Evidently it is if you watched City Council tonight. Specifically,
8A: District 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera wants a report on a number of things revolving around what would happen if UMass Memorial closes 13 psychiatric beds. There will be a rally before the Council meeting concerning this situation.
It took up a lot of the meeting tonight and our City Council passed a resolution (unanimously), asking UMass not to close these beds until a study, or something like that, was done. We do not have enough information as to where we stand on this, since we have no information as to why UMass wants to close these beds…
At the rally against UMass closing 13 psychiatric beds to make them surgical. “Don’t abandon the mentally ill” pic.twitter.com/nvAyZK5L0F
— Tom Quinn (@bytomquinn) March 7, 2017
Politically, however, it is easy to be against UMass, just like it was easy to to vote on a petition to make Mount Carmel a historic district, when it was already on the agenda of the Historical Commission. In the end end the Historical Commission voted agains Mount Carmel becoming a historic district and we feel UMASS vote also against the recommendation of the City Council here. Maybe they will come up with some middle ground to only close, for example, 6 beds.
Our question is how is this business of the City Council? It is now the City Council job to determine how many psychiatric beds UMass has? What’s next, how maternity beds UMass should have?? Whether we agree or disagree with UMass, our point is that this is not a primary role of the City Council, whose main job it to:
- Protect and expand the tax base
- The City Budget
Maybe instead of worrying about UMass or the Diocese or Worcester business decisions, the City Council should focus on their job? Should we, for example, remain in non-core businesses like:
- Golf courses
- Convention Centers
- Train Staions
- Parking Garages
And what about those recommendations from the Mayor’s task force??
Or those recommendations tonight by the Worcester Municipal Research Bureau tonight. There were some good ones.!!
The final tax rates in November are not decided in November, but now. When our City Council opts to spend time on issues outside their control that are politically easy to support and not on the hard issues like our budget, they are only guarantee that we will be taxed to the max.