You, yes, YOU should run for city office

Chances are good if you’re reading this, you’re one of those people.

You have some idea of what’s going on in municipal government. You watch City Council meetings (heck, you might even watch School Committee meetings!). You have spent time, whether you wish it or not, thinking about sidewalk shoveling, pit bulls, out of state travel, and the cleanliness of the water the city puts in the Blackstone River.

You probably also have an opinion on all of these things.

Moreover, if you’ve spent this kind of time on it, there have been nights when you’ve asked yourself (or the nearest bystander), “Why didn’t somebody ask [fill in the blank here]?” You’ve told someone that if YOU had been on the Council (or Committee), why then you would have said [again, fill in the blank here].

Well, folks, here’s your shot.

In a matter of weeks, the City Council will vote on an election calendar for the city. They will set the date of the municipal elections–a primary for September and a final election for November–which will determine the rest of the dates in the calendar. Sometime this spring, anyone can go to the Election Commission at City Hall (2nd floor) and take out papers to collect signatures for nominating someone to office. It takes the signatures of 100 district votes (certified) to get someone on the ballot for a district office, and it takes the signatures of 300 city voters (certified) to get someone on the ballot for an at-large office (including School Committee).

That’s it, by the way. You don’t pay the city any money; there aren’t other barriers.

If you even have the slightest interest in doing this yourself, or of drafting a friend, then I would highly recommend the excellent workshop run by the League of Women Voters.

Wednesday March 23, 2011
6:00 PM  –  8:00 PM  How to Run for Public Office in Worcester
Contact: Debra Starr   508-770-0912   starrsrus@msn.com
Workshop for potential Worcester City Council and School Committee candidates

Think about it.

4 thoughts on “You, yes, YOU should run for city office

  1. All well and good Ms. Novick.
    But I’m interested not why a question hasn’t been asked, rather what questions a prospective candidate will ask?
    Or better put, what they can bring to the table. What skills, never mind the platitudinous goals, but what the potential the value added (the great unquantifiable) they’ll contribute?
    In your case, what exactly have you done to better the school committee oversight of the education process?
    And what have you done to make local education better than before you were elected?
    In answering those questions, folks will get an idea what contributions are possible.

    1. That’s what I hope the voters will ask, Will.
      In terms of running on my record (at half a term), the main thing I’ve done is asked the questions that I know weren’t being asked previously. From why are spending money on consultant contracts, to why aren’t kids at some schools getting recess, to what it means to take federal money for turnaround schools or Race to the Top, when I haven’t won votes on the floor, I know I’ve forced some conversations that might not have happened at all or would have been more comfortable had I not been there.

  2. I have to agree with Will. Having an interest, opinion and spare time are not qualifications I’m impressed with. Some office holders are a real embarrassment.

    Hang in there Tracy, the worst thing some pols don’t handle is a critical public.

    I would like to hear more questions about priorities and results at budget time instead of rubber stamps. I don’t follow the school side as much as I could but council definitely gives the budget little scrutiny.

    The bottom line I want as a voter is someone who has constructive contributions instead of casual observations.

  3. I do believe that Ms. Novick is conscientious; maybe more so than the dim-witted bureaucrats infesting the committee.

    Being a newbie is always a challenge, especially in politics and all the more in Wusta. One’s mettle is tested.

    One issue I have is that the voters always go for the familiar names, never or rarely critically judging the candidates. The reality is, voters take the path of least resistance – hey look an Irish name, I’m Irish so I have to vote for him/her. How do I know that, I talked with my neighbors.

    Thanks to Jeff Barnard’s blind support for Ms. Novick (which I criticized) I forced myself to become familiar with the candidates, the school committee’s responsibilities and its powers, thanks in part to Ms. Novick’s blog – still got some issues with that, but at least she’s doing sumptin, but the rest… Monfredo’s unimaginative and uninformative articles in InCity Times… unwillingness to communicate with the public, speaks volumes about their philosophies’ and what that means to the locals.

    I read the T&G today about the MCAS investigation being halted. Sad, sad, sad. Transparency in government? Not as long as Joe O’Brien has any say.

    Don’t ya love snow days? Shoveling and blogging, don’t get any better eh?

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