City Manager Listening Sessions – last one tonight

The last City Manager “listening” session is tonight:

Wednesday, March 19, 6:00 pm
American Legion Post 201 (East Side)
326 Plantation Street
(District 2)

Full disclosure: I have not attended any of these sessions because I care about my sanity more than I care about appearing at a public meeting.

And I was out of town for the last meeting, but I have watched the video.

Within the first ten minutes of the meeting, there was one speaker (Jerry Powers) who spoke eloquently about the impacts of stormwater in general and a private road (adjacent to Coes Pond) in particular.

What were relatively benign comments about the process for private street conversion — that is, that opposition is given a lot of weight even with environmental concerns — turned into a full-on rant from Councilor Palmieri.

Now, perhaps my respect and admiration for Mr. Powers and his work is clouding my judgment, but no citizen deserves to be berated by Phil Palmieri after offering thoughtful comments.

This wasn’t a yahoo trying to disrupt the process.  This was a citizen giving an elected official what the elected official asked for.

What perhaps hurts me the most — as it hurt me during the slots parlor hearings — is when people I love attend these meetings and have to see the utter disregard some elected officials have for the process and the people they’re supposed to represent.  I’m glad to see people like my former teacher Amy West showing up and speaking truth to power, and it’s so frustrating that people like her are treated so shabbily.

I recommend especially watching the video around the 45 minute mark, where Bill Bernhardt speaks for all of us in telling Councilor Palmieri to listen and not interject his own comments after every speaker.  Palmieri said that, as chair, he has the right to ask questions of the speakers.

Councilor Palmieri must be the only person capable of making a question that ends in a period and requires no reply.

It’s not about information gathering, it’s about having the last word.

And the last time I checked, these sessions were supposed to be about what we want in a city manager, not who we want.

Past meetings:

Thursday, February 20, 6:00pm
Worcester Senior Center, 128 Providence Street
(District 3)
video; Worcester Mag coverage; Telegram coverage

Wednesday, February 26, 6:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church Hall, 90 Holden Street
(District 1)
video; Worcester Mag coverage (1, 2); Telegram coverage

Wednesday, March 5, 6:00pm
Central Branch YMCA, 766 Main Street, Board Room
(District 4)
video; Worcester Mag coverage; Telegram coverage

Wednesday, March 12, 6:00 pm
Eager Auditorium, Sullivan Academic Center
Worcester State University, 486 Chandler Street
(District 5)
video; Worcester Mag coverage; Telegram coverage

3 thoughts on “City Manager Listening Sessions – last one tonight

  1. gayle says:

    again I do appreciate you taking the time to give notice and shortcuts to videos (along with time references in video) to help us ordinary citizens a way to keep up. The reference to Bill Bernhardt statement made me very happy that there are some people ,out there, that share a lot of my concerns on communication and legitimate complaints being ignore in a city of this size I agree that Gerry Powers spoke eloquently and briefly and pointedly in regards to boards just going by how many for or against a proposal without looking into long range effects and he had the finesse not to retort Parmieri condescending remark “they can ” with a “but you don’t -prove it” .

  2. Joe says:

    Don’t blame me, I voted for Cortes. 🙂

    I’m not a huge fan of Cortes’ union ties, but it’s time for Phil to move on.
    Hopefully it’s not to a higher office where his self-important BS has influence over more people.

  3. […] It took three months for the Municipal Operations subcommittee to start having meetings about what citizens wanted in a new city manager.  This was on purpose, of course; many of those who supported Ed Augustus were also behind the Mike O’Brien coup, and they knew the longer someone was in the temporary position, it would only be a matter of time before the incumbent became permanent.  In the meantime, elected officials could berate residents for speaking about actually answering the question they wer… […]

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