The Person or the Atmosphere?

Wednesday was an interesting day for the political scene in
Worcester.  Two state elected officials resigned from their posts and one
local official announced that he was not seeking re-election.  This was
great for opinionated people such as myself, but I don’t feel the need to pile on
as media outlets did.  I am skeptical of these “resignations”, because people usually are forced out or fired for similar actions.  However, the condition of our state political landscape doesn’t surprise me that it went down the way it did.

Let’s start with
City Councilor Joe O’Brien’s decision to not seek re-election.  This is
not as juicy as the other two individuals and it doesn’t truly fall into the
same category, but there is something here.  The landscape of Worcester
politics perplexes me in general because we have a Mayor and a City Manager,
both reporting to the City Council.  So, who is really in charge?  I
really need somebody to explain that to me one day.  But with regards to
Councilor O’Brien, I never really got the sense he wanted to be there.  I
mean for his first run on the council he went for the “Top Job”, mayor.  Two years later he didn’t want to be anymore, and then two years
after that he didn’t want his councilors seat either.  I commend him for
not running and as he put it “letting someone else have the opportunity to
serve”, but it just seems, to me, that he was there because someone else
wanted him there.  I may be wrong, but that’s how it looks to me
Let’s move on to
Rep. John Fresolo.  If the rumors of what happened are true then this was
a right call by the state representative.  I know Mr. Fresolo and he has
always been nice and cordial to me.  We may not agree on politics but he
always responded when needed.  However, that does not give him a pass in
this case and he understood that.  If he decided to stay this would have
been a black mark on him and as he put it in his resignation he would not have
been effective.  If what allegedly happened did happen then he abused his
power and to some extent at the cost of the taxpayers, and that is just not right.
Lastly, Lt.
Governor Tim Murray’s resignation from office to become the head of the
Worcester Chamber of Commerce.  Of all three departures, this one will
carry on well after he leaves office.  It can be argued what Murray did or
did not do for Worcester when he was a city councilor and then Mayor.  But
one thing is for sure, is when he got to the State House is where he made his
mark, and I am not saying this as a good thing.  He has been mired by
controversy for the past several years and his inevitable exit had to come.
 I just thought he would just ride off into the sunset after his term was
done.  Leaving before that just makes people wonder if there is something
he is hiding.  Why does his new job pay twenty five percent more than his
predecessor? Just asking.
The issue with
these three stories isn’t personal integrity, the words politician and
integrity rarely collide in the same sentence.  The issue is that the way
the legislature is set up, particularly in Massachusetts, it breeds corruption.
 In Massachusetts, the previous three Speakers of the House were indicted,
and one is currently serving a Federal prison term.  But that is the state
of affairs everywhere; nothing gets done because the elected officials don’t
want it to get done.  They just want you to keep sending them back to be
“The Experienced Choice”, but politics is such a mess, why do I want
to keep sending the same hacks back.  If term limits and balanced budgets
aren’t requirements of the job, then this will never change.
Rep. Fresolo and
Lt. Gov. Murray got too comfortable in their positions.  They felt
untouchable, and when someone feels untouchable, they get reckless.
 Fresolo took advantage of a per diem system that in all honesty should
not exist.  The job requires you to be in Boston on certain days, why
should you get extra for it?  When I used to commute to Boston, Hartford,
Providence and Saugus I never got extra for it, why should our elected
officials?  If the other actions that Fresolo is accused of doing are
true, then he should have been fired.  Murray got too greedy when he got
into the big boy’s seat and he let it spin out of control.  From
“assessing storm damage” in the dark at 108 mph, or the fraud with
the Chelsea Housing Authority Director, or the campaign fund fraud, his actions
are borderline criminal and yet he gets to resign and get a better paying job.
 Why Not?  The system is letting him do it.  Bravo!
Maybe Joe O’Brien
was getting too comfortable and did not want to go that route any longer.
If you don’t take
it from, ask my wife.

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