Not a very good week for the City of Worcester. It all started when I first heard the Democratic Mayor of Springfield say that his city was not a sanctuary city:
— masslivenews (@masslivenews) January 28, 2017
Soon thereafter, Councilor Gaffney was seeking to get a vote from the City Council for the following resolution:
“Our City Council supports federal law and does not join other communities in declaring themselves sanctuary cities. We will always be welcoming of new immigrants and refugees to our city but only to those that follow our laws.”
Although I understood where Councilor Gaffney was coming from, I was not in favor it based on the fact we had other more important things to do. Then when Mayor Petty invited protestors to come to City Hall, I knew it would be a disaster and distract them from their main job:
- 1) PROTECT AND INCREASE THE TAX BASE
- 2) THE BUDGET.
I also understand that sanctuary status may have a detrimental impact on our budget, but do not consider it a top priority right now for the City Council. Ironically after the events of this week, I am not sure if we are a sanctuary city or not? It seems like we are, but we just do not want to say it.
At this point it makes no difference what the Mayor did or did not say, the damage has been done. Here is the question you need to ask yourself. If you were the CEO of GE or Aetna headquartered in Connecticut seeking to leave that state for Massachusetts, would you consider Worcester after watching the news this week (filing under increasing that tax base)?
— Russell Blair (@RussellBlairCT) January 31, 2017
Our City Council can rebound from this if they begin to focus on issues like:
- A Philadelphia Plan for Worcester to target undeveloped commercial parcels.
- Implement recommendations from the Mayor’s own task force.
- Looking into whether we should sell assets like Union Station, Convention Center and Parking Garage.
- Should we seek a third party management company to run Green Hill under a long term lease.
- Combine duplicate offices at City Hall on Main Street and the School Department on Irving Street.
- Recommend a targeted Tax Levy to the City Manager for the budget that he is working on.
- Lawsuit between the Town of Holden and the City of Worcester
As opposed to:
- Dog parks
- Food cart vendors
- Establishing historic districts
- Needles drop off
- Sanctuary cities
- Wayfarer sign systems
Not saying these later issues are not important, but they should not be the primary focus of our City Council. Which slate do you think they will debate??
Meanwhile in Boston, a pay raise that will cost us $18,000,000 was overridden after Governor Baker’s veto (Kuhner podcast). Check to see how your State Representative and State Senator voted (Y/Yeas = for pay raise N/NAYS = against pay raise). Every State Representative and State Senator that represents Worcester voted for the pay raise, except State Senator Michael Moore and State Rep Kate Campanale. Can you believe not one vote flipped after Governor Baker vetoed the pay raise. Not one!!!
The sad thing is that the City Council can continue to NOT to deal with issues that they need to and the State Legislators can vote for pay raises for themselves and they will most likely be re-elected.
Who are the real morons??
— Mike LeBrasseur (@MikeforSchools) January 27, 2017