Monday, November 28, 2011

Unelected officials and accountability. had an interesting article regarding the new Michigan law Public Act 4 that allows the state to take over 'failing' municipalities.

I found a few things pretty scary, namely the new powers granted to an unelected manager.   The Act gives him or her the power to slash municipal obligations to pensioners; ignore all unions and the concessions they have won through contractual negotiations; fire all city employees and privatize/slash all services to save money; eliminate the fire and police departments; and most importantly, not answer to anyone, whether it is a voter or an elected official, all in the name of 'progress.'

The good news?  Pontiac's Emergency Manager doesn't have to pay the City Council and ripped out all the parking meters because it wasn't cost effective to run them.

This article illustrates Worcester's need for a City Council and electorate that needs to be involved in the daily operations of our City and keep our government from being run by a business manager with zero accountability.

Sometimes giving away our democratic oversight in the name of 'progress' and 'reform' isn't all that it's cracked up to be. 

Never in my backyard!

Remember the public outcry over the Worcester Youth Center moving next to Beaver Brook Park neighbors were worried about the the gang members it would bring to a public park and a nice residential neighborhood? 

Remember the crime wave that was going to engulf the West Side when a transitional house for former addicts was opened on Newton Square and the PIP clients were going to hang outside waiting for their girlfriends?

Remember when Paulie made up a whole bunch of BS about the PIP shelter moving to the corner of Chandler St. and Park Ave and hung a banner on his half destroyed/partially renovated three decker and threatened to stop working?

None of those things happened.  Perhaps we should throttle down the rhetoric regarding the temporary relocation of the SMOC Triage Center and recognize that the City's homelessness problem hasn't been solved, and needs a real presence in this City.

After all, it is the Christmas season, and we should be full of good will towards our fellow human beings.

Monday, November 7, 2011

BS, courtesy of the WPD.

The WPD's Press Release regarding the arrests of Occupy Worcester members contained the following gem:
I'm not sure how passive resistance and a non-violent occupation of the Worcester Common on a Saturday night can create the potential for injury for anyone involved.  Didn't we hire a media relations expert for the WPD?  Our new hire should be able to come up with a better excuse for tsk-tsking the occupation of the Worcester Common.

Thousands of dollars were spent to arrest 22 people out of a peaceful crowd for what purpose?  Perhaps next time the WPD and the City Administration shouldn't overreact to citizens engaging in a peaceful protest.  Instead they should focus on the calls from citizens requesting real police service, rather than people setting up tents on the Common.  Rumor has it that the WPD had a delayed reaction time to bar fights on Green Street and Shrewsbury Street because they were rounding up the peaceful people.

What should our priorities be?