Preview: City Council meeting (Nov 26)

7pm, Worcester City Hall. Agenda.

  • Peter Stefan: Considering the controversy surrounding Peter Stefan volunteering to be Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s undertaker, it’s pretty gutsy this is on the agenda. “PRESENTATION – Recognizing Peter Stefan for his compassionate efforts in the aftermath of Boston Marathon Bombing.”
  • Hiring: William Belcher is petitioning that there be a national search for “the next city manager, and the same for the next police chief.” The City Manager is resigning; I have no idea why the chief’s name is on this.
  • Marijuana: “Bruce Berger, CEO of LB Compassion Center, Inc. transmitting notice of their intent to submit a Phase 2 application and to operate a Registered Marijuana Dispensary and if approved that it will be sited in the city of Worcester.”
  • City Manager: The Council will be accepting his resignation, then proceeding “to discussion concerning an interim and permanent replacement City Manager, and further, request the City Clerk provide the City Council with details regarding the process and timeline followed during the 1993 City Manager search and appointment process.”
  • Foreclosure mediation: They should finally be voting up or down on City ordinances that would push more potential foreclosures to a mediation process.
  • Zoning amendments: The administration is encouraging the Council to pass a “Zoning Ordinance Amendment Related to Encouraging Compact, Mixed-Use, Pedestrian-Friendly Development.” Among other things, this would lower the requirements for how much parking businesses and residences must have. Not surprisingly, there is opposition. I cannot sigh loud enough.
  • CitySquare: The Council will be considering a revision of the plans for the next stage of this massive downtown development process, for which the developers want tax deals before proceeding. I feel like I should have strong, clear opinions on TIF deals, but I do not.
  • NDAA: Some residents asked the Council to vote opposing certain provisions of the latest National Defense Authorization Act, and to make “detention” or “disposition” under “the law of war,” as well as targeted killing, illegal in the City. The City Law Department has sent a memo to the Council considering the Constitutional issues, as well as opining it “does not deal with matters relating to city government and should be filed,” that is, discarded.

One thought on “Preview: City Council meeting (Nov 26)

  1. Dear Mike, thank you for your interesting preview of council meetings. I would like to reference the NDAA issue. Firstly I trust that the council understands the NDAA and the seriousness of it. The city may be correct to think this is not a small matter and perhaps choose to send the resolution on its way. All I can do is urge the members to please consider their action before allowing it to do so. The action of all the actors in this matter will prevail in history; they will be demonstrating whether they were the bold ones, or they were not. The members would be urged to look further afield and ask themselves how they would want to look back on their action in this matter because either way, it has far-reaching consequences for Worcester residents. But not only for them. The resolution would be a clear declaration of Worcester’s refusal to be considered a perpetual war zone, and its refusal to consent to arrest of its residents without due process. Should the law department dismiss this as being outside its Constitutional jurisdiction, and “send it on its way”, I urge council members to please not accept defeat and give it another go-around. In extraordinary times, extraordinary measures are required. Since the NDAA considers American citizens its enemy, how can any of us, our family and friends, be safe?

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