In principle, ward representation looks good. Since it passed its proponents have been grasping at straws pointing out to us how it is better. The ethnic and gender makeup of the City Council and School Committee might have changed, but has it resulted in real change?
We were told that ward representation would increase voter participation. 40 percent of those over 18 are registered to vote. Preliminary elections can sometimes fall under 10 percent of the registered voters, and 20 percent in a final election is considered a high turnout. That has not changed.
The City Council continues to be the only employer in the state who cannot put cameras in its work place, police cars, which are under its jurisdiction.
The libraries continue to be closed more than they are open. Open doors are more important than the ethnic makeup of the City Council.
We can call the new program at the middle schools anything we want, but it was a state takeover due to poor academic scores on the part of the students. The ethnic makeup of the school committee does not matter when the students need to look for a job or apply to a college.
The presidential election is approaching. The Democrats on the City Council will get to snuggle up to the national candidates who support free trade, which has caused massive unemployment, while telling their constituents that they have great economic plans for Springfield.
The amount of change due to ward representation has been greatly exaggerated.
Robert Joseph Underwood