Monday, November 2, 2009

Interview with Bill McCarthy Candidate For At Large City Councilor













What will be your primary job as an at large councilor?


Worcester needs new leadership so that we can turnaround our city’s sluggish economy and reform spending so taxpayers are not continuously overburdened by their property tax bill. For years the Council has let us down by failing to attract new businesses to our community and to keep control of spending. I can make a difference. I believe that it is the job of a Councilor to be a fiscal watchdog for his constituents. It is time that Worcester had a bold new plan to promote economic development that creates jobs. I can make a difference by utilizing my doctoral degree in human resource education and workforce development, employing my experience in criminal justice and instituting a bold new strategic plan to promote economic development that creates jobs. I will aggressively promote our city, one-on-one, to CEOs and entrepreneurs so they will locate here. I will build an Economic Development Action Team to create incentives to keep and grow Worcester’s diverse industries.

What in your opinion are the biggest issues facing Worcester in the coming years and what plans do you have to deal with these issues?

Recently the City Council voted for a tax hike for hotel/motel rooms and the meals tax. I believe that is like putting a band-aid on a broken bone. Even with these increased taxes Worcester is still facing a $2 million deficit. It is frustrating to see our friends and families making budget cuts to live within their means while our leaders are taxing us more and more. As a City Councilor, my first order of business would be to rollback the $13,000 pay raises that the council voted themselves. Then I would focus on:

Protecting the Taxpayers: I will put my doctoral degree to work for residents by developing innovative solutions and by finding ways to stretch tax dollars.

Protecting Families: With my experience in criminal justice as a state trooper and professor and as a father of three children, I understand what it is going to take to make our streets safe and I am willing to do the hard work. I believe in stronger tracking of sexual predators and reducing gang activity.

Protecting our City’s Economic Future: It is time that Worcester had a bold new plan to promote economic development that creates jobs. Worcester needs economic triage, the city is bleeding and we need to stop it. To do that, we need more jobs. Our city leaders can talk all they want about these (development) planned projects, but how many jobs have they created? I will work to bring jobs to Worcester by partnering with the businesses that are currently here and finding out what we can do to help them stay here. And then I will work to bring new job opportunities to the city.

How do you feel about the job City Manager O'Brien has done thus far? What do you like about what he has done? Where do you think he needs improvement?

He answers to the City Council and I don't think the City Council has assigned him all the needed performance indicators to really measure his accomplishments and performance in these tough economic times. When elected I would work to revamp those performance indicators and then really assess his performance from these needed measures and baseline.

The perceived lack of public safety in Worcester is a definite image problem for the city. Since in many instances perception is reality, what are your ideas on how to improve this perception and make not only our citizens but people from outside the city feel secure when they are out in our neighborhoods?

With my experience in criminal justice as a state trooper and professor and as a father of three children, I understand what it is going to take to make our streets safe and I am willing to do the hard work. I believe in stronger tracking of sexual predators and reducing gang activity.

On the issue of neighborhood's, many other cities have had success defining their neighborhoods and marketing them separately as different cultural options. How do you think Worcester might benefit as a city by doing something similar?

I like that idea and will work to bring that about. However, Worcester needs economic triage, the city is bleeding and we need to stop it. To do that, we need more jobs. Our city leaders can talk all they want about these (development) planned projects, but how many jobs have they created? I will build an Economic Development Action Team to create incentives to keep and grow Worcester’s diverse industries. Take a moment to look around our city. Why would a business open in Worcester? The amount of empty store fronts in downtown Worcester really says it all. We need to find a way to rent out over 4.75 million square feet of office space. I propose we offer some meaningful tax incentives for businesses to locate here. Many towns in the southern US are offering anywhere from 1 to 10 years of municipal tax-free status. Many towns are offering assistance in obtaining the necessary licenses, permits, and approvals by shortening the process to just a few months. This is another type of model I would implement to encourage job growth too.

How do you envision the urban core of Worcester at the end of 2011? How will you lead us to that vision?

I look at it this way. The previous presidential elections contain some lessons that should be applied to the upcoming Worcester election. “It’s the economy stupid”. Worcester’s economy has been failing and continues to fail. “Are you better off now than you were”? The staggering number of people who have left Worcester would answer no. The large number of residents who do not feel safe in their own city would answer no. “It’s time for a change.” “If we do not learn from history, we are destined to relive it”. It’s time for sweeping reform and change in the government of the city of Worcester. I will work to bring jobs to Worcester by partnering with the businesses that are currently here and finding out what we can do to help them stay here. And then I will work to bring new job opportunities to the city.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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