There have been a couple of Palmieri-related items that have been churning in my head since last week’s City Council meeting, and one more from last night’s Council meeting.
1) Schools for the “gifted”:
Palmieri talks about having a “gifted school.” He understands that in this economy and budgets that probably won’t happen soon, “but I think it’s extraordinarily important for us to continue to look at a school for the gifted.” He calls this an economic generator and “sends the strongest message.” [8.26 mark]
This, coupled with the “what about Doherty?” questions from various councilors, really sent me off the deep end, though I couldn’t tell you exactly why. I would say that throwing out these kinds of vague statements — does “gifted school” mean “exam school”? — tells me that someone (a) doesn’t really think a terrible lot about what the point of public schooling is, (b) has no idea what the legal and ethical (not to mention logistic) challenges to “gifted schools” might be, and (c) would actually start complaining about elitist West Siders if city money actually went to starting this kind of school.
2) Glue on light poles:
Under suspension, Palmieri says an animal rights group has put signage up on Shrewsbury Street’s “extraordinarly expensive” light posts. He’s encouraging civil and criminal prosecution by the city. The glue is very hard to get off. “They’re only several thousands of dollars for each pole.” [under suspension]
This is actually something I agree with on a deep level (that is, I hate graffiti with a passion, and I would consider this on par with graffiti), and it’s unclear whether there’s already been some tangential response to it.
However — and this is a big however — we can approach this one of two ways. The Palmieri approach is the “those dudes with the flyers are a menace to society” method. I would far prefer that the city, which has spent countless hours discussing the sign ordinance, instead look at this as an unmet signage-related need. I suspect that there are lots of folks who poster in “forbidden” places simply because there are limited allowable areas for outdoor postering.
Why don’t we have bulletin boards in areas of high-pedestrian traffic like Shrewsbury Street and Main Street?
Let’s work on making that happen. Postering in general is a cheap and effective way to get the word out about exciting things that are happening in Worcester. Why not encourage further exciting things by putting up kiosks for postering?
3) The tobacco ordinance.
I’m not in favor of banning tobacco sales at pharmacies. On the surface, it makes sense — why should a health care provider be selling something so unhealthy — but, following that logic, pharmacies should also not sell:
- Dietary supplements that make claims to help with weight loss, or libido, or memory, but which are unregulated by the FDA
- Clairol Nice ‘n Easy
Our city is full of pharmacies that are bigger than your average Aldi. They don’t get that way from selling prescriptions, vitamins, and contact lens solution. If you’re serious about making pharmacies health-care-oriented, then you’re going to need to start banning their selling Gatorade and potato chips as well.
And, Phil, lay off my man. If he were really in the pocket of lobbyists, couldn’t one of them have arranged for a stylist to work with him on the City Council photo shoot?