Preview: City Council agenda (October 21)

The City Council meets Tuesday, October 21 at 7 P.M. The agenda is here. Short agenda this week.

  • Private/Public Streets: Petitions will me made to make Stanley Rd. and Beamon Ave. public (rather than private) streets.
  • Tobacco: There are several items proposing that the city’s tobacco ordinances be made tougher and enforced better.
  • Sexual Exploitation: The Council’s Public Health Committee proposes that the Commissioner of Public Health assign an outreach worker to attend neighborhood meetings on sexual exploitation.
  • Volunteering In Lieu Of Taxes: Councilor Rosen has an item asking if the City can have a program wherein senior citizens volunteer for the city “in exchange for a reduction in their property taxes.”
  • An Oath: So many people have emailed me about this one. Councilor Gaffney has an item asking if the Council and Committees can “require an oath or affirmation to provide truthful information.” There’s no other detail about this on the agenda.
  • Grants: Councilor Gaffney also has an item asking that the City Manager include “grant requirements with all reports or requests relative to grants.” This is already done by the School Committee, and presumably would make sense for the Manager/Council to start doing it too.
  • Cable Matters, Part 1: There are at least a couple of things going on with our city cable TV system. First, the current company, Charter, is planning to hand off its contract with the city to Comcast, who are a notoriously bad cable company. Last week, the Council surprised me by taking a stand against the handoff. The Law Department said this was within Charter’s rights under the current contract. The Manager said he’d talk to Comcast, and Comcast agreed to delay things for a couple weeks so maybe they could come up with an agreement to avoid bad blood between them and city government. This week, the Public Service Committee wants the full council to “go on record in opposition to the merger of Comcast Corporation with Time Warner Corporation.” (This merger is the reason Charter would transfer the contract to Comcast.)
  • Cable Matters, Part 2: The other thing going on with our cable is that Charter is moving to an all-digital system, and planning to move our public access channel (and a couple others) to entirely new numbers way up the dial. The Manager has responded with a strongly-worded letter asking them not to move the channels.

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