Per usual the Telegram black-out of one of their better columnists continues on social media. Do you remember when we doubled the pay for Council to $30,000 and School Committee to $10,000 and we would attract more candidates? How is that going??? Here is what killed the Council races–DISTRICT COUNCILORS!!!!
— Nick Kotsopoulos (@NCKotsopoulos) May 26, 2017
If you are one of the 6 at large councilors, you have a pretty good chance of re-election since it is hard for a new person to mount and run an at-large race and win. How many times has a current at-large councilor lost to anyone other then maybe a district councilor opting to run at large? We can think of three the past ten years–Gomez, Perotta and Germain. If you are the sitting district councilor, it is tough to be beaten if you have taken care of your constituents. In the past ten years, we can think of two– Eddy and Haller. Bottom line unless someone opts not to run (Tony Economou this year) or a councilor switches from at-large to district or vice versa (Rosen), the chance of a new Councilor without any past office (referring to Joe O’Brien), it is pretty difficult for a new person to break into this group of 11. The most you will ever get every two years and maybe a turn over of 2.
On the other hand, what if we simply just ran all 11 Council spots at large? It would literally put the bottom 6-8 spots in play every two years !!! Not to mention District representation is not effective. How many times have you talked to a Councilor about an issue and they defer to the District Councilor? Instead of 11 people you could look to for help, you end up with one–the district councilor. Maybe Gary Rosen found out how much more work it is to be a district councilor, where he answers to everyone in his district while an at-large Councilor can simply blame any problems on the district councilor?
Bottom line, you want more people running for office scrap District Councilors and make all 11 serve the entire City of Worcester. Until you do that this will not change. Check out November 4, 1975 election results. Sorry the picture came out so small, but the link works fine. You tell me what looks to be better system, 1975 or 2017???