Monthly Archives: September 2013

Preview: City Council Meeting (September 24, 2013)

7pm, Tuesday, City Hall. Agenda.

  • The city will be re-activating the Student Poll Worker program (item 11a).
  • The Worcester Redevelopment Authority released an RFP for an urban renewal consultant for development of an urban renewal plan. Among other things, there will be a Citizen Advisory Committee that will be engaged at points throughout the drafting and review process (Item 10.4a).
  • The City Managers’s quarterly economic development report notes that construction continues at the old T&G building, and that construction will soon be completed at the DCU Center, ending a “five month blackout period.” He notes that performances by the circus and Phish are forthcoming (Item 10.4b).
  • The City Manager feels we don’t need a local foreclosure mediation ordinance. I think this is because it might conflict with state law and there are currently lawsuits pending against similar legislation in other cities (Item 10.4d).
  • There will be master plan hearings for the following parks: Indian Lake, Grant Square, and Castle Park (Item 10.8a).
  • Citizen gadfly Jo Hart wants there to be a giant meeting at City Hall about the many public transit changes that happened over the summer, and for the City to “take seriously the human civic displacement” these changes caused (Item 9l). The WRTA reports that after more changes went into effect, bus ridership is up from this time last year, and that missed-trips and delays are better than they were before the changes (Item 10.32a).

Preview: Economic Development Committee Meeting (September 24, 2013)

5:30pm, Tuesday, City Hall. Agenda.

This committee is considering a pre-foreclosure mediation ordinance. They’ll send a recommendation to the full council.

The Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team is in favor of the ordinance and encourages supporters to attend. Their call to action is below.

Continue reading Preview: Economic Development Committee Meeting (September 24, 2013)

Preview: City Council Meeting (September 17, 2013)

6pm, Tuesday, City Hall. This week there are tons of items regarding streets, sidewalks, and finance. The most notable or odd of the rest are below. Agenda.

  • I haven’t heard about any groups organizing demonstrations before or during these meetings. If you care about any of the issues below, you can show up to the meeting and speak, and potentially influence the debate at a very early stage.
  • The City Manager is considering other jobs: see the T&G. This is a big deal since the City Manager both manages the city and has a large role in determining the direction of the city.
  • The City Manager wants hotels to be allowed in CitySquare: see the T&G.
  • More parkland: Four acres along Indian Lake, leased from MassDOT for 99 years for $10 for “passive recreation which would include walking trails and a playground.”
  • Exotic animals: The Public Health and Human Services Committee submits a model ordinance which would ban traveling circuses and shows featuring exotic animals.
  • There’s an item regarding local economic protectionism: “8c. Michael J. Grandone requests an ordinance making it mandatory that all companies, institutions, and businesses receiving tax increment financing from the city of Worcester, to contract firstly with businesses in the city of Worcester to provide goods and services before seeking alternative outside sources for said goods and services.”
  • Jo Hart, citizen gadfly, will be speaking in favor of a crackdown on parking on the sidewalk, more bus service to Main St north of City Hall, more sidewalks built, more public involvement in government, the ability of the public to speak at City Council meetings (they can do this, I don’t know what this means), adjustments to the loudspeakers on buses, an additional public art meeting, an that local transit documents be posted online.
  • Electromagnetic fields: there are some items relating to objections to the “Wimax Tower being proposed to be sited in Tatnuck” and “Smart Meters installed in homes in Worcester as part of the National Grid Pilot Program.” There are various concerns with these projects, but the emails I’ve been forwarded are from people who believe themselves to have “electromagnetic hypersensitivity.”
  • Crosswalks: Councilor Toomey wants police “crosswalk stings in all crosswalks in Belmont Street between Lincoln Square and Seabury Heights.”
  • Crowdsourcing and “Molly”: an item regarding each of these. “10.32 B. Transmitting Informational Communication Relative to the Implementation of a Crowdsourcing Program.” “12e. Request City Manager request the Commissioner of Public Health and the Police Chief meet with the appropriate license holders to implement a plan of action to educate them concerning the detection, sale and use of the drug known as “Molly”. (Rushton)”