repaired and reopened. They even went so far as to get their own pool contractors to come up with estimates and make presentations to the city council parks and rec subcommittee – contractors who said they would repair the pools for much less dough than the contractors the city had in mind.

But this past Tuesday night, Mayor O’Brien did not go down that road. He went down the one called business as usual/politics as usual. How? By agreeing to the Crompton Park pool/city plan and then 1. deflecting attention from his craven stand by bitching about the great Wheels to Water program that got tons of city kids into lots of city water and nonprofit agency pools just days AFTER the city decided not to open any city pools last summer. 2. b.s.-ing about creating (summer?) jobs and then 3. (earlier) bumping off parks subcommittee chair Mike Germain – the city councilor who got elected on his promise to make the city’s parks great for all families and then proceeded to do nothing after he and his coucnil subcommittee heard all sides of the pool story …

Pathetic all the way around!

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