“Slick Willy-nillies”

If there is one phrase Rick Rushton (1) should have said first, and (2) should trademark ASAP, it’s “slick willy-nillies.” It disappoints me greatly that the City Manager is the one to have said it.

From the Telegram article about the economic development bus tour:

While Worcester is actively wooing new businesses and development, it is not interested in entertaining offers from “slick willy-nillies,” Mr. O’Brien said.

For example, one business was interested in demolishing a historic property to make way for a low-end retail operation.

“I said to them, ‘Arrivederci,’ ” said Mr. O’Brien. “We have a vision. We believe in ourselves.”

One can only wonder why we said “Benvenuto” to CSX.

Obviously, tearing down a historic building to put in a Bling Bling isn’t grandiose enough for the visions Worcester has of itself.

Far better, surely, to cause a street to collapse, to make traffic one lane at a time on that street for nearly a year, to ensure that environmental impact studies are waived, to close a street that previously was not scheduled to be closed, and to “free up” space for trains that don’t exist.

Let’s move from Italian to Latin and honesty ask Cui bono?

Who benefits from a railyard in the center of the city?

Why should long-time city residents have their road blocked off when a slick willy-nilly requests it?

Why doesn’t anyone think it’s odd when CSX gives money for the benefit of affected neighborhoods and a city councilor proposes to install an aquatic facility far away from those neighborhoods?

The problem is that — contrary to the manager’s statements — we do not have a vision and we do not believe in ourselves.  If we did, we wouldn’t sell our streets to the first organization who’ll pony up money for park improvements, and we wouldn’t take vague statements about commuter rail expansions and economic benefit as promises of future growth.

The vision is freight.

A liveable city is an afterthought.