A few thoughts about last night’s vote

I don’t have an opinion one way or another about last night’s tax rate vote.  But I would like to point out the following:

1) A vote one way or the other will not ultimately change the 2011 election.  While people are still whining about an 84% Council pay raise from four years ago, felt-tip pens across the city still keep magically bubbling in the same names that voted for the pay raise.   

Do we really think that this is going to be the tipping point to throw out certain incumbents?  Lo dudo mucho.

2) Shaun Sutner asked me if I had a category on my posts for Mike Germain.  I haven’t, because I believe that would definitely put me in “restraining order imminent” territory.  However, the following Germain-isms, some of which were covered in Jeremy’s excellent liveblog, just might put me over the edge.  (If you’re following on the video, Germain comes on around the 2 hour mark.)

“It’s a $31 argument.  That $31 does cause a lot of emotion.”

“I don’t want to do it, but I have to do it.”

“I’m always the guy who comes in sixth place.  This is political suicide for me, but I really think  it’s the right thing to do.  I’ve never come in fifth, I always come in sixth, which means next year, I’m probably coming in seventh.”

Oh, MG, you’ll always be first on my ballot!

(In all seriousness, if someone could do a Jordan Levy/New Order remix, surely we can remix Mike Germain with Animotion.  Make it happen!)

3) Let the record show that this was, if nothing else, a sign of Joe O’Brien’s organizing skills.  We saw this a little bit six months ago with his ensuring that $20 million would go to schools (in addition to $20 million for streets and sidewalks); see the 8:05 mark on this Daily Worcesteria coverage of the May 25th council meeting

You can agree with the vote or disagree with the vote, but make no mistake about it — the vote went the way it did because of JOB’s lobbying and powers of persuasion.

4) Bill Eddy’s “one community” speech (1h57m mark) was actually quite good.  If he keeps this up, I’ll have to take back everything I ever said about him.  Well, almost everything…

6 thoughts on “A few thoughts about last night’s vote

  1. zed says:

    Don’t have an opinion on the vote???
    What, are you more interested in what the women councilors were wearing?
    You’re right about one thing, if voters are more concerned about the useless drivel some bloggers are known for, the city is a lost cause in the hands of these incumbents.

  2. jmstewart says:

    is there a way to help the neglected, needy, elderly and infirm by organizing an effort to get them senior exemptions on their property taxes and necessary abatements when properties are overvalued? does the city automatically issue the elderly abatements or applications?

    what is the process to request a senior exemption?

    • Nicole says:

      Well, I think that’s the question. (And you can find more about exemptions here.)

      While I say that I don’t have an opinion on the vote, I definitely do have an opinion on the way these discussions tend to go.

      Those in favor of putting an “additional burden” on the residents tend to get into justification-of-the-impending-vote mode (though, as I said, Bill Eddy’s speech rightly talked about residents and business owners as part of one community).

      Those who favor the lowest residential tax rate tend to lump all residential property owners into one group. Thirty-one dollars isn’t going to break my budget, a total increase of under $300 isn’t going to kill me. And that’s why I don’t have an opinion. It would be disingenuous of me to cry poverty, and there are plenty of people out there just like me (that is, people who can pay a bit more in taxes).

      And there are plenty of us who think we can coast on the excuse that it would be putting an unfair burden on residential taxpayers by having them pay a bit more. Rather than having a serious, grownup discussion about what we’re doing to ensure that the vulnerable among us are not adversely affected by any of this, or whether we’re factoring in elderly, etc., exemptions into that $31 figure, we’re instead listening to the same arguments, on both sides, that we always hear. For 2+ hours.

      I believe you can guess what my opinion of that is.

      zed – I suspect that you will find nothing on this blog of interest, and you should probably remove it from your reading list so that you’ll have more time to peruse the much more incisive Worcester-related analysis that can be found elsewhere on the web.

  3. […] has more thoughts at her blog. Like her, I don’t have an opinion on this development, because I have no idea what the […]

  4. Will. W. W. says:

    Ya know what Nicky. I like what you wrote. Its typical Wusta.
    Since you’re so dispassionate about the issue, I’m thinking you’d be the perfect representative of the typical Worcestertonian.

    Analyze the pro/con arguments from your perspective. Toss in a smidgen of attitude, an itsy bit of apathy and voila – insight into the mind of the average local.

    Seriously, do it. Call it a crowdsourcing dry run.
    Come on, show us your stuff.

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