Worcester City Council Agenda Preview (May 2, 2017)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday at 7pm. The agenda is here.

This week: Recycling and the minimum wage. If you know of anyone else who’d like to get our weekly preview via email, the link is here.

  • Private and Public Streets: Councilor Bergman (on behalf of Arthur Mooradian) requests Westfield St. Extension be made a public street.
  • Recycling: A number of Councilors have agenda items relating to recycling this week. The Councilors include Mayor Petty and Councilors Russell, King, and Lukes. The items include reviewing the city’s policies and procedures concerning illegal dumping, making the current city recycling/waste dropoff center easier to use, cutting the cost having large trash items picked up temporarily to see if that impacts dumping, the status of our striving to be a “Zero Waste” city, and adding bungee cords to our recycling bins to keep trash from blowing out. (In times past, these probably would have been single items with multiple co-sponsors, but of late the Councilors have been made aware that they can’t have large de facto meetings outside of official meetings and so don’t do mass co-sponsoring anymore.)
  • Bikes at City Hall: There haven’t been bike racks at City Hall since all the exterior changes. Simon Elliot requests they be returned.
  • The Slow War on Airbnb: The Economic Development Committee has discussed “the negative aspects associated with short-term bedroom rentals” and would like the whole Council to ask the Manager for a report on how the city could regulate Airbnb.
  • Gas Leaks: The Mayor would like a draft ordinance similar to Boston’s dealing with management and elimination of gas leaks.
  • City Employees on Boards?: Councilor Gaffney has an item suggesting that the Manager let city employees join boards and commissions.
  • $15 Minimum Wage: Councilor Mero-Carlson would like a report on what would happen to our budget if we adopted a $15/hr minimum wage for all City and School Department employees. Councilor King has an item asking the Council to show their support for state legislation changing the minimum wage in Massachusetts to $15/hr by 2021.
  • Streets and Sidewalks: Lots of items on these topics as usual. For example: “Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks extend the time the yellow blinking lights flash at the crosswalk in front of 1050 Main St. to give residents with disabilities enough time to cross. (Rivera).”
  • Transporting Students on City Buses: Councilor Bergman has an item asking if we could use city buses to transport students to and from high schools. Councilor Rivera has an item asking if there could be a “youth pass” giving kids access to free or very cheap city bus rides.
  • Boards and Committees: Collins Nuamah is resigning from the Library Board. Hey readers of this newsletter: consider applying for this interesting position!
  • Zoning and Tax Breaks: The Council will finalize rezoning “parcels in the James Street and South Ludlow Street area,” and will approve tax breaks for redevelopment of 49 Canterbury St.

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