December 30, 2010

Main & May Street

Worcester's version of the Big Dig.   Can someone please try to find out who is paying for all these sewerage improvements.    My guess is that the bill needs to be in the $650K to $1 million dollar and I bet you that the tax-payers are footing the bill.

I also believe this work had to be done to alleviate the sewer back-ups from the new low income housing development on May Street.  If any private developer had to do this, they would have had to pay out of their own pockets.

Wiorcester TIFS

Click here

Philly Plan

Just read about new rules to tighten up the ability for cities and towns to offer TIFS, click here .   Here is a key line:

For example, applicants must now show that their projects will generate substantial out-of-state sales in order to qualify for subsidies, disqualifying fast-food restaurants and most retailers. Greater flexibility also allows the state to direct larger subsidies to more meaningful projects, such as those in so-called gateway cities, former mill towns and industrial centers that have fallen on hard times.

The first part is bad, but the second part it real good.  Not sure exactly how our Philly Plan would fit into these new rules?

Pinzon (Hadley developer) Banruptcy

Click here

Harry T in Telegram

America played the decisive role in two world wars not by being isolated by the oceans, but by being able to manufacture and distribute goods faster and more efficiently than the rest of the world could. Whereas America’s manufacturing base is off its post World War II peak, the United States is still superior to our competitors when it comes to distribution.

The rest of the world has taken notice; China, currently the number two economy in the world behind the U.S. and also the world’s fastest growing economy,has gone all in on freight and commuter rail as has Warren Buffett, the world’s third richest man and second richest in the U.S.

Worcester — yes, Worcester — has been chosen to have a $125 million project to upgrade the rail yards and to also improve commuter rail service to Boston, the economic engine of New England.

With the possibility of having the most technologically advanced rail yard in North America, if not the world, and with Worcester being the only New England city to have service to both North and South Station in Boston, the future truly looks promising for the region in the new, global economy.

December 29, 2010


Nothing made it to the Telegram regarding the revocation of their state tax credits?

More Eric Kriss

On September 11, 1991, the Massachusetts state legislature approved Governor William Weld's emergency request to appoint a state receiver to take over the City of Chelsea's bankrupt municipal government "Chelsea, Mass facing state receivership". New York Times. September 6, 19912 , the first state-designed municipal receivership in U.S. history. Weld named Jim Carlin, a businessman and former state Secretary of Transportation, to become the Chelsea receiver, reporting to Eric Kriss, who, as the assistant Administration and Finance secretary, had drafted the Chelsea legislation.

Chelsea, directly across the Mystic River from Boston, had long been in economic decline with a spiraling fiscal crisis. Carlin and Kriss immediately undertook a broad municipal turnaround, with a focus on labor negotiations with the local Firefighters union. Boston University, already involved in local education, took over school administration.

Within two years, Chelsea's budget was balanced, a restructured firefighters contract was negotiated, city operations were streamlined, and new school construction was underway.Ed Cyr (August 1, 1993). "Thoughts on the Chelsea Receivership". Government Finance Review3 As the Receivership achieved stability, a charter change in 1995 implemented an new efficient council-manager form of government. Increased emphasis on economic development and capital improvement led to an influx of new business, and, as the turnaround reached maturity in 1998, Chelsea was named an All-American City by the National Civic League."Past Winners, All-American City"4

In 2004, Springfield, the third largest city in Massachusetts and long suffering from economic decline, requested extraordinary state assistance to met its financial obligations. Kriss, now Secretary for Administration and Finance, drafted a new receivership bill, modeled after his 1991 Chelsea legislation, that expanded upon the receiver's powers by suspending Chapter 150E, a key law that enfranchised public sector unions and defined the collective bargaining process in Massachusetts.Eric Kriss (June 8, 2004). "The Springfield Turnaround". Executive Office for Administration and Finance5 After heated debate and intensive lobbying by public labor unions, the legislature placed Springfield into a state receivership controlled by Secretary Kriss on June 30, 2004, but without the proposed suspension of the Chapter 150E labor law.

Without the Chapter 150E suspension, the state receivership entered into a long collective bargaining process with the teacher's union. In September 2006 agreement was finally reached on a new contract that included merit pay, the first time that student performance was explicitly tied to teacher compensation in a large urban school district in Massachusetts."Springfield teachers OK merit pay contract". Boston Globe. September 9, 2006

The Springfield receivership, as in the earlier Chelsea experience, balanced the municipal budget, streamlined operations, and earned an upgrade in the city's bond rating. On June 30, 2009, the receivership returned governance of the city to local officials."State overseers leave city in the black". Boston Globe. July 1, 20097

In February 2004, Kriss advocated the elimination of the monopoly granted to public sector unions through state laws such as Chapter 150E in Massachusetts.Eric Kriss, The Fourth Branch of Government, February 20048 These remarks, plus the controversy over the original Kriss draft of the Springfield receivership legislation that suspended Chapter 150E, motivated Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government to host a debate between Secretary Kriss and two labor union supporters, Economics Professor Richard B. Freeman, co-faculty director of the Harvard University Trade Union Program, and Jack Donahue, a Kennedy School lecturer and director of the Weil Program in Collaborative Governance."Public employee unions: Self-renewing cycle?". Harvard University Gazette. September 30, 20049

Eric Kriss

Found this on Wikipedia by Eric Krisss.  How true is this?

The threat of escalating municipal labor costs due to Chapter 150E led Secretary Kriss to introduce the concept of Municipal Stability Factors[10] as an online assessment tool for local officials. When he left office in September 2005, Kriss warned that overly generous contracts with public employees, together with a failure to control employee healthcare costs and an aversion to development that could spur new tax revenue, have doomed cities and towns to a dark financial future. "This is a quiet crisis, a crisis of attrition. It's not a Katrina, but if we extrapolate over the next couple of years, it will get worse and worse and worse."

December 28, 2010

Municipal Bankruptcy

I am starting to see this as a real possibility.    Not in the short-term but 10-15 years from now?   There is no doubt in my mind that the City of Worcester will be at their maximum tax levy limit within 2-3 years.   Although it was good to see something other then the lowest residential rate approved, both residents and businesses got an increase.  

Do not see the City of Worcester at this pace being able to expand the tax base fast enough to meet the expenses.  Wall Street journal has a great blog on this, click here.     Even closer to home read about Central Falls, RI.     

There was a guy at the meeting last Tuesday who talked about cutting expenses.   Starting to see how much sense this really does make more then anything else.   

December 27, 2010


Does anyone think they shoveled their sidewalks?  Wait a second, they have not put up the $1 yet to take title of the property, although they were awarded the property via the RFP process 3 years ago.   Right now the owner is still the City of Worcester who is exempty from the sidewalk ordinance.

On another note I was up at 5AM this monirng plowing and I almost hit a guy jogging on Richmond Ave.  In the dark during a blizzard, can I make a suggestion to anyone thinking of going for a jog--IT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA!!!!! 

December 25, 2010

Boston Globe Comment on Pharmasphere Story

agingcynic wrote:
Say, that wouldn't be the same "Angus McQuilken" that the MA Democratic Party offered up as competition to Scott Brown for a State Senate seat a few years ago, would it? In partnership with the head of the Rhode Island Bridge Authority. You couldn't make this stuff up.(The fact that it was revealed on Christmas Eve is probably a total coincidence.....

Nicole-Merry Xmas

Nicole has made my day.   She found this story in the Boston Globe today about Pharmasphere. For any who reads this blog, this is a must read!!!    Honestly this one is really incredible. I wonder how many employees Pharmasphere claimed in their bid?

I could not disagree more with Julie Jacobson's quote “The bottom line with any of these projects is nothing ventured, nothing gained,’’ when we had another bid from an abutting company for $50,000 against Pharmasphere's $1 bid.    We should have awarded this parcel to the $50,000 bidder and found another parcel in the South Worcester Industrial Park or somewhere else for Pharmasphere.

Can I ask Nick K again to find out who is paying the interest on the 2,600,000 million dollars of HUD loans that the City of Worcester guaranteed for Pharamasphere and I believe the City of Worcester received last year. This story really is amazing..    Wonder if this is enough for the City to stop giving Pharmaspere more time (3 years to date) and they actually rebid the parcel.

Lets hope this story leads to the City of Worcester reviewing all city owner parcels of land that were dispersed via the RFP process the 5 years, in particular Mason Street.    What the hell maybe we can find out who is paying for all the sewer work on May and Main Street while we are at it?

Merry X-mas

December 24, 2010

City Council

Can someone anyone ask these two questions:

  1. Who is paying for all the sewerage work on Main and May Street?
  2. The HUD loan we took out last year for Pharmasphere, who is paying the interest on that?

Hand-it-over Theatre

Eric has some good ideas with the buildings next door.   This project, other then maybe a TIF, needs to be 100% privately funded.   There should not be one penny of government monies going into this project. 

Hey anyone have an update on the new restaurant in the garage on MLK?  

December 22, 2010

Businesses to get a break on taxes

That is the headline in today's paper.   How does the average commercial tax-payer getting an increase of $1.1639 can be called a "break". 

Tax Rates

Had some time to think about the vote last night.   Good that we did not have the lowest residential rate and that the City Council seems to be realizing that we have a definate problem ---shrinking commercial tax base.

The think that really hit me was that guy (Reid) when he spoke.    Everyone lost last night both commercial and residential.   We need to focus together on cutting expenses.

December 21, 2010


Caught some of the City Council meeting tonight.   Got to say his speech on shared risk and shared reward made alot of sense.   

No matter how this votes goes both the resident and commercial tax-payer is getting hit with larger tax bills.   Anyone know anything more about this guy? 

Taxing 4+ units Commercially

People often use the arguement that businesses relocate or move ouside the City of Worcester because they can save alot of monies on their tax bills, if they just move across the city line.     I agree and I think the numbers prove that.

Lets assume that taxing 4+units commercially becomes a reality, where do you think people will build 4+ units of residential housing? Right across the city line.    If you believe the arguement (I do) that we need to lower the commercial tax rate to keep businesses in the City of Worcester, what do you want to push 4+ residential development (the exact thing we need downtown) out of the City of Worcester?

Another thing I just thought of, what will happen to the actual values of these properties when their taxes doubkle over-night?   The value will plummet when they are taxed at $30 plus per thousand....    

Chamber of Commerce support taxing 4+ units commercially?

You can agree or disagree with me on thinking commercially taxing 4+ residential units is a good or bad idea, but the Chamber of Commerce thinking it is a good idea?   Other then being a boon to local lawyers who would be doing condo conversions of every multi-family in the City of Worcester to retain the residential rate, how can a local Chamber of Commerce supporting an increase of taxes like this be in support?  

If you are thinking that it will provide relief for the Commerical tax-payer, it will not.   In fact it will only hurt the Commercial base even more.  Let me give you an example of someone sitting on a vacant parcel or large building that is being taxed commerically.   Right now they will have a difficult time getting another Commercial entity to buy in.  Their best bet is to find a residential developer to come in and convert the place to housing like L Farber on Fremont, Biscuit lofts off Shrewsbury Street or the Chevalier Furniture Building on Water Street.  Although all of these buiilding converted from Commercial to Residential, they stayed on the tax rolls and may even supply more texes with their increased value.

Now lets assume you have a new system that would tax all of these developments commercially, you just lost all your for profit development groups.  What is left?  Your non-profits.  In other words, if this were to become a reality and you had a large commercial parcel or building, you most likely buyer will have to be a non-profit and the City of Worcester will get no taxes.

Everyone will convert their multis to condos and we scare away larger for profit developers of residential real estate.  Can someone tell me how this will provide relief for any tax-payer, commercial or residential?

December 20, 2010

Chamber e-mail update

E-mail from the Chamber below.  Can't believe the Chamber of Commerce is urging for the LARGE commerical properties to be classified as commercial, not residential.  

Today, we are taking the opportunity to update you on this issue. The Chamber has learned that the tax rates will set based on last year’s assessments.

-- If the lowest residential rate is voted in, the average homeowner bill will rise about $140 (primarily due to the use of last year's assessments).

-- Further, if the lowest residential rate is voted in, the new commercial rate will be $35.19 shooting the small business owner's taxes up an average of $1,400 a year – that's 10 times that of what the average homeowner would experience.

-- The Chamber wants to make its position clear with regard to the tax rate for multiple residence properties. The Chamber is only advocating for LARGE residential properties to be classified as commercial rather than residential.

-- The Chamber is advocating that the increases related to the “standard” 2.5% allowed, the $2 million for street and sidewalk improvements, along with the $6 million for school infrastructure improvements - to be shared equally.

-- The Chamber is advocating for a tax fairness strategy that will, on average, ease the potential burden to small business owners tax rate to offset what could be a drastic increase.

The City Council will vote on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 7 pm to set the 2011 tax rate. In order to maximize the impact of the tax fairness strategy that will be presented, the Chamber is requesting your presence at this hearing. If you are unable to attend, please consider sending a letter or making a phone call to the Worcester City Council. Letters can be addressed to Worcester City Council, 455 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608. Calls can be made to the Mayor at 508.799.1153.

Questions can be addressed to the Chamber. Please contact Michael S. Lanava at 508-753-2924 x222 or


Good blog

Miller lite commercials

Who is the star behind Yogi


Anonymous, not sure if there is any "proof"per say that anyone can provide other then looking at what has happened to our commercial base since the inception of the dual tax rates in 1984.    Commerical base represented approximately 35% of the property tax revenue in 1984 not it is approximately 18%.

Commercial Tax Base

We need to grow our Commercial base, everyone knows that.  How ?  There needs to be a short-term and long-term plan.
  • Long-term we need to get way from the lowest residential rate every year and close the gap.  A small closing of the gap, however, will not spur growth in the commercial base overnight.  It will take a clow steady closing of the gap every year and it will over time make a huge difference.
  • Short-term, a Philly plan targeting underutilized commercial properties and buildings.  
If we can do both, we will be able to grow the Commercial tax base.  

December 19, 2010

X-mas Wish List

  1. A Philadelphia type plan that target 30 commecial parcels of lands/abandoned buildings is adopted that gives the developer the Hanover treatment (lock in of assessed value for 10 years, waiving of all permitting and sewer/water connection fees).
  2. City reviews all city owned parcels sold via the RFP process the 5 years to ensure that all the corresponding LDA (Land Disposition Agreement) are in compliance.
  3. No more densely constructed 100% low-mod income housing projects.
  4. Massport get JetBlue to fly two flights (one in AM and one in PM) to their hub in NYC.
  5. Charter change that removes district councilors leaving 11 at large councilors.
  6. A strong Chamber of Commerce.

December 18, 2010

City of Boston Taxing to the max

As much as the rates mater, keep our overal taxes (resdiential and commercial together) matters just as much.  Currently the City of Worcester is below the maximum amount it can actually tax.

As reported in the Herald, the City of Boston has decided to tax to it's maximum amount.   An increase of over 75 million from last year.  

Dream Center

Traffic jam downtown.   Dream Center on Chestnut Street giving gifts (very very nice gifts) to kids today.   

December 17, 2010

Mason Winfield Deadline

If we are giving Pharmaspere a deadline when they won an RFP in Janaury of 2008, why aren't we giving the owners of Mason-Winfield a deadline for their November, 2005 RFP?

Actually when you really think abou it, if I was Pharmasphere I would sue the City of Worcester if they rebid this parcel based on the fact the City does not enforce the terms of any of the other RFP's and claim discrimination. 

Miller Lite Bowling Commercial

iller Lit

December 16, 2010

RFP Process

Both Pharmasphere and the Mason-Winfield project are products of the City of Worcester's RFP process.  This a process whereby the City of Worcester requests proposals of City owned property, review the proposal and pick the winner based:
  1. proposed project itself
  2.  amount of the proposer's bid
  3. their ability to get the project done (financing in place
After selecting the winner, the City of Worcester and the winning bidder both sign an LDA (Land Disposition Agreement) to ensure that the work stipulated in the proposal is completed in a timely fashion.    Pharmasphere and Mason-Winfield are examples of two bids that have not even come close to what was stipulated.    

As Jahn pointed out there have been other city owned parcels put out to RFP.   The City of Worcester should go back to say Janaury 1, 2010, and review all parcels of city owned land that have been put out to bid and to make sure all of them are in compliance with the terms of their LDA.    If anyone is out of compliance, steps should be taken to get the property back and put the property back out to bid or outright auction through the Treasurer. 

Nick K story

Nick details in his story today that the City has set a deadline on Pharmasphere at the end of next month.  Pharmaspehre needs to show that they have the financing in place to get this project going.   That is a move in the right direction, but why even give them until the next month.   Wasn't that the purpose of the initial 2 year LDA that expired September 1st?     When Pharmasphere submits letters of interest from various banks, what do we do then?

It has been long enough, lets just rebid the parcel and Pharmasphere can resubmit a proposal.  Nick goes on to detail there are concerns on this project amongst "city officials and South Worcester residents."   Nick what about from a local blogger and businessman, who has been complaining about this for over two years--me??  

Nick, do me one favor can you help me find an answer to this question..  I believe the City of Worcester took the 2.8 million HUD loan on behalf of Pharmasphere last year--who is paying the interest on that loan.   Even at 5% that is $140K per year in interest!!!

Good to see something is finally happening on this.    Now when is someone going to put a deadline on Mason-Winfield??

You are hired

Mason Winfield Cheat Notes

. The City of Worcester sold this property (former Royal Linen property) on November 5, 2005 via an RFP process to an entity called Mason-Winfield. Here are some of the Facts
  1. 11/2/5 book 37717 page 51 48 Mason Street--66,853
  2. 2.11/2/5 book 37717 page 59 47 Mason Street-- 43,147
  3. Total price 110,000
  4. Commence land development within one year specified in deed
  5. Complete development within two years specified in deed
  6. Land shall not be used for the storing or dumping of trash or refuse specified in deed
Five years have passed and we still have an empty lot.  The current LDA is out of compliance the City of Worcester should take steps to take the property back

December 15, 2010

Sleeping Chamber

Shouldn't the annual letter regarding the Commercial tax letter be in the newspaper any day now.  

Steve Mizerak

Property tax prediction

Slight change.  Petty and Rushton will vote for something other then lowest residential like last time.   I realized this yesterday.  After the Mayor's task force and his "As I See It " piece, he will have to join him so now you have three

I don't see any of the district councilors going anything but lowest.   I would also add Konnie to that group.   That would be six.  Maybe one of these could switch but I doubt it. 

That leaves Mike Germain and Kate Toomey.   Not sure which way they will go.     

Pharmasphere Cheat Notes

January 1, 2008:   Pharmasphere wins the bid for $1, although abutter bid $50,000.    Reason being the project was larger in scope and was too start that Spring.

Spring, 2008;  No Building going on..

September, 2008:  Steve Crane (think that was his name from the City)  presents an LDA (Land Disposition Agreement) to the SWIP (South Worceser Industrial Park) task force that gives Pharmasphere 2 years to take title to the property because they were having trouble getting finances.  I state my opposition.

Next two years:   Pharmasphere does not take title to property, does not pay one penny in taxes and does maintain the property.

September, 2010:   LDA expires, but Pharamasphere is given more time

Januarym, 2011:   It will be three years since this parcel was awarded for $1.

December 14, 2010

Xmas Season

Expedited Permitting Process

Nick K wrote today about the Lincoln Square projects being designated as a priority development site which would expedite the permitting process.  Guess who was teh first company to take advantage of this process???

Yep--Pharmasphere. Go to google and do a search on "Pharmasphere expedited permitting process".   Remember those were the guys, who specialize won th Canterbury Street RFP for $1 in January of 2008, who almost three years later have yet to take title to the property.

Three years we have sat on this parcel and have not collected one penny in property taxes. Why this property has not been put on for another RFP when the LDA expired this past September escapes me? 

Main & May Street Sewer Project

Work has left Main Street and has turned up May Street heading towards guess where?

December 13, 2010

Brother--n-law update

Left West Palm this monring, stopped at Sanford and is landing right now.  Will have comments from him later. 

Erik K New Blog

The Image of Worcester

Cheernisky Letter to the Editor

Worcester needs a 10 percent cap on affordable housing. The only exceptions should be affordable homeownership and senior housing for ages 62 and older. The 10 percent cap is the most important issue facing Worcester, and Worcesterites should continue pushing the City Council to establish the cap. Without the cap, Worcester will never experience sufficient restoration.

You can’t rebuild Worcester with just hospitals, colleges and institutional buildings. Worcester also needs a powerful retail center second to none. Without the cap, Worcester won’t be able to attract the upscale stores and the million-dollar condos needed to build a tax base. But with the cap will come full commercial restoration, and the beauty of the Hanover Theatre will become a microcosm of what the entire downtown will look like in the coming years.

Also, the cap will help eliminate budget deficits, high crime and constant tax increases.   State government says that 10 percent of affordable housing is reasonable and allows communities to do their fair share without placing an undue burden on any municipality. I agree. Let Worcester move from 14 percent back to 10 percent.

Worcester voters must understand that all surrounding towns have 10 percent caps, unwritten, but they exist. For example, Auburn will never go beyond 10 percent, and it’s towns like Auburn that are stealing Worcester’s stores, high-income people and even our city employees.

Worcester needs the cap because we are getting so poor that we can’t fix sidewalks, open pools or even buy a real Christmas tree.

Boston Globe Editorial on Affordable Housing

This is a must read!!! Thanks Dave Z for pointing it out to me. 

Especially to all those people who think we "hate" poor people, seriously I have been told this when I say that Worcester has enough "affordable housing".      I swear you would think Jahn or of us wrote it. 

This story could be written about Worcester just as easy. 

December 12, 2010

Worcester Airport Tonight's Flight

My brother-in-law was to land tonight from Sanford.  Flight was cancelled because it was "too dangerous to land in Worcester".    I try to support ORH, but do you think any flights from JetBlue into Boston or Southwest into Providence are being cancelled tonight?  This is ridiculous.

They will, however, try to get a flight out tomorrow but no guarantees,  Since they are a charter airline, not a regular airline, there is no reciprocity to get him a flight on another airline. 

Lowest residential rate

O'kay what does everyone think?  Last year it was 9 to 2 for the lowest residential...   What does anyone think for this year??    I say best case 7 to 4, but I lean more to the same 9 to 2 vote. 

December 10, 2010

City of Worcester Checkbook

Click here

Now do a search by vendor name, department or even employee name 

December 09, 2010

Hometown Heros

Congrats out to Sprout and Wormtown Taxi.


Who is the very recognizable person in the Old Milwaukee commercial?

Old Milwaukee Commercial

Who is one of the main characters in this commercial?

WoMag Gary Rosen

Good column this week

December 08, 2010

May & Main Street

Does anyone on the City Council care who is paying for these sewerage improvements?  Bet you the tab for this will be more then the removal of the city pools in the newspaper today.. 

Four, or is it, five or more units taxed commecially

This is a complete waste of time.... Let me give you an example,  lets say I have a 4 family that is assessed at 150,000.  Residentially ($15 per thousand) I would get one bill in the amount of 2,250.  If it was tax commercially ($33 per thousand), my tax bill would go up to 4,950.    That is an increase of 1,700 in one year.

The justification for this is that this is a commercial enterprise.  O'kay, let's say I agree with that.   Why not tax commercially a two unit building or three unit building?  Aren't these apartments technically commercial too??    

Better yet, you an owner-occupied four family that will get taxed commercially but a non-owner occupied three family will get taxed residential?    Both buildings have three apartment rentals???  

On a practical side this is what I would do.   Other then consider a rent increase I would spend $2,000 and turn the mulit-family into 4 condos.  Instead of one bill at $2,250, I would receive 5 tax bills (one for the common area and 1 for each condo unit) and get taxed residential and my bill would be right back to the $2,250.  Other then being a boon for lawyers and surveyors, this would in the end not address the real problem--our disappearing commercial tax base. 

Consider this.  You are the Mayo Group and have about $4,000,000 of residential real estate in Worcester paying $60,000 per year in taxes.   A conversion will increase their tax bill to $132,000.  What message would that send to developers considering Worcester?  They are not stupid either, however, and they would mostly go the condo conversion route to retain the residential rate.

Versus splitting residential into two groups, we need to focus on the real problem.  The only thing that I have seen as a solution in the Philadelphia Plan.   The City of Worcester needs to target 50 under-utilized commercial parcels offer:
  1. Hodling the current assessed rate for 10 years
  2. Waive all permitting feees
  3. Waive all water and sewer
Jahn, I know you don't like this idea, but give me one other way that we can increase our commercial base.

December 07, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day

December 06, 2010

Friendly's On Lincoln Street

Nobody knows anything???

Webster Five has broken ground behind Walgreen's on Park Ave.

Don Meredith Passes Away at age 72

May and Main Street

Need to ask again.  Who is paying for all of this work?    It appears to be a sewer upgrade, which looks like is going right to the latest low income project on May Street, which had the flooding problems last year and currently has an above ground sewer line running from their pumping station to Main Street.

Imagine if this was a private developer??? 

December 05, 2010

Development questions

  1. old Friendly's on Lincoln Street
  2. old Sheraton Lincoln Street on Lincoln Street
  3. next to Joey's on Mill Street

Can anyone tell me what is going on at these three spots.

December 03, 2010

Paul Davis Restorations

Found out about this ast night and heard about today on WTAG this morning.   Paul Davis Restorations on the corner of Hope Ave and Southbridge Street will be taking pictures with Santa Claus tomorrow, Saturday, between 11 and it is either 2 or 3?   You need to bring something (money, non-perishable foods, clothes, gift cards), which is then all given to Veterans Inc. 

Rumor has a radio personaltiy in the morning who can be found on WTAG is going to there the whole time.  Do you see where I am going with this?  Crafts and other fun stuff for the kids. So if you need a picture of the kids with Santa stop by. 

December 02, 2010


I have called my bookie and am betting a 100 on the real Cowboys, Mount Hope not Dalas, to win their first flight after thei convenient stessless flight.

Mount Hope Cowboys

Got this e-mail last week.   I forwarded the e-mail to Phil Niddrie and the team flew out of Worcester today!! Good job Phil and Good luck Mount Hope Cowboys.

Hi Bill,

Can you please help me, I am trying to get my football team of 28 people down to Orlando Florida to play in the National Pop Warner Super Bowl on December 3. We have been unsuccessful in arranging flights. We just hear about your airline/airport and hope you could find it in your heart to help get our boys down to Florida for a chance of a life time.


Mt. Hope Cowboys

Pharmasphere parent

Article click here

Nov 29, 2010 (SmarTrend(R) Spotlight via COMTEX) -- Converted Organics (NASDAQ:COIN) is one of today's worst performing penny stocks, down 3.2% to $0.33 on 0.4x average daily volume. Approximately 602,000 shares have traded hands today vs. 30-day average volume of 1.7 million shares.

High volume often signals a change in trends. Shares of Converted Organics are currently trading below their 50-day moving average (MA) of $0.45 and below their 200-day MA of $0.71.   SmarTrend scans for speculative penny stocks under $1 for reversals in trends. A large price movement may signal continuation or reversal of a trend.

Converted Organics is in SmarTrend's Agricultural Chemicals industry and this industry is currently in an Uptrend. An industry trend that matches the stock's trend helps to add conviction to the stock's Downtrend and price prediction.    SmarTrend currently has shares of Converted Organics in an Downtrend and issued the Downtrend alert on November 11, 2010 at $0.41. The stock has fallen 17.1% since the Downtrend alert was issued.

Firewood Cafe Opens Saturday

December 01, 2010

John O'Day

Not the State Rep, but the lawyer who worked for the City of Worcester.  Just found out he took the retirement package and no longer works for the City of Worcester.  Not sure how long he worked for the City of Worcester, but it has to be over 20 years.

Sorry to see him go.   Can think of alot of other people I wish would have taken the package, but not him. This guy knew his stuff and was accessible...    Whereever you are, John thanks for all your help and good luck with whatever you are doing. 

November 30, 2010

QB Meltdown

November 29, 2010


File under, you can't make this shit up.   Read this story, click here

The long and the short is the City of Oakland is going to issue 4 permit at $211,000 per permit to allow large scale growing of pot,  In other words a government sanctioned marijuana farm--four of them.....  Who is on the short list?   You guessed it Pharmasphere.   
"Also on Oakland's list is a Boston-based company called Pharmasphere Systems. Chief executive David Darlington says the company is not interested in obtaining a permit for itself but in partnering with a grower who would use Pharmasphere's indoor growing technology.

   Right now, the only plant Pharmasphere grows is Madagascar periwinkle, which contains compounds used in chemotherapy to treat some kinds of cancer. But Darlington says the business opportunity presented by medical marijuana outweighs any stigma that might be attached to being associated with pot.""

Hugh Jidette for President

Jeff Barnard

Right now, I got to believe Jeff is sitting with Leslie Nielson laughing about all the press (Twitter, Facebook.. Blogs, Telegram, Radio) a "silly" blogger like he is getting.   Amazing how many people, who never read these stupid blogs, are around.

Picture on right myself, Britttany (WoMag) and Jeff when WoMag wrote a story about bloggers.  

November 28, 2010

Jeff Barnard

Rest In Peace

November 27, 2010

May & Main Street Construction

There has been all sorts of work in the street on Main Street in the May Street area and on May Street itself for the past couple of months.  This got me to thinking.

Wonder if all of this work is being done for Common Ground's latest low income housing development that had all the troubles with the sewerage backing up into the basement when there was heavy rain?  It almost makes sense.

Can anyone out there find out?  If so wonder who is paying for it ??

November 26, 2010

Next Blogger Bash

Here are the details for our December blogger get-together:

day: Wednesday December 8th, 5:30ish
place: Panera Bread, 120 Gold Star Boulevard

November 25, 2010

Happy T-day

Couple notes on city politics:

  1. Lowest residential rate will get approved again
  2. There will be a strong push to tax to the mask
  3. Local Aid cuts will be worse then expected because Commonwealth revenues will not hit targets

Going to be a tough year at the both state and local governments to come up with balanced budgets.   

November 22, 2010

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania contemplating bankruptcy


Hamtramck, Michigan want to declare bankruptcy.

New Pleasant Street Banner

Casey return flight

Landing much softer in Worcester.   Overall the convenience of flying out of ORH was great, but the quality of the actual plane, and flight itself, could be much better.  Next time she flies she will look at the prices from a JetBlue and compare them against Direct Air.

November 19, 2010


Thinking about you tonight. 

Jager Bomb

Rumor has it that this is Jahn's favorit drink, a combination of Jagermeister and Red Bull.  

Think we can safely assume Four Loko and Joose will be back, but this time without the caffeine.  You see where I am going with this don't you?

Four Loko bombs??  Buy the new Four Loko, without the caffeine and buy a Red Bull .....  

Direct Air

Latest promo. 

Bye Bye Jooz

Today my Atlas salesman, Scott Bray, removed all my Jooze.   Already out of Four Loko


Caey Update

Plane was a little late, 35 minutestaking off (imagine first night activities may have done this). As a result the flight landed about a half hour late.  Relatively smooth flight, but the landing was horrible.   Actually this is not the first time I have heard this. 

November 18, 2010

First Flight update

Cake and refreshments to celebrate first flight.  Plane a little old but nice leather seats.

Hello Tilt

Anheauser Busch has a product called Tilt with12% alcohol and no caffeine.  Four Loko is kids stuff--ony 11%

Bye bye four loko

Last two just got sold  

West Palm First Flight

I have a friend, Casey Clancey, on the first West Palm Beach Flight.  She will be giving updates on her trip for me to post.  Today she called to confirm flight.   Other then a five minute wait on the phone, everything checked out.  She found out the luggage charges though:
  • $25 for first piece if you pay in advance.  $30 at airport
  • $30 for second piece if you pay in advance.  $35 at airport
Will forward updates as I get them. 

Conveyor Belt

Need one .. Anyone have suggestions.   

In State Tuition for illegal immigrants

This needs a new post.    Brendan so what you are telling me is that although someone is an illegal immigrant, they still have resident status in the Commonwealth of Masachusetts. 
  • I am not saying "illegal" immigrants are not residents of Massachusetts either. 
  • I am saying, however, they should not be entitled to the benefits of being a "resident" of Massachusetts since they are "illegal" immigrants.  
Bottom line I think you need to be a "legal" immigrant to receive the benefits of being a "resident" in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.   Let me take this one step further are you saying that "illegal" immigrants should have the right to vote as residents of Massachusetts too? 


Closing restaurants in Mass and RI

Facade Program (post dedicated to Sprout)

The facade program has been successful within the confines of the Chandler NRSA.  

  1. 38 Chandler Street Alan's
  2. 54 Chandler Street Roland's
  3. 208 Chandler Street Matt Dumas
  4. 210 Chandler Street Suney/Katch
  5. 216 Chandler Street Suney
  6. 232 Chandler Street Living Earth
  7. 344 Pleasant Street Bahnan's
We are also wrapping 3 other ones.  By the end of the year we will have done 10 facades.   How are we doing it?  Well, we are utilizing CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) monies that were given to our NRSA (Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area).    There were 4 other NRSA's combined did as much as ours.

The reason I am bringing this up is that business outside the NRSA, like June Street, could not get monies from our NRSA because they are outside the boundaries.  There is nothing, however, stopping this business group or any other business group to seek a portion ($50,000) of the annual allotment of CDBG (Federal monies) to fund a facade program in their area. 

In fact our business group will seek more CDBG funds or our NRSA.   Bottom line business groups need to work together to ensure that we get a fair share of the CDBG funds.

November 17, 2010

Joppa Road

Gettinig better every day.   

Patrick pushes for in-state tuition for illegals

Boston Globe story.   Are  your surprised????
Consider this.  You live in New Hampshire, but work in Massachusetts so you have to pay Massachusetts Income taxes.  If you son or daughter want to go to UMASS-Lowell, for example, you can not get in-state tuition rates.

Make any sense at all to do this when we are facing a 2 billion dollar budget deficit?? 

November 15, 2010

November 13, 2010

Chandler NRSA Cameras-- 78 Pleasant (Advantage)

  1.   (no WWW)
  2. run the add-on!!!!!
  3. user name     wpd
  4. password    wpd 

Chandler Street NRSA Cameras-- 232 Chandler (Evo)

Check out our systems!   Here is the one at Living Earth

  1.   (no www)
  2. install the add -on  for Everfocus
  3. User name:   wpd
  4. Passowrd:    wpd

Record and store for one week.   Tell me what you think!

November 12, 2010

Dave Meggett Gets 30 Years


Dan Smith--Comedian

On the Jim Polito show today, website.   Guess where he lives?? 

November 11, 2010


In the newspaper today a TIF is being approved because

TIF is needed because the build-out costs associated with rehabilitating an older building such as this ended up higher than expected.

When are build-oout costs less then expected???    To have this as a basis for the granting of a TIF seems a little lax shall I say?    Does this set a  precedence?? 


Good story on the Village of Piedmont

My Nominations for Assistant City Mgr

1)  Jahn---why not?

2)   Buddy Cianci--look what he did in Providence.   He can do the an afternoon radio show on WCRN to compete against Jordan at WTAG
3)  Tim Cahill--  he was promised a job?

November 10, 2010

Next Assistant City Mgr

Lets assume for second that Julie were to get the Auburn Town Manager job, who would you recommend to be our next Assistant City Manager and don't say there will not be one.     This is a vital position and needs to be filled... 

November 09, 2010

November 08, 2010

Tim Cahilll Herald Story

Click here

More pols dancing

Jordan Levy today

Jordan Levy is supposed to be bringing up on his show this afternoon something about a rumor of a big shake-up coming in the Worcester development team....     

2 Billion Dollar Deficit

Elections are now over.  How are we going to close a 2 billion dollar?

  1. Swift Casino approval
  2. Increase in State Income taxes

November 04, 2010

John Boehner Speech

Democratic Party

You really got to give them credit.    Honestly thought that there would be some very close state-wide and Congressional races.  In fact I would have bet on Mary Z over Bump every day of the week.  Not only were none of the races not close, but Mary Z lost.

The Massachusetts GOP is completely disorganized and has no co-ordinated efforts on the grassroots level.  On the other hand the Democrats are a well organized machine.  At least we got a YES on question 1?

November 03, 2010

The Day After

What can you say?     It is going to be a rough budget year for the Commonwealth.  Lets hope that spending is cut versus more taxes.

We will see.

November 02, 2010

Vote today


On the questions

November 01, 2010

November 2nd is coming

October 31, 2010

Another video

Sunday Telegram

If John Kerry or the late Ted Kennedy had come to Worcester for a rally at Institute Park to support Democratic candidates, do you think the story would be on page 7?   No way it would have been all over the front page.

October 30, 2010

Charlie Baker

Good turn out --good event at Institute Park today.

Diamond Chevrolet

Lot getting very very thin.

October 29, 2010

Franco Video getting picked up

Fleming and Hayes just posted the Franco video. Click here.

October 28, 2010

Another Good Video

State Rep James O'Day

Article in Herald regarding a Rally to Vote No on 1,click here.   here is a small part.

State Representative James O’Day, a West Boylston Democrat, said he had been sober for 12 years thanks to receiving treatment for alcoholism, and he warned that addicts who do not get help will be out on the streets.

“We’re going to have people dying on the streets.’’ O’Day said.

Baker & Brown

This Saturday, as part of their statewide bus tour, Charlie Baker will be having a rally with Scott Brown at Institute Park in Worcester (on Salisbury St across from WPI). Please arrive by 1:15 - the program will begin promptly at 1:45pm. Spread the word!!! 

Tax rates

Isnt the setting of the property tax rates coming up soon?

Chamber Of Commerce Debates?

I was thinking today, but can you think of a bigger business question then the 3rd question on the ballot this year.    An issue that is very important to businesses...    Maybe the Chamber could have hosted some type of debate on the Question 3, where the various candidates for state offices could express their opinion.

What about the Chamber endorsing candidates??

October 27, 2010

Yes on Massachusetts Question 1. It's a Double Tax.

Young Boozer

He is my favorite candidate


Good blog today.  Link to you right on the bottom 

Business Expo

Dave Zimage has pointed out to that there are two airlines going to be there.  Direct Air and American Airlines?????? 

Illegals Medical bills top 37.5 million

Jim Polito on WTAG referred to this great story in the Boston Herald story. 

October 25, 2010

Paul Franco Video

Tom Foley Video

October 24, 2010

Telegram Endorses Baker

Now that is a shocker

October 23, 2010

Setting Modular House

If you are bored and nothing else to do. Check out the setting of the modular on Joppa Road today.

October 22, 2010

Barney Shuffle

RFP's and LDA's

Why does the City of Worcester bother doing RFP's and LDA's if nobody enforces the terms.   Mason Street and Canterbury Street parcels have made a mockery of the whole process.  These two parcels are poster childs for just putting the properties out for bid like the Courthouse.

Rumor mill

Rumorhas it that a frequent commenter on this blog may be moving back into D4?

Telegram Endorsements (Franco and Ferguson)

In the newspaper today WOW!!  Alot of Republicans including Franco and Ferguason locally !!!

October 21, 2010

Joe Salois As I see it

His stance on Question 1

Juan Williams fired by NPR

Juan Williams was fired from his job as senior news analyst from National Public Radio for remarks regarding Muslims and terrorism on “The O’Reilly Factor,” said The Washington Post.

Host Bill O’Reilly asked Juan Williams on Monday’s show if he thought the U.S. was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Juan Williams said he becomes “worried” and “nervous” when he sees people in Muslim-style dress on airplanes. NPR said in a statement that Juan Williams’ comments “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

Bill O’Reilly also said on Monday’s show that it was “the cold truth” that “jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet,” according to The Guardian.  Juan Williams, who is African American, often writes on racial issues.

Webster 5

Park Ave ranch to move behind Walmart (correction Walgreens) on Chandler Street

October 20, 2010

3 Maine Newspapers stop on-line commenting

Good story

Mike Elfland hope you read

Pharmasphere Terms of Conveyance

It is expired September 1st,  Remember this (the TOC) gave them 2 years to get their house in order to take title to the property that they won in Janaury of 2008.    Are we putting the property back out via an RFP?

Nope, I heard that we have given Pharmasphere more time.   Three years this January and we have nothing .  Not the dollar for the winning bid, not one penny in property taxes and not one job. 

Yes on 1 Video

October 19, 2010

Rumor Mill

Austin Liquors has been sold to the son of Yankee Spirits owner.

October 18, 2010

Herald Story on video below and YES on 1

click here

And Boston Herald says Yes on 1 click here 

Frank's partner heckles Beilat

October 17, 2010

Ronald Reagan was and is right

Telegram says YES on 1

Story here.

The gist of it is that "No reason to trust Legislature on tax use."   There are many opponents of question 1, who like to say how that these monies are earmarked to fund programs to help those addicted to drugs or alcohol.   As the Telegram points out the Legislature does not have a good track history when it comes to follow through on promises like that:
  1. Cigarette Settlement
  2. Fuel Tax
The Legislature facing multi-billion-dollar budget gaps, do you really think this money would not be tapped into?    In addition the sale of alcohol already has very high excise taxes, why not dedicate a portion of those monies to fund addiction services.

October 16, 2010

Trivia Saturday

Where was the first Ryder Cup played?

October 15, 2010

Worcester Airport is a No Man's Land

For the hell out it I searched Google News for Worcester Airport and came up with this story from September 21, 2010.

WORCESTER, Mass. — There is very little going on here at the Worcester Regional Airport. There are a couple dozen cars parked in the open-air parking lot. But no people.

At the parking attendant booth, the sign says “Stop For Attendant,” but there’s no one in the booth. When you pull a few feet up to the machine that dispenses parking tickets, you can’t get a ticket, because the electronic guts are hanging out of the machine.

Inside, plenty of parking spaces.

Inside the terminal, it’s very, very empty. Not one passenger in here. Not one passenger in front of the airline ticketing counter. No one to take the tickets. The escalators aren’t running.

There are no passengers down the way waiting to rent cars at the car rental counter, although there does seem to be someone staffing the counter. On one end of this football-length long terminal is a sign that reads “Welcome to Worcester.” On the other end, there’s a huge sign that reads “Air Capital of the World.”

Not here.

October 14, 2010

Cigarette Sales in Massashusetts

Interesting article, cliik here from the DOR   Quick summary....    Revenue Collections for cigarettes
      • fiscal   2007  --     419.7 million
      • fiscal   2008  --      pretty much the same
      • fiscal  2009 -- a buck per tax excise tax was added and revenues increased to 569 million
      • fiscal  2010  --  estimated to come in at  547 million
It is also estimated that the Commonwealth currently sells 217 million packs per year.  A 22% drop in sales the past two years since the new excise tax was added.

October 12, 2010

Question 2--- my answer (YES)

Should we repeal 40B?

YES!!   Let me explain what 40B is.   40B is a tool available to developers, but they can only utilize it if, only if the underlying Town/City has less then 10% affordable housing, to get project approval.    Since most cities, like Worcester, have more then 10% affordable, designating a project 40B is not available in cities.    It is, however, it is a tool for developers in the surrounding towns that have not reached the 10% affordable housing level; for example:
Why would a developer want a project to be 40B?

ANSWER:       They are able to circumvent any. and all, of the local zoning regulations as long as 25% of the proposed units are considered "affordable",  under auspices that it will help reach the magical 10% level.     Although some of these projects may be called "friendly" 40B projects on the surface, the truth is that there is not much the planning boards in these towns can do to stop or change any of these projects once they are deemed 40B.  Why?  The developer can simply go to the state and have any decisons of the local planning board reversed.

Even worse, a developer, who maybe never intended to have any "affordable" units, may actually include 25% "affordable" units to just bypass the local board.    There is a great story in the Milford Daily News how Fafard Development was trying to build a 100 unit project (none affordable) in Bellingham that was rejected.  They came back and made 25 units "affordable" and called it a 40B project and there is not much the local planning board can do.   Here is a great quote from the Chairman of their local Planning Board Patricia Buckley, "Whatever comments we make, the (the developer) does not have to abide by them."

For more information on repealing 40B, click here.    

A "YES" vote on Question 2 has absolutely no effect on Worcester since 40 B, since it is not available now!!!!!       It will, however, give power back to local planning boards (mostly towns), who do not meet the current 10% threshold.

Store Closings

In the last couple of weeks:

  1. D'Angelo's West Boylston Street
  2. Ping's Garden
  3. Boston Billiards

Record Liquor Sales in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission recently reported unaudited income for fiscal year 2O1O ending June 3O. Net sales for the year topped the half billion dollar mark at $511.4 million, an increase of 4.8 percent over the previous fiscal year. Spirit sales increased 5 percent and wine sales increased 4.5 percent over last year. These results include a 6 percent increase in retail store sales, a 2.6 percent increase in grocery store sales and a 1 percent increase in restaurant sales over the previous year. Net profits from liquor operations grew to a record $12O million, an increase of more than 1O percent over the previous fiscal year, exceeding all national growth trends in the industry. This level of performance translates into over $1 billion in net profits over the next eight years for New Hampshire taxpayers.

October 11, 2010

Question 1--my answer (YES)

Should we roll back the tax on the sale of alcohol on package stores?

Obviously I am biased, but being in the middle of the state our customers do not drive out of state to avoid this tax.  In other words, if this was rolled back, we would not directly benefit.   I can tell you, however, about stores on the border of New Hampshire that have seen their sales drop 40% since this tax has been implemented.    It is not just the New Hampshire border, but the Rhode Island and Connecticut borders as well, that have seen their businesses drop.   The rumors of Yankee Spirits sales in Attleboro and Sturbridge during the recent sales tax holidays, even half true, were beyond belief.

The role of government is not to create jobs, but to create an environment that enables the private sector to flourish and create jobs, which then leads to those people with the jobs investiing their money back into their local economy and then the multiplier effect kicks in.    The fact that this tax has put businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at a competitive disadvantage to surrounding states is reason enough to roll back this tax.

I have read, however, many editorials that explain how this tax goes to help people who have a dependency on alcohol.    I say don't all taxes start that way?  The fuel tax initially was suppose to go back into our infrastructure, has that happened?   Remember how the settlement with the major cigarette companies was suppose to go to help encourage people to stop smoking?   All taxes start based on a good reason, but they all end up in the General Fund.

Vote "yes" on Question 1 to put businesses that have chosen to do business in Massachusetts on a level playing field with surrounding states.  More importantly I believe that monies in the hands of the citizens that are actually paying these taxes do more for our economy to stimulate the economy, then to give these monies to the government.

October 10, 2010

Sutner's blog

The Chandler Business Group Candidate questions got a plug in Sutner's story today.  Check out blog link to your right.  His blog at the bottom since there are no "feeds".

October 08, 2010

Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant Travel Co., which operates an airline marketed to leisure travelers in small cities, said Friday its total traffic in September jumped 24 percent as the airline grew new routes.   Allegiant flew passengers 362.7 million miles last month, compared with 292.2 million miles the same month a year earlier.

Dick Chernisky Letter

Link Telegram

Worcester needs a 10 percent cap on affordable housing. The only exceptions should be affordable homeownership and quality senior housing for ages 61 and older.   We need the 10 percent cap because the overbuilding of affordable housing, and the poverty it generates, is undermining Worcester as a viable place to live, invest and go to school.

Suburban malls with free parking didn’t kill downtown Worcester. Poverty killed downtown. Suburban and Worcester shoppers didn’t drive 20 miles out of their way to avoid a downtown parking fee. They wanted to avoid the vagrants, social misfits, gangs of low-income youth and the stench of urine. Parts of the Galleria smelled like a cesspool.

CitySquare will face the same problems the Galleria faced. Without the 10 percent cap, CitySquare will not be able to give Worcester the upscale downtown it needs for a tax base. Upscale stores and affluent condo owners will not invest in a city that’s filling up with poverty from the Third World.

Poverty is also killing our neighborhoods. I not only see prostitutes walking Main Street, I see people walking June Street who look like they belong at the PIP shelter. The West Side isn’t getting wealthier like it should, it’s getting poorer. This isn’t progress; it’s destruction of a city.

Remember the 10 percent cap is the “silver bullet” that we Worcesterites have been looking for to begin the restoration of our city

Answers to our questions

I have been trying to keep everyone's answers up for two days.   The last set was from Paul Franco and the two days are up.    No other ones have come in, so back to our regularly scheduled programming.   If aother set comes in, I will post answers for two days.

Like to thank those who answered. 

October 05, 2010

Franco's Answers

1) Do you support or oppose the repeal of sales tax on alcoholic beverages?

Yes. The new taxes enacted last year on alcohol are form of double taxation. Right now our citizens are paying a tax on a tax. That’s wrong.   
Massachusetts does not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. Over the past year, state government has continued to increase its payroll and failed to cap spending. I believe that we should cap state spending to the rate of inflation which will force our state to live within its means. That way we will never have to face again billion dollar state deficits or the threats of having local aid cut.

2) Do you support or oppose the cut in the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%?
Yes. Taxpayers deserve to keep more of their hard earned paychecks. The money we pay the government in taxes is ours. I’m sure, like me, it bothers you when politicians talk about how they can’t support a tax cut because it costs too much. The implication is that allowing taxpayers to keep more of what they’ve earned costs the government. It’s not their money …it’s ours.
Moreover, I have signed the No New Taxes pledge and I am endorsed by Citizens for Limited Taxation.

3) If the voters approve rolling back the sales tax or the income tax, will you honor the voters wishes?
Yes, I will honor the wishes of voters. As a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army reserves, I believe that it is important to restore integrity to Beacon Hill. One of the most crucial steps is to honor the will of the voters.
As the next State Representative, I will also be accessible. I will hold regular office hours, conduct town hall meetings and sending out newsletters (not at taxpayer expense.)

4) Small business is a key part of the economic recovery in Massachusetts, what are your plans to facilitate effective support of small businesses?
Three out of every 4 news jobs are created by small businesses. With unemployment at 8.8%, we need to encourage small business development. As our next State Representative, I will work to pass policies and reforms that reduce government burdens. I have a plan that includes:
  • Rolling back the sales tax increase to make Massachusetts once again competitive with other states like New Hampshire.
  • Reforming unemployment insurance to reduce this heavy financial burden on small business
  • Keeping utility costs low and waive sales taxes on energy efficient equipment
  • Prohibiting more health care mandates that increase the costs of insurance
5) Grassroot Community Based Organizations (CBO) are an integral part of community development, what will you do to secure funding for local CBO’s and prevent 9C cuts during the budget process?
I will work to make sure that funding that is in the best interest of the district is kept intact. Moreover, I will work to make sure that local aid is not cut and that municipal officials are told early enough for planning purposes about local aid funding.

October 04, 2010

John Fresolo's Answers

1) Do you support or oppose the repeal of sales tax on alcoholic beverages?
I support the repeal of the sales tax on alcoholic beverages. During the last budget deliberations (FY11), I voted against the entire budget because it included the increased sales tax on alcoholic beverages.

2) Do you support or oppose the cut in the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%?
I oppose the rollback of the sales tax to 3%;  however, I would support bringing the sales tax back to 5%.  I originally voted against the increase to 6.25%, feeling the sales tax should have been left where it was at 5%.
3) If the voters approve rolling back the sales tax or the income tax, will you honor the voters wishes?   
To know for certain, I would need to see some facts on the effects that a 3% sales tax would have on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.   However, I am leaning towards honoring the voters' wishes if they were to do so.

4) Small business is a key part of the economic recovery in Massachusetts, what are your plans to facilitate effective support of small businesses?
I've always supported any economic package that includes tax incentives for small businesses that put new people to work.  Small businesses that help to develop the workforce should be rewarded.  I also support limiting taxes in general.  The best thing I can do as a Legislator is to lower the individual tax burdens which enables people to spend more money in their local communities and small businesses. 

5) Grassroot Community Based Organizations (CBO) are an integral part of community development, what will you do to secure funding for local CBO’s and prevent 9C cuts during the budget process?
I will speak directly with House Leadership to try to secure that funding for CBO's is included in the budget.  As for 9C cuts, the Governor has complete control over what is cut and what isn't.   My only ability as a Legislator is to advocate against such cuts by contacting the Governor and Lieutenant Governor's office to voice my opposition.

October 01, 2010

Steve Grossman's Answers

1. Do you support or oppose the repeal of sales tax on alcoholic beverages?
Oppose. I would have preferred that the legislature work with the existing excise tax on alcohol, but (see below) we cannot afford to lose the $100 million in revenues that the alcohol sales tax generates until our economic crisis abates and we see a sustained increase in tax revenues that would enable a reduction or elimination of this tax.
2. Do you support or oppose the cut in the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%?
I would like to see lower taxes and would support rolling back the sales tax increase when the economy improves and state revenues recover. I’d propose a phased-in reduction of the sales tax back to 5% based on economic growth. But the harsh reality is that – even with no tax cuts – we face a potential $2 billion deficit in the next budget. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation warns that Question 3 would see the Commonwealth’s finances “over the cliff,” cutting essential services such as education, public safety, and human services by as much as 30%

3. If the voters approve rolling back the sales tax or the income tax, will you honor the voters’ wishes?
I will do everything possible to implement the measure if it passes. We must respect the will of the people, and a failure to do so would undermine public confidence in their government. In 2002 when I ran for governor I called for implementing the income tax reduction passed in 2000 even though I had opposed the cut originally, because when the people speak, we should listen.
4. Small business is a key part of the economic recovery in Massachusetts, what are your plans to facilitate effective support of small businesses?
For the last 35 years, I have run a fourth-generation family-owned small business creating jobs, managing money, meeting payrolls, and solving problems. I am the only candidate for Treasurer whose entire career has been all about creating jobs primarily within the small business sector of our economy. I intend to bring my experience and expertise as a small businessman to work as Treasurer. I have made it a top campaign priority to help small businesses grow by moving state money into banks that are willing to make business loans and to use the influence of the office to increase capital for small businesses. I also will use the bully pulpit of the office to push for giving small businesses greater clout in negotiating lower health insurance premiums.
5. Grassroot Community Based Organizations (CBO) are an integral part of community development, what will you do to secure funding for local CBOs and prevent 9C cuts during the budget process?
I commend your group’s efforts in helping to create a better Worcester. I support CBOs and will work to see that they are able to continue to play their role in community development. I must caution, however, that given the budget crunch I previously described funding cannot be guaranteed for any program. Deep cuts are inevitable whatever the outcome of the tax cut referenda.