Preview: City Council agenda (November 17)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday at 7pm. The agenda is here. There is so much stuff.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

  • Animal committee?: Bill Coleman has a citizen petition asking for a “licensed animal owner advisory committee” to weigh in on any changes in our pet laws.
  • Vehicular carnage: Jo Hart has a citizen petition asking for a “well publicized public forum/hearing on the ways and means of eliminating vehicular carnage on city streets and sidewalks.”
  • Chirpers: Councilor Economou asks that we add “audible signals (chirpers)” to our crosswalks.
  • Castle Park: Councilor Rivera asks for the timeframe of the handball court’s demolition, and for a public meeting on how we should spend money allocated to upgrading the park.
  • Mosaic: You will remember that this nonprofit attracted a lot of negative attention for its role in Black Lives Matter organizing, which led to an audit of how it and other organizations spent a grant from the city. The audit found problems. Councilor Lukes has an item asking about defunding Mosaic (which I guess means just not giving it grants in the future?).
  • Needle exchange: Councilor Lukes asks that a proposed needle exchange program be remove from our current “Response to the Opiate Epidemic” so it can be discussed separately.
  • Lawsuits: The Council will have a private “executive session” with the City Manager to discuss lawsuits, to wit: a US District Court judge finding Worcester’s 2013 anti-panhandling laws unconstitutional; a lawsuit over who should clean up a contaminated part of Crow Hill; a hotel owner suing the city for not building a skywalk between the Worcester Center Boulevard Parking Garage and the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel; and a lawsuit about an allegedly coercive interrogation by Worcester police.
  • Green Hill Park: The proposal is to change (but not reduce) the conservation restrictions on the park. There are several reasons the City and local conservationists want to do this, including habitat preservation, linking wild areas of the park, and allowing for the possibility of golf course changes. Councilor Gaffney unilaterally delayed the decision till this week, because he said he wanted to discuss the conservation restriction amendments and the golf course all together, rather than as separate issues.
  • Opiate Epidemic: (Delayed from last week.) There will be a presentation on Worcester’s response so far.
  • Getting Plowed In: (Delayed from last week.) Councilor Bergman has an item asking if we can somehow communicate “the timing of snowplowing routes to avoid getting ‘plowed in’.”
  • Rules Geekery: (Delayed from last week.) Councilor Bergman requests “a legal opinion as to authority for any councilor(s) to request items held in committee to be brought forward and whether or not (Worcester Home Rule Charter: Section 2-6 (c)(ii) (Exercise of Powers; Quorum) is/are applicable.”


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