Monthly Archives: December 2013

Preview: City Council Meeting (Dec 3)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 7:00 P.M., Worcester City Hall. Agenda.

  • Library Board: The Council will be electing two new people to the library board.
  • Skateboarding: Resident petition from Tina Paquette requesting “installation of ‘No Skateboarding’ signage in the vicinity of the parking lot entrance at North High School.”
  • City Manager: Last week, the Council began discussing hiring a new City Manager. The Mayor had an item on the agenda asking about the city’s last nationwide search for a Manager, so some were taken aback when it seemed a new Manager would be hired on the spot: a couple councilors suggested that they should hire Ed Augustus, former state senator and Democratic insider, right away. Many Councilors were happy with the idea; Councilor Lukes, for one, was not. She has several items this week about resumes, qualifications, salaries, etc. Assuming the Council votes for Augustus, there would be a Municipal Operations Committee meeting Friday to hammer out a contract. Worcester Magazine has more.
  • Salisbury Pond: “Request City Manager request the Commissioner of Public Works & Parks convene a meeting of various community groups to discuss the concerns and plans for funding of the dredging and related water quality improvements at Salisbury Pond at Institute Park.”
  • Surveillance: I am going to highlight anything surveillance-related from now on, because it seems like these things can slip by otherwise. “12a. Request City Manager consider the installation of cameras on Townsend St and Merrick St to counteract the problem of longstanding illegal dumping. (Rivera)”.
  • SWIP: The decades’-long saga of trying to get something built at the South Worcester Industrial Park continues. “12b. Request City Manager develop a plan for the future funding mechanisms available for marketing efforts, specifically for South Worcester Industrial Park. (Rivera)”.
  • Dover Amendment: The Dover Amendment is a state law that makes it hard for the city to block nonprofit educational facilities, sometimes including things like addiction treatment facilities, from opening where they like. Councilor Economou has an item about this but I don’t see any details in the notes: “Request City Manager convene our local state delegation within the next 30 days to discuss and strategize amendments to the Dover Amendment.”
  • Parking: Parking is another topic I am going to highlight in the coming weeks, as this or the next Council may take the opportunity to make some forward-looking changes. From Councilor Russell: “Request City Manager consider identifying potential parking lots to create more off-street metered parking in neighborhoods similar to and including Quinsigamond Village and Grafton St. to encourage small business development.”
  • Theater District Master Plan: The Council will have the opportunity to approve the master plan for the Theatre [sic] District, that is, the 30 acres around the Hanover Theater downtown. If you are interested in the next decade of downtown development, you might want to take a look at the plan, which is a beautiful document. It mentions that the Midtown Mall does not fit into their vision, and should probably be turned into an arts incubator, but I don’t see any mention of the city seizing it by eminent domain, as some Councilors have suggested. Previous plans had suggested that the library parking lot should be turned into a hockey facility, thus making people park farther away from the #1 downtown attraction. This plan mentions a hockey facility could happen but is noncommittal. One of the maps shows where there could be food trucks.
  • Marijuana: The council will amend the zoning ordinance to allow Registered Marijuana Dispensaries.