Worcester City Council Preview: City Drops Ball on Playground Dedication, Moving Halloween, & Health Inspections

by | Aug 11, 2019 | Headlines, News, Politics

The Betty Price Playground Got a $1.2 Million Renovation and, Apparently, No One told her Family 

As ThisWeekinWorcester.com reported last week, the City held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the completely renovated and upgraded Betty Price playground on Eastern Ave. 


While all the so-and-so’s — and some current members of Worcester’s present-day form of municipal government — were celebrating the $1.2 million renovation, someone apparently dropped the ball and forgot to invite Price’s family members. 


Fingers are being pointed all over Worcester’s City Hall as to who forgot to stamp the invitation and chances are we will never find out, but it’s not a good look and hopefully the City finds a way to make up for this oversight. 

For their part — and to their credit — Mayor Joseph Petty and City Councilor At-Large Khrystian King have requested that a second re-dedication ceremony be held and this time around, invite Price’s family. 

Both Petty and King are requesting that a ceremony be held to properly honor Price’s work with the Prospect House and her historical impact on the City of Worcester. 

They’re also calling for a new kiosk or commemorative display on Price’s life and her achievements be created in the City to pay her homage.

Halloween on a Saturday Every Year?

District 5 City Councilor Matt Wally is proposing that the City permanently move Worcester’s Halloween trick-or-treat activities to the last Saturday of October. 

Wally is citing child safety and preparation for the move as a weekend day will give parents more time to prepare their child to go house-to-house to collect their treats. 

Additionally, Wally is requesting City Manager Ed Augustus to request that City Solicitor David Moore the necessary paperwork to implement this change this year. Wally will likely need everyone on the Council to approve this at the meeting and move it along in order for the wheels to start turning that quickly.

[Thankfully, part of the request doesn’t require the children to use plastic City of Worcester recycling bags to put their candy in. Otherwise, Halloween may be cancelled for good.]

Wally is also hoping to get the police, schools and City Council on board to develop a plan to inform Worcester residents of the quick change. 

Not noted in Wally’s request — but likely assumed — is the potential for a child to get more sleep before a school day than a Halloween on a weeknight would allow. 


Health Inspections: To Be, or Not to Be?

The posting of health inspection report grades on the outside of restaurants in Worcester and in a public database online has been a crusade of City Councilor At-Large Konnie Lukes for at least the better part of a decade.

And rightfully so.

In a nutshell, Lukes is asking the City Manager to create a report on the advantages and disadvantages of posting the health inspection reports of restaurants at their physical location and online.

The fact that the City continues to store their restaurant inspections on paper (!) and then file them away at the Inspectional Services building at 25 Meade St. is increasingly archaic as each year goes by. If Boston, New York and other major cities can figure out a way to post these health code scores outside of restaurants and develop an online database, why can’t a mid-sized city like Worcester do it?

Know this: If you think having plastic recycling bags is harmful to the environment, your head would explode if you knew the extent to which the City still stores public records on paper. 

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Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Previous to starting TWIW, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Before that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He can be contacted at [email protected]