Monthly Archives: March 2012

Deposition Documents

If you’ve read the Telegram article regarding Chief Gemme’s safety concerns about giving a deposition at Hector Pineiro’s office, you may find the following of interest:

Worcester’s Social Media Policy in the Telegram

The Telegram is reporting that the city has clarified its social media policy “in the wake of concerns raised by some city councilors in recent months about the use of social media by the Police Department and by Police Chief Gary J. Gemme via his own Twitter account.”

As far as I can tell, this is the same policy we reported on last week; the article indicates that the policy was inspired, in part, by Chief Gemme’s use of various forms of social media.

Nick Kotsopoulous also reports that city employees had to read and sign an updated 10-page “Computer Access and Usage Policies and Procedures for the City of Worcester.”

Surveillance pix of man who stole empty wallet at convenience store

Worcester Police Department:

On Friday March 16, 2012

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at approximately 10:44 PM Worcester Police responded to the Honey Farms Market located at 443 Park Avenue for a reported unarmed Robbery of an individual. Upon the officers arrival they met with a 39 year old male victim. The victim, who is mentally disabled, was able to explain

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to the officers that he was robbed of his wallet out in the store parking lot.

According to the victim, a male suspect followed him inside the store as he made a purchase. The male suspect kept close to him while inside the store making witnesses believe that the male was his caretaker. Once outside, the suspect ripped away his wallet that was attached to a chain around his neck. The suspect ran off on Park Avenue. There were no contents inside the victim’s wallet.

The police have posted a photo of the robber, from a surveillance camera and are asking for tips.

MLK Center to Merge with SMOC

Two nonprofits, one focusing on “business and workforce development,” the other on “housing and support services,” have announced they are merging.

Worcester Business Journal: “SMOC can help people with basic necessities, and the MLK center has the resources to help them find jobs or start small businesses.”

T&G: “The organizations reported that the MLK Center’s facility at 237 Chandler St. in Worcester will not be used as a shelter or group residence under the merger.”

Worcester’s New Social Media Policy

The City of Worcester’s Social Media & Information Sharing webpage now includes a Social Media Policy document [PDF link] dated Fri 16 Mar 2012 08:36:47 AM EDT.

We’re waiting to hear back from the City about whether this is brand-new; the time stamp, and its absence from Google’s previous cache of this page, are suggestive.

A petition on this very issue was submitted to the City Council this week:

9u. Joe Scully request the creation of a public records and data retention policy regarding the use of social media technology to support increased transparency and openness in government.

That petition was referred to the Rules and Legislative Affairs Committee. If you have any thoughts on improving this policy, that would be a good forum to present them.

(h/t Kevin Ksen)
Continue reading Worcester’s New Social Media Policy

Worcester Sunshine Week: Petitions Move Forward

Worcester residents submitted 4 transparency-related petitions to the City Council this Tuesday as part of Sunshine Week.

Here are the official notes from the meeting. The petitions regarding video archives, social media, and a public records point person were all referred to the Rules and Legislative Affairs Committee (George Russell/Bill Eddy/Joe O’Brien).

The fourth petition, asking that the City Council generally “support the passage of state legislation to promote freedom of information, open government, and accessible public records” was adopted in the form of a written resolution [PDF], 11-0. “Councilor O’Brien moved to adopt the Resolution as submitted by the petitioner – Resolution adopted on a roll

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call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays. Referred to Rules and Legislative Affairs Committee for informational purposes only.”

Rules does not often meet, but we’ve been told there will be a meeting to consider the three petitions, and in any case we will be bird-dogging these petitions through the process.

(Yes, I am a bit disoriented in the video above. There was a well-attended recognition of Herb Adams at the beginning of the meeting, and we were still standing in the hall, waiting for the crowd to clear out, when we heard the Mayor announce that the first of our petitions was under consideration.)

Worcester’s Top Housing Official Suspended

T&G: Worcester places top housing official on leave:

Jacqueline Vachon-Jackson, chief of staff for economic development for City Manager Michael V. O’Brien, was suspended yesterday, according to a City Hall source.

. . . Ms. Vachon-Jackson’s supervisors reportedly confronted her about her recent purchase of a city condo from a property owner associated with the developer of an affordable housing rehabilitation project at a building at 5 May St. in the city’s Main South neighborhood.