March 24, 2009

Next Blog Interview

Beth Proko of Worcester Citizens for Business.

Any questions you want, put in the comment section.


signman said...


Thanks for putting this out there. People should follow this. It makes sense. We cannot afford to keep losing business.

Rich said...

Bill and Signman,
I don't disagree, the thing that concerns me as a homeowner is what happens if I support a single tax rate and the City still can't attract or retain business. They don't have the best track record and I'm not convinced it's just tax rate. I know it will ultimately come to that if we keep losing business, just not comfortable that if I do my part the City will (or can) do its. Looking forward to learning more from Worcester Citizens for Business.

Jahn said...

Folks, the reality is that Worc doesnt have the demographics to support the businesses that we would all like to see here...and the demo's are getting worse by the day.

Does anyone really think that the city, which collectively is clueless about how business really works, actaully needs to go begging to bring in businesses.......entrepeneurs and businessmen alike will jump at an opportunity to fill a business need when they see one.......they dont need prodding from any $100,000 per year bureaucrats who have never worked anywhere but in gov't.

The city has a spending problem......not a delivery of services problem.........unless it's the delivery of dog "tickets".......

The city council continually overlooks the business oriented recommendations of consultants, the WMRB, and the city will eventually be in receivership......80% pensions w/o re: to life expectancy, expectred rates ofreturn, and how much one has in thier retirement plan assets as well as life time health ins are an absolute prescription for financial disaster.

How much do you folks think the city will have to cough up a year from now when retirement plan asset values that the city does rely on to pay pensions have dropped 30 to 40% in the last year or so??

Let's start by privatizing school custodial services as the current janitors retire and lets end health ins. benefits for city councilors and school committee members.

Next up fire dept privatization. This flawed "model" of chilling at the fire station all day when there are few fires in the city anymore is as outdated as horse drawn fire fighting equipment and frankly is a load of horse++++. Let's end this 1st responder status for the fire dept and let UMass take care of the medical emergencies and get the fire men out repairing sidewalks, etc. during their copious amts. of downtime, instead watching Yogi, Boo Boo, & Cindie bear all day and sleeping all night so they can go out & out bid a private local contractor on their next carpentry job....... structure fires are down 94% since the mid 90's.......yet we still need 4 men to a firetruck...???

Paulie's Point of View said...

"80% pensions w/o re: to life expectancy, expectred rates ofreturn, and how much one has in thier retirement plan assets as well as life time health ins are an absolute prescription for financial disaster"

my former landlord in Cambridge was a foreman on the Cambridge DPW and a bookie for my grandfather and used to laugh all the time about how he retired at 62 with full benefits....he would always chuckle how the bastards never expected him to live well into his 80's

signman said...


Good point. They do need more of a balance it at this point. With most councilors stating lowest Residential tax rate another words tax the H... out of business. Who would want to come here? They do not need a single tax rate a more balanced rate to help business. Your taxes have not gone down they continue to go up. They have lost half their business since they changed to this duel rate. Part of the reason is businesses that leave residents pick up the slack. It's not just the taxes it is also the cost of doing business. I could save 25% on my vehicles alone by moving to Auburn. Hey us small businesses are the nuts and bolts of this city. They need to start with us the ones that are still here. Another thing my twelve employees buy from the other businesses around here. Food (lunch) Gas Etc. from other small businesses. We keep each other going.

Jeff Barnard said...

I have to disagree with Jahn about privatizing the fire department. A "for profit" fire department is the worst scenario I can imagine.

And as far as the WFD's "first responder" status goes, the first responder to my 9-11 call when my wife collapsed unconscious on the floor last year was the fire department. They were here in three minutes. The ambulance spent the next ten minutes going up and down Delmont Ave trying to figure out why none of the numbers on the houses went as low as the number on my house... over here on the other side of Hamilton Street. The "first responders" had to radio dispatch to inform the underpaid employees of THAT "for profit" ambulance business where the fucking house was.

A "for profit" fire department, police department, or the "privatization" of any other tax funded city service makes no more sense than paying extra for trash removal.

The problem in this city is corruption, not a mis-application of anyone's favorite economic ideology.

I'm all for a single tax rate, but I'm also in favor of going after the people responsible for fucking up my home town, and hanging them by the balls... Like, for instance, whoever it was that hired Donna C. Byrnes as an overpaid, grossly unqualified special ed teacher.

Bill Randell said...

I am for privatization of many city services. In particular the airport, golf course and Union Station to name a few. I also think we should also seriously look at edu-clean, janitorial service for schools.

Would I want core services like the WPD and WFD privatized. No way!! After all the bitching, these guys and girls do a good job. Jahn, I disagree with you but agree with Jeff.

At the same time, Jahn is 100% correct on the IOD (injured on duty) issue. This is out of control and needs to be looked at.

In case you do not know about it. If you or IOD, you get 100% of your pay. Now that is gross not net!!!!!

Think about it. Imagine Jeff and Jahn work for either the WPD or WFD and they both gross 1500 per week with a net of 900. If Jeff gets hurt and collects IOD benefits, he collects 1500 per week, while Jahn who is still working receives 900. Does this make sense to anyone?


Bill Randell said...


I understand your concerns. Look no further then the South Worcester Industrial Park that has been around now for 10-15 years, but had yet to yield one job. Lets not kid ourselves they have a horrible track history.

As you so aptly point out, as the commercial tax base keeps evaporating, you are going to have a single tax rate any how. What do you have to lose be endorsing a 5 year or 10 year single tax rate?