Fiscal 2023 DIF Account

Updated Where's Waldo


  1. Updated pro forma reflecting current costs of at least $159,500,000 and no development from Phase I
  2. An Auditor's report on the updated pro forma
  3. Final Costs of Polar Park.   It sure is more then $159,500,000.  We are guessing $175,000,000.
  4.  Completed LDA of  the Left Building Site.
  5. When will Madison actually break ground on any of their projects???
  6. Who is paying for Polar Park police details??   
  7. Where is  the new Polar park Commisson?

** BTW we predict a former councilor will chair this commission


Anonymous said…
Konnie Lukes,, hopefully. While I always disagreed with her always going to the lowest possible residential tax rate, she was at least consistent and clear about how she would vote and what she really thought. Most importantly, she isn’t afraid to ask hard questions that people with inside clout get upset about.
Anonymous said…
But it’s probably Rushton, because of that.
Bill Randell said…
Konnie would be the best choice, but there is no chance in hell of that happening.
Anonymous said…
If the City makes this political,which everything is as of late,I would put 3 former mayors on the committee: Levy, Mariano and Lukes. Each of which served the City for the people.After that I would take City Councilor Russell's suggestion with a slight derivation, I would put someone from the Canal District and one from the City Council District the park is located.
Gary Samela said…
I'm not a fan of Konnie. She opposed every economic development project that came down the pike during the 100 years she served on the council. I remember Ray Mariano saying that during a city council meeting years ago. It's really a coward's approach. If the projects she opposed didn't work out she would say, "I told you so." If the projects turned out to be wildly successful she would say that she was just looking out for the taxpayers of the City. Worcester is a much better place with her off the council.
Anonymous said…
One needs to separate development projects from the large tax exemption deals the City gives out. You can be for a development but be against exempting a development from paying taxes for 20 years.
The Dual tax rate is an impediment to development and instead of dealing with it, it grants exemptions to new businesses and penalizes existing businesses with a tax rate which grows faster than inflation.
Tax and spend is the standard operating procedure of the City and someone, whether it be Konnie Luke's or someone else, needs to be asking the hard questions.
Anonymous said…
Exactly right on separating development from tax exemptions for insiders.

What to see profiles in cowardice; look at the majority of city councilors that voted for the lowest possible residential tax rate. They are buying votes to keep their free salary and free health insurance for life. They may say that they are worried about seniors on fixed incomes etc, but there are exemptions on a giant chunk of value that ditties do all the time to address this. It is a false premise. They know that the small businesses don’t have a vote and can’t vote against them so they continue to dump the extra taxes on them and have driven large employers out of the city. That’s bad for everyone in the city but them.

It is about them and only them and it is a disgrace that the city has to agree not to collect commercial taxes to get anyone to build anything here.
Gary Samela said…
One of the reasons Worcester is seeing this great rebirth is that the word is out to regional and national developers that they can get a significant TIF to build anything here.

I never believed that part-time city councilors should get medical and retirement benefits from the City. I don't know of any private corporations that still have Defined Benefit Pension Plans Most have moved to the Defined Contribution plans (401(k) plans.)

Many former councilors have used the council as a springboard to bigger and better things.
Jordan Levy used his theatrical skills to land a $675,000 per year gig as a radio host. Tim Murray is sitting pretty at his $225,000 per year job at the Chamber of Commerce. Ray Mariano used his connections to land a $97,000 per year job as director of the WHA. He now collects a $91,000 per year pension (plus accrued city council benefits).
Anonymous said…
All the comments about the tax exemptions raises another topic for your list. Are real estate taxes going to be paid on the $175 million ballpark which is being leased to a for profit organization?
Anonymous said…
Your list shows how inept the City is in that every part of the project is messed up: a ballpark that is 75% over budget, the development and development agreement non existent after three years, the construction of a garage and Pickett Park completed after the conclusion of the season, bridge underpasses in deplorable condition, streets in the area being paved or repaved before streets in other areas of the City which have been on a waiting list for years and the disruption of existing businesses and residents because of the lack of a parking plan which was announced weeks before the ballpark opening.
Just when I thought it could not get any worse, the recent comments on real estate taxes on the ballpark got me thinking the City messed up on the income redistribution. Think about it.
Anonymous said…
They got the income redistribution that could not have been anything but intended. They redistributed income FROM city residents and small businesses TO three or four multi-billionaires for a never ending stream of photo ops.

There was no other way to see how it would play out. Thats if anyone in the city cared about anything but their photo be fair, I will say that someone finally did something about the vacant contaminated desert that was festering there for decades, but what were our reaistic options other than a doomed to failure slot parlor?

When the small business paying tax at more than twice the residential rate get yet another tax increase (residents will too, but they get to have their votes bought so the blow will be much more soft). And don’t make the mistake that it will change for the next tax vote. The billionaires are owed a huge income stream and free taxes. We have to shut up and pay.

We are supposedly getting spin-off development. So far the only sure thing is an extremely low income subsidized housing project. Yes, we need more affordable housing, but this could have happened with all of those tax credits anyway. Look at the courthouse apartments.

Anonymous said…
To figure out exactly how much we are having it socked to us taxpayers it would be interesting to know exactly how many people that are non Worcester residents attending games. I am told that the majority of people attending games are not eating outside the park, thus supporting the Canal District or other restaraunts in the City thus there is no indirect benefit to having the ballpark in Worcester.
If that is the case my taxes may be subsidizing someone from Shrewsbury enjoying a game.
David Z. said…
Gary Samela,

I don’t know where you got your information that Jordan Levy is making that large a salary at WTAG. Market 114 does not pay anyone that kind of salary. Even the top 10 radio markets only pay their morning talent that kind of money.

I can even remember when WTAG had a full time news department located here. IHeart is so cheap now they give you canned headline news from anchors who don’t even reside locally.
Gary Samela said…
I worked with the wife of the main daytime host at WTAG. How much do you know about Jordan Levy? He used to sell shoes at the old Capitol Shoe Company. He had a bad stutter at the time. He eventually worked through that and got the courage to run for city council. There was a family that owned a business called Parker Manufacturing in the City. There were rumors going on in town that they were into some shady stuff. They brought Levy on to give them some legitimacy to their company and to keep the rumors at bay.
The family eventually all got busted for cocaine trafficking. Despite calls to do so he refused to resign as CEO. They ended up selling the company to him for a song. He eventually sold it a large profit. That's how bought his mansion on Whisper Drive.
David Z. said…
I don’t know anything about Jordan Levy personally but I know radio. And no one even Jim Polito bus making $675,000 a year at WTAG or any radio station in Worcester.

By the way, they’re now market 118 not 114.