Monthly Archives: November 2014

Preview: City Council agenda (November 25)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday, November 25. The agenda is here. This week: PILOT and a few other interesting items.

  • PILOT: There are a couple items on getting non-profits, which don’t pay city property taxes, to give the city some money anyway. The term for this is Payment In Lieu Of Taxes. The Council has talked about this a lot down through the years. Lately there has been a little progress, with some of the colleges giving the city money in exchange for land deals and the like. There are two items on the agenda this week relating to PILOT. (Council geeks will note that one of these items has 2 sponsors and the other 3; there has been very little co-sponsoring of items since the Council was warned the communications it takes to arrange these might sometimes violate open meeting laws.)
  • Saturation: Councilors Economou and Rosen have an item suggesting that we may be “approaching saturation in the rental market specifically as it pertains to our urban core.”
  • Surveillance: Councilor Rivera has an item asking that the city work to promote more small businesses installing exterior surveillance cameras.
  • Blinking lights: Councilor Rivera has an item asking for followup on the proposal to install “a yellow blinking pedestrian crossing light in Main Street
    at Kilby Street.” Seems like we have way more of these lights in recent years.
  • Private and Public Streets: We sometimes note petitions to make private streets public; this week we should note that the petition from Councilor Rushton to make Nathaniel St and Ct public will probably be denied.

Preview: City Council agenda (November 18)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday, November 18. The agenda is here.

  • Two citizen petitions of note: one requesting that companies receiving TIF’s purchase from Worcester business; the other looking for regulation of door-to-door salesmen.
  • Taxes: the City Council will do its annual tax rate classification hearing on December 2.
  • Energy upgrades: the City is working on energy efficiency, and plans, among other projects, to upgrade streetlights to LEDs.
  • Library: there are two vacancies on the Library Board coming up January 1.
  • Downtown safety: the Public Safety subcommittee is looking for reports on downtown incidents, as well as safety concerns of downtown businesses.
  • Pools?: Councilor Rosen has asked for plans “for constructing aquatic facilities, especially spray parks”
  • Foothills: Councilor Rosen would like to save the Foothills Theatre sign.
  • Skating: Councilor Bergman is looking for free skating rental hours.

Worcester School Committee meeting preview (November 29)

Cross-posted from Tracy’s blog.

There is a regular meeting of the Worcester School Committee this Thursday at 7 pm. You can find the agenda here.

After a couple of recognitions, the report of the superintendent is actually the report of the school committee this week: Superintendent Boone’s annual evaluation. We had to get our individual evaluations in by Friday; Mayor Petty is charged with compiling them into a single joint document. If you’re curious, the form we’re required by state regs to fill out is here. I imagine we’ll have a flurry of document posting close to the meeting itself; I’ve set mine to post once the meeting is starting.

Also on the agenda: the report out of the Teaching, Learning, and Student Support meeting on the math curriculum. This should include a revised contract with the clause allowing a termination after one year for any reason.

We have some personnel items, including the retirement of June Eressy, who has served in a number of roles in the district, most recently as principal of Chandler Elementary. Best wishes, June!

The various items from last time, filed by Miss Biancheria, held due to absence at the meeting, because of her mother’s illness, are up this week.

We’re being asked to approve the private Center for Applied Behavioral Instruction (yes, this is under our purview. New private schools? Yes. New charter schools? No.).

I’m asking that administration share with us the communcation they intend to send to parents who refuse the PARCC or MCAS for their children, as well as the process that they intend to follow with those students.

I’m sending the homework policy off to Governance (we haven’t looked at in awhile).

We’ve had some generous donations to Andy’s Attic, for which we are thankful.

We’re being asked to approve a $5000 grant for Columbus Park.

We’re being asked to approve a $1000 grant for the Books for Babies program.
Mr. O’Connell is asking that we recognize the recent donation of muscial equipment to Worcester East Middle school.

We’re being asked to approve a donation of $294.76 from the Kiducation fund.

And we’ll have an executive session at 6 pm to discuss two contract negotiations and a lawsuit.