Worcester in 2016 -
We will be reading plenty of articles on the year in review and the future outlook of our great City, but here are my thoughts going into the New Year.
I foresee the inevitable drop in favorability in the City Manager. If I were to review his performance right now, after two years of violent crime, stagnate residential and plummeting commercial real estate values, ever decreasing house income, and a consistent focus on divisiveness, I would rate him as a failure. It has become ever clearer that he is a politician and not a manager.
While I am at it, how does Tim Murray continue to have a job at the Chamber? With Commercial real estate values plummeting and his complete loss of influence over the Council, $250,000 a year is a lot of money for zero results. Another politician with zero management skills.
I foresee a Council that might start to understand that going along to get along is not the reason they were voted into office. The recent tax classification debate shows even with the current Council, the political power of the machine has been severely diminished. The fact that Tim Murray, Joe Petty, and the Chamber of Commerce could not get the votes is telling. Further, two of the outgoing Councilors were on the losing end of the debate, leaving the powers that be with even less influence.
I foresee more battles in the School Committee than on Council. I continue to hear that Worcester’s revitalization happens in our schools. The biggest test will be in the selection of the next Superintendent. If it isn’t Maureen Binenda, then we will have another 4-5 years of the same nonsense that has parents opting out of our schools or opting out of Worcester. We now have 3-4 strong members on the School Committee that know that throwing money at something isn’t going to turn it around; rather, a bold re-evaluation of the leadership is needed. It will be very interesting to watch.
Despite the change in personalities with two of the most abrasive Councilors leaving, I do not foresee an improvement in the behavior of Councilors towards one another. The new floor leader Tony “taxes” Economou has already thrown down his intentions to mix things up and get personal when he rattled on about being insulted because another Councilor mentioned an item he put on the Agenda. He has joined in the chorus of the whiners that won’t allow the City Manager to consider a fair budget and mocks any call for decreased spending. And truthfully, after spending the last year as the Mayor lined up his cronies to call me, the good teachers, and great police of our City every name in the book, my tolerance for such behavior is less than zero.
I foresee increased taxes and increased spending with decreasing return.
I foresee a Board of Health that strips freedom of choice from the residents of Worcester.
I foresee non-profits continue to fleece the City while the taxpayers continue to fund their activities.
I foresee drugs and homelessness taking over our City as we pour more of our resources into services that will attract more people battling addition, committing more crime, destroying more neighborhoods.
I foresee more promises of the future of amazing projects that will be downsized or delayed. I foresee continued inaction and incompetence from our local leaders as they try the same failed ideas over and over with the same results.
I foresee change for the better. There will be a rise of those that have been silent that have had enough, the last election saw an additional 3,000 voters choose my campaign with little growth for the other side. Therefore, I foresee a better future for Worcester as more people take an interest in politics and the continuing rise of social media outlets such as Turtleboysports.
For all the wrong reasons, Worcester is on the right track!