Dear Worcester City Council Members:
It is not the Chandler Street Business Association's fault that the CDC's in the city are being investigated by HUD or that HUD money is being withheld to them as stated by Mr. Teasdale last night-not following rules that HUD has in place are the reason-these are the same rules that the Chandler Street Business Association has had to follow with it's NRSA funds.
It is also highly insulting for Mr. Teasdale to refer to residents and business owners who have invested thousands of hours of their own personal time and millions of dollars of their own hard earned dollars into the neighborhoods to be referred to as a few business men who have a grudge against the CDC's. This comment last night is indicative of how some of the CDC Directors have treated people who do not agree with them or have other opinions on how our neighborhoods should be redeveloped.
The Chandler Street Business Association has bent over backwards the past ten years attempting to work with Worcester Common Ground over issues related to 48 Mason Street,properties on Piedmont Street and properties on Dewey Street that have greatly effected the quality of life and business in our neighborhoods-some of you have attended our community meetings with WCG hoping for us to find common ground and resolve.
There is page after page of Worcester Inspectional Services reports on code violations associated with the above properties Worcester Common Ground owns or has owned-these housing violations as stated greatly effecting our neighborhoods quality of life and business pocketbooks. This is not a "he said she said" issue-the failure to follow community rules that are expected of others is very real and it needs to be addressed as part of this proposed new housing policy.
Our efforts working with SMOC this past year on the relocation of the Triage and Assessment Center is indicative of our strong commitment to our neighborhood and our willingness to constructively work together with others on tough urban issues-SMOC treated us like stakeholders not peasants and the project got completed responsibly for the benefit of the city, SMOC constituents and the neighborhood.
Many in the Chandler Street Business Association were also here 20-30 years ago and were also investing in the same neighborhoods with their own hard earned capital-it is incorrect to suggest by some last night that the CDC's redeveloped these neighborhoods single handedly-I personally was buying and rehabbing in the Main South/Piedmont section of the city since the late 1980's and I live in the Piedmont neighborhood not elsewhere as most CDC Directors do-see house below.
There were numerous statements made last night by Mr.Teasdale about monies his CDC has invested in the neighborhood-he should be reminded that those monies are tax payer dollars not his or the CDC's and it is our right as tax payers to be able to question how those dollars are spent especially tax payer dollars spent in our neighborhoods that many in the Chandler Street Business Association live in, work in and play in.
The Chandler Street Business Association has never advocated for the elimination of the CDC's but it has advocated for a trimming of the amount in District 4, from three CDC's to one CDC.
The City of Worcester is not unlike many Massachusetts cities such as: Charlestown, South Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville & Haverhill that at one time had many tough neighborhoods that are now on the rebound - conversations presented last night that revisited decade's past lack of private development that the above cities also experienced is not beneficial to today's discussion of middle class urban renewal in Worcester-if this was the case then Shrewsbury Street and the Canal District would not be on the path they are on today because they to were tough urban neighborhoods not to long ago.
In conclusion, the City of Worcester and most particular District 4 have evolved from when I bought the house below on Chandler Street and rehabbed it in 1992 but the CDC's have not operating on the same argument that the urban neighborhoods of Worcester in 1992 are the same Worcester urban neighborhoods of 2012 and many more than just 5 or 6 business people disagree.
Please reserve a spot at the committee hearings for members of the Chandler Street Business Association that includes business owners and residents. Thank you for your time.
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