Worcester City Council meeting preview (Feb 25, 2014)

The City Council meets Tuesday, February 25 at 7 pm. The agenda is here. Here are some items that jumped out at me.

  • Finding a new, permanent City Manager: The Municipal Operations Committee has approved a plan. It’s now before the full City Council. There would be finalists by the end of May, and a Manager by the end of September. Community groups would have an opportunity to meet with the finalists. The T&G has more.
  • Medical marijuana: Famous/infamous activist Billy Breault has an item asking the City Manager to investigate Good Chemistry, a company that the state has approved to open a medical marijuana store in Worcester. The store will be on 9 Harrison St, between Green and Water, and might open in December. They’re also authorized to build a grow house at 6 Pullman St. Councilor Lukes has an item requesting a “report on ownership and status for siting of Medical Marijuana entities in Worcester and any community outreach and meetings held regarding the siting.” The T&G has some good background.
  • SWIP: The decades’-long saga of trying to get something built at the South Worcester Industrial Park continues. The Economic Development Committee wants the city to develop and economic development plan for the area, which would then mean the city could negotiate directly with people interested in buying parcels, rather than going through a public bidding process. Nicole has all the background on SWIP you could want. Here is a video of the area in question.
  • Snow: Councilor Rivera wants people to have to clear crosswalk entrances of snow, like they have to clear their sidewalks. Councilor Lukes and Rosen want a report on how the city’s “snow account” is doing.
  • Zoning: Councilor Bergman continues to focus on zoning changes, this week asking if the Parks Department can “when making public park improvements, to follow the City of Worcester Zoning Ordinance, Article V-Site Plan Review, requiring the planting of trees at 20 -25 foot intervals.”
  • Free Public Wifi: Councilor Bergman also wants a report on whether the city could have free wifi.
  • Changes at the Board of Health: The City Manager wants it to be a regulatory, rather than advisory, board. Councilor Gaffney plans to slow down that process and ask for there to be public meetings on the issue. The T&G has more.

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