Monday, May 3, 2010

Gary and Clive vs. The Budget.

Gary Rosen and Clive McFarlane tackled the city budget this week, and both came up lacking.  Perhaps it's the limitations of print media- if they could link to the budget, perhaps they could point out specific cuts to the budget.  Very rarely do you find print media in Worcester specifically pointing out where our tax dollars are wasted.  Instead, you get generalizations like these:
"City officials need to take some creative, courageous and painful steps that surely will anger special interest groups and some employee unions. But cutting spending, eliminating more overlap and waste, streamlining city government, and finding new revenue sources are what’s best for Worcester’s future." -Gary Rosen
That's the best you can offer as a former City Councilor, WPS employee and School Committee member?  Give us concrete details.  Call out positions and people by name.  Do some legwork and get some sunlight and accountability to save our tax dollars.  Otherwise I'm going to have to question an article that regurgitates Research Bureau talking points (privatize everything, PILOTs, soak our unions, and lower taxes for businesses.)  I've always voted for Mr. Rosen- he was always accessible to his constituents, and for the most part, we've agreed on the major issues.  As a journalist, he leaves a bit to be desired, unless he starts to use his experience to better tell his readers about the issues facing the city.

Clive McFarlane went a few steps further in his piece, but still fell short.
"I did, and here is what I found: Too many departments top heavy with chiefs, assistant chiefs and assistant to the assistant chief and assistant to the assistant to the assistant to the assistant to the chief."
 Which ones????  Point it out to us.  Please use your journalist skills and list the departments and positions.  If you don't, it feels like you're just filling out another column....much like the irrelevant golf columns.
These are two of our better journalists, and writers I respect.  I had high hopes for both columns, and came away disappointed.  I know this is a city that behaves like a small town, but good government should trump any desire to avoid calling out individuals who are getting fat at the public trough (if they exist.)
Rosalie Tirella had her say about the budget, specifically the WPS side of the ledger.  Let's just be nice and say I don't agree with her take on things.


Tracy Novick said...

It's not clear that Gary's actually looked at the budget proposal. On the school side, it cuts several administrative positions. I, too, would be interested in which ones he's speaking of. I'd be happy to copy the administative chart, if he needs it.

Sean Dacey said...

If our local media keeps up the superficial analysis of the budget, I'll be forced to go through it myself! The lazy part of me wants/expects/hopes a journalist would do it!