Monthly Archives: December 2014

Preview: City Council agenda (December 9)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday, December 9. The agenda is here. Real short agenda this week, so I’m including some links of interest.

  • Library board: The Council will fill 2 positions on the Library Board of Directors from a pool of volunteer applicants.
  • Taxes: The tax discussion didn’t happen last week due to some procedural errors. This week, the discussion of how much to tax residents, businesses, etc. next year will begin.
  • Sex offenders: The Council is asking for a report on how many victims of Level 3 sex offenders knew their abuser at the time, and on the recidivism rate of these offenders.
  • Dover Amendment: The Council will likely ask the city administration for a plan of how we can get around the Dover Amendment, which “exempts agricultural, religious, and educational corporations from certain zoning restrictions.” This probably relates to the Council’s renewed interest in trying to get nonprofits to give the city money. See also: this Womag article from January about Councilors wanting more control over how non-profits use their land.
  • Panhandling and Smart Meters: Interesting recent New York Times articles on how our anti-panhandling ordinance may end up before the US Supreme Court, and how cost savings from smart meters have been slow in coming.

Preview: City Council agenda (December 2)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday, December 2. The agenda is here. This week: Tax rates, cultural district, surveillance.

  • Ferguson: The most notable thing from last week’s meeting was that, in response to the non-indictment in Ferguson, people testified to the Council for an hour about race and police accountability. I don’t see anything on this week’s agenda responding to that, either citizen petitions or items from Councilors.
  • Tax Rates: The Council will discuss what the tax rates for next year will be. They have limited discretion in setting rates for commercial vs. residential property, etc.
  • Boards and Commissions: Martha Assefa will be appointed to the Community Development Advisory Committee.
  • Salisbury Cultural District: The Manager would like there to be a “cultural district” to the northwest of Lincoln Square. I think they want to do this so they can apply for certain grants. The area would be roughly the triangle of Park, Highland, and Grove, plus Rural Cemetery and minus Price Chopper. The T&G has a map.
  • Stop Crashing Into Bridges: As noted at a Council meeting earlier this year, we have a problem with trucks hitting our low bridges. This week, there’s a proposal to fine people $5000 for crashing into a bridge. [T&G]
  • Surveillance: There is a proposal to put police surveillance cameras around Grafton Hill, Union Hill, and Shrewsbury Street [T&G].
  • Spending Revolving Accounts: Council budget watchers will want to note: “Recommend Authorization to use funds from various revolving fund accounts in Fiscal Year 2015, as required prior to the certification of the tax rates by the Department of Revenue.”

Worcester School Committee meeting preview (December 4)

Cross-posted from Tracy’s blog.

A quick note, first of all, on this weeks’s Worcester City Council agenda: the City Manager’s portion of the agenda requests Council authorization for use of the revolving funds. If you look at the backup, quite a number of these are WPS accounts, many associated with Worcester Technical High School programs. Revolving funds set aside the money brought in by a program for the use of that program.

The Worcester School Committee meets on Thursday at 7 pm. You can find the agenda here.

The report of the superintendent this week is the administration’s response regarding an exam, or limited admission, or, as it’s called on the agenda, “high school for advanced learners.” There is as yet no backup; I’ll post it once we get it.

We have a number of recognitions and thanks coming forward, including students who are in the Central Mass Senior Music Festival.

Miss Biancheria would like to discuss the use of silent lunches.

She is also looking for an update on the School Facilities Master Plan (still in subcommittee).

We are being asked to approve two prior year payments: one to a nurse for $5,698.70. and one to the Stetson School for $20,381.22.

We have a report on the Level 4 work being done at Elm Park Community School.

We will be having an executive session before the meeting for two items: one for an update on negotiations with cafeteria workers, and one to open negotiations for a renewed contract with Superintendent Boone (while her contract runs through June, the School Committee must inform her of intent to not renew by January).