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)”

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