I have been reading and listening to many people talk about the PILOT idea the past month, especially since the real estate market (city tax revenue collections) have slowed. Some ideas have been pretty good, while some have been somewhat bizarre.
Let me go on record, the City of Worcester, unlike many other urban cities in the NorthEast, has been lucky to have a college base to keep it from being the next Springfield. That said, I still feel the colleges could play a more active role in the "success" of Worcester.
For the 102nd time, I was on a task force some five years ago to look into this exact subject, commissioned by Mayor Murray run by former State Rep Leary. We did an incredible job. It resulted in the formation of the Univercity Partnership, which was suppose to turn the inherent untapped potential of these colleges into dollars that that the host city could not only see, but measure. This was not a unique concept, but that had been repeated by numerous other cities with a high proliferation of colleges.
In Worcester, this was an utter failure, although some councilors (specifically Councilor Toomey) actually praised the Univercity Partnership for all of its great work, when it was shut done some two years after it started. This never made sense, since the recommendation of the task force was that we needed this "partnership" to be an ongoing concern to turn the economic power of the colleges into "concrete" dollars and cents that the tax payers could realize and measure. The mere fact it was being shut down, if you read the task force report, meant that the Univercity Partnership was a failure.
The most ironic thing of the task force was that we read about a prior task force in the mid to late 90's. Upon completion of our task force recommendations, I (as others) was struck by the similarities in the recommendations from these two task forces some ten years apart. In fact our task force suggested and strongly recommended that we meet again (I think a year later), to review and grade our recommendations to ensure that another task force was not convened five years laters to do again for the third time, what had been done then two times already.
We never met again. As I sit here I can almost guarantee you a third task force will be convened and wil recommend what has already been done the other two times.
Preliminary election is NOT on! - As I noted the other day, two more candidates were what was needed to have a preliminary election in Worcester. Carmen Carmona was certified yesterday, and...
18 hours ago