Monthly Archives: May 2018

Preview: City Council agenda (May 15)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday at 6:30pm. The agenda is here.

This week: The budget begins, foul balls, Notre Dame.

If you know of anyone else who’d like to get our weekly preview via email, the link is here.

  • Zoning: Agrand Realty LLC would like 223 Greenwood St (in Quinsig Village, adjacent to Rand Whitney) rezoned from single family residential to manufacturing. This matter will now go before the Planning Board.
  • Notre Dame des Canadiens: Ted Conna (et al) have a bunch of proposals for the City Council, which if the Council approved them would help the effort to preserve this striking downtown church, currently long-vacant and scheduled for demolition.
  • Rectangular Fields: Cassie Giardina would like the city to allocate funding for rectangular sports fields as in the Tacoma St. and Great Brook Valley Master Plans.
  • The Destructive Foul Balls of Vernon Hill Park: Councilor Rosen would like “additional steps” taken at the Verning Hill Park baseball field “to prevent foul balls from striking and damaging the homes and parked cars of neighbors on adjacent Ames Street.”
  • Better Dump Access: Councilor Russell would like the city to consider letting people drop off large items and yellow bags of trash at the Millbury St DPW facility without making an appointment.
  • Garbage Can Ads: Councilor Russell would like a private company to maintain our public trash cans and fund this by putting ads on the trash cans.
  • Let’s Not Crack Down So Hard On Flavored Tobacco: Councilor Bergman would like the Board of Health to hold back on restricting flavored tobacco sales to adult-only establishments, and instead consider other measures, like prohibiting the display of these products.
  • Rideshare Money for Experimental Transit: So the city gets like ten cents for every Uber or Lyft ride originating in Worcester. For 2017, this was $85,000. Councilor Lukes would like the WRTA to spend this money to develop “pilot programs for alternative and innovative modes of transportation in place of the current transportation services and to include evaluation tools to measure the effectiveness of the pilot program.”
  • Local Labor to Build South High?: The Mayor would like to know if the city can negotiate that local labor be used to build (the new) South High, and would also like to know more about our options for Doherty High.
  • The Budget: The City Manager has proposed a $650 million budget. The Council can now theoretically make some changes to this.
  • Rezoning 5 Reeves St: The Planning Board likes the proposal to clean up the zoning around 5 Reeves St., extending the amount that is residential and excluding all of it from the Commericial Corridors Overlay District. This proposal now goes to the Economic Development Committee for more debate.
  • Public and Private Streets: The Planning Board likes the proposal to make the private Weldon Street a public street. This now goes to the Public Works Committee for more debate.

This week’s School Committee Agenda

The agenda is posted here.

There are recognitions and such.

The report of the Superintendent is “An Overview of the Process for District Site Visits” and I don’t know what that means.

Teaching, Learning, and Student Supports is meeting Monday afternoon and is reporting out (on gifted programs, ice hockey, Mandarin Chinese, summer programs, and the future teachers’ program at Worcester State).

There will be (only one is posted) responses from administration on free drivers’ ed and on Earth Day.

Miss McCullough is requesting a report on vocational programs not at Worcester Tech.

Mr. O’Connell wants to appropriate the funding the state has allocated for students evacuated due to Hurricane Maria; he’s going to be told that they’ll do that at the FY19 budget hearing, as that’s been said several times. 

Mr. O’Connell (co-sponsored by five other members of the committee) has an item: “review the recommendations of the proposed Strategic Plan and assign them to appropriate Standing Committees of the School Committee, and/or to the Administration, for further analysis, consideration, discussion, and development.” Two things: that puts the strategic plan on the agenda (important if you’d like to comment) and sets up a committee public process of review (which we haven’t had so far).

Mr. O’Connell also wants to set up an English Learner Parent Advisory Council, per the LOOK bill; maybe we should have regulations first. Comments are due this Friday! 

There is a request for approval of a prior fiscal year payment of $1,496.50 for services rendered to a Special Education student who was placed in the Uxbridge Public Schools.

There is a request that the Committee accept donations of:

 – $4,000.00 from the WEDF for the Leap Program in collaboration with the Worcester Art Museum

– $250.00 from donors to Heard Street Discovery Academy for the purchase of a new classroom rug

– $1,000.00 from donors to a Doherty Memorial High School football player in memory of Thomas Walles

– $1,000.00 from Alliance Energy LLC to Grafton Street School

– $1,000.00 from a Foundation to the Goddard Scholars Academy for the purchase of a tuba for the their Band

– to Woodland Academy:

– $122.31 from CEC Entertainment Inc.
– $250.00 from the College of the Holy Cross

– $2,583.87 from the City of Worcester for being selected as a recipient of a Worcester Arts Council 2018 Award for their project “Making the Impossible Possible”

– to Tatnuck Magnet School:

– $4.50 from Box Tops for Education
– $85.00 from various donors
– $300.00 from I.U.O.E Local No. 4 Social Action Committee
– $500.00 from Country Bank

There is a request for approval of a High-Quality Instruction grant of $20,000 for working groups on curriculum.

There is an annoucement about Reading in our City week from Mr. Monfredo.

Mr. Comparetto has three related items on middle school sports: one on partnering with Recreation Worcester, and two on reports.

There is also (THIS IS IMPORTANT) a request that the committee accept a donation and approve an agreement with/from Berkshire Bank, successor to Commerce, of $500,000 for naming rights to Foley Stadium (extending the agreement) and replacing the turf field.

There is a non-specific posting around collective bargaining and/or litigation for executive session.