Paul Giorgio: Ed Augustus Has the Leadership Qualities We Need
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
He should be, because Ed Augustus has all the qualities we should want in a leader. He is intelligent, thoughtful and reflective-not reactive. He has a good skill set when it comes to managing people. Finally, but most importantly, he has a vision for the city.
An unfair political agenda
So why is the Telegram & Gazette going out of its way to try to nip any potential candidacy by Augustus for the permanent position? That’s an easy one. It’s all about power and politics. The Telegram & Gazette is losing its influence daily, just look at their declining readership numbers. They think that they will have no influence if Ed Augustus gets the job.
But the T&G finds politics a little too pedestrian for them and since Ed Augustus was a former member of the School Committee and a former State Senator, they view that as a disqualifier. The other thing they don’t like is that he used to be Congressman Jim McGovern’s Chief of Staff.
Most of us would call these accomplishments, but the right-leaning editors of the T&G call them disqualifiers.
Worcester’s City Managers
Let’s get one thing straight. We have had 5 City Mangers and only one of them was “a professional” City Manager. That was Tom Hoover and he was fired. Hoover was one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. He was an Engineer by training, but just couldn’t get his hands around the city’s problems. Hoover was replaced by Mike O’Brien, who was the Parks Commissioner. Nothing in O’Brien’s portfolio at Parks prepared him to be the Manager of the second largest city in New England.
But the City Council saw something else. They saw leadership and they saw drive. We were lucky to have him for ten years.
An effort to discredit Augustus
In Sunday’s paper, the Telegram and Gazette wrote what I perceive as a negative piece about Augustus. Others have described it as a hatched job. What were the conclusions-that City Mangers of like size cities have over twenty years of municipal management experience and that Augustus may be too political because he was a Democratic State Senator.
There is an orchestrated effort by some on the council and the Telegram & Gazette to torpedo Ed Augustus. It is time we call them out on it, because they don’t have the city’s best interest at heart.
Let’s keep up the momentum
Worcester is moving in the right direction and we can’t afford to stop the momentum now. Community leaders, business leaders and the working stiffs of our city want a better city. They want safe neighborhoods, their trash picked up and their streets plowed. That’s the easy part of the city manager’s job.
The hard part is forging alliances, working with neighborhood groups, and working with business leaders to make Worcester a better place.
It doesn’t take a manager to do that, it takes a leader. Any pencil pusher can get the trash picked up, but it takes a leader to make neighborhoods livable places.
Some people have put their personal animus ahead of what’s good for the city.
Maybe it is time that we publically call out these phonies. The ones who claim they are for the taxpayers, but don’t pay their fair share.
It is time to say no to the naysayers, who have built or are building political careers on running people down and in the process running our city down.
I’m proud that I live in Worcester. This is a great city. For the most part our leaders do a good job.
Let’s not disqualify Ed Augustus for once being a State Senator. Let us praise him for doing his civic duty.
Paul Giorgio is a longtime Democratic Party Activist who has worked on numerous campaigns. He was a Lead Advance Person for President Clinton & Vice President Gore. He was Deputy Director of Special Events for President Clinton’s first Inauguration. He has been elected a delegate to numerous Democratic National Conventions and recently served as one of President Obama’s representatives on the Platform Committee. In 2013 he was chosen as a Presidential Elector. He is the President of Pagio, Inc., publishers of Pulse Magazine, Vitality Magazine and Worcester Medicine.
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