Placating the plebes

I didn’t attend last night’s City Council meeting — and I haven’t even watched the video — but I was pleased to read in this morning’s Telegram [$] that “Mayor Joseph M. Petty is working with District 2 Councilor Philip P. Palmieri, chairman of the City Council Municipal Operations Committee, on scheduling a series of public hearings throughout the city to solicit input from the public on what they would like to see in the next city manager.”

The City Council has known for two months that there was a vacancy in the position of city manager.

They decided to hire a political insider with no experience in managing a municipality for a term of nine months without any public input — indeed, without that individual’s name on the agenda when it was first mentioned.

Now, as if in an epiphany, they’ve decided they require public input in hiring a city manager.

Perhaps they heard the complaints that the first round of manager “search” wasn’t transparent.

But holding a bunch of public meetings — held by the chairman of a committee who says he prefers local talent — does not a process make.  There’s still no schedule, no executive search firm, no plan.

Are we looking for a rubber stamp or are we dragging our heels (while looking busy) for as long as possible so that we can beg someone to stay at the end of his nine-month term?  Or all of the above?

CWW: Free Admission to the Carle on February 1

It’s a bit far for some, but I wanted folks to know that the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst will have free admission this Saturday.  Details from their website:           

The Carle has teamed up with friends from First Book to observe their Friendiversary, an annual celebration of friendship and reading. So bring a friend and join us as we celebrate books with Elephant, Piggie and a host of other Museum friends, plus a FREE Elephant and Piggie book to the first 500 children who attend! Free books compliments of Disney Publishing Worldwide.

10:30 am                  Frog and Toad films in the Auditorium
11:00 am                  Storytime Program in the Reading Library
11:30 am                  Knuffle Bunny films in the Auditorium
12:30 pm                  Elephant and Piggie Appearance (15 min.)
1:00 pm                    Celebrate Lunar New Year with Grace Lin
2:00 pm                    Storytime Program in the Reading Library
2:30 pm                    Elephant and Piggie Appearance (15 min.)
3:30 pm                    Max & Ruby films in the Auditorium
4:00 pm                    Storytime Program in the Reading Library

Ongoing activities include: Picture book character tattoos in the Great Hall, Every Day Art Program (Bleezer’s Ice Cream) in the Art Studio, and Elephant and Piggie: Make your own pennant in the Great Hall.

Meetings you may want to attend

Via WalkBike Worcester:

MassDOT is holding a public meeting tonight (January 29) from 6-8pm at Union Station  on two recently released transportation planning documents for public review: a Long-Range Transportation Plan, “weMove Massachusetts (WMM): Planning for Performance,” and the first draft of its five-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for FY2014-FY2018.

More information on that meeting (which is one of six in various parts of the Commonwealth) here.

Also, on Tuesday, February 4 at 7pm at the CMRPC offices on the second floor of Union Station, MassDOT will hold a design hearing for a resurfacing and streetscape project on Harding Street to complement the other Canal District improvements.

WalkBike Worcester will be having a social event on Monday, February 10, at 5pm at Smokestack Urban Barbecue.  I recommend attending if you’re interested in getting involved with their work.


Update, 10:01am — one more meeting:

Worcester State University Neighbor Council will meet tonight,  Wednesday, Jan. 29th, in The Foster Room, 6:30 – 8:00.

• 6:30 – 7:00: Social Talk. Light refreshments
• 7:00: Guest Speaker: Jack Foley, VP of Government and Community Relations at Clark University
• Honoring the Legacy of Cathy Walsh
• Update on Walk Bike Worcester Event
• Update on Work Behind Chandler Magnet / Mass Service Alliance Grant.