Monthly Archives: June 2018

Preview: City Council agenda (June 19)

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

This week: More Notre Dame.

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

  • Public and Private Streets: Augustus Kormah requests the private street Brookside Avenue in West Tatnuck be made a public street.
  • Saving Notre Dame Church: With every passing day this seems even more remote. This week there are 2 citizen petitions on the issue. Randy Feldman wants the city to mothball the church, and do an immediate $10,000 study of the practicality of this. Jonathan Ostrow wonders if the city can preserve its shell “prior to its repurposing.”

This week’s School Committee agenda

On the last day of school for the year, the Worcester School Committee meets for budget and for a regular session. The agenda is here.

They meet to discuss budget at 4 pm. The sequence of accounts is here; they made it through the non-salary accounts at the last meeting, so they’ll pick up with the second page this week. Note that there are a series of responses to questions from the last budget session posted on the regular agenda; this includes further detail on the transportation change in the first and spells out the change in funding allowing for middle school sports in the second. There’s also the traditional “you made these motions during the year to think about during budget; here are the answers” response.

I’m out of town, so you’re on your own on this one.

After executive session (collective bargaining for liaisons, tutors, plumbers and steamfitters, and tradesmen), the regular agenda is taken up at 7pm. There are rounds of congratulations.

The report of the superintendent is presentation of the proposed strategic plan; note that this thus is the administration presenting a proposed plan to the School Committee, whatever rhetoric there has been otherwise. The agenda also has a motion assigning the proposal to subcommittee by section. With these items on the agenda, the time is good to comment on the proposal if you have comments. Public comment in Worcester takes place under a suspension of rules; I would be surprised if that doesn’t happen this week.

There are a series of prior year payments:

  • $3,750.10 made payable to the Milford Maine School District 
  • $16,808.00 to James F. Farr Academy, Inc. for services rendered during a prior fiscal year 
  • $70.00 to JN Philips Auto Glass for repairs to a school bus
  • $3,090.00 to Van Pool Transportation for McKinney-Vento Transportation in June 2017
  • $153, 022.52 to Direct Energy for natural gas payments; finance types, check the backup: there’s a thing there around tracking of prior balances

There are also donations:

  • $125.00 from George’s Coney Island to Woodland Academy 
  • $250.00 from Amica Mutual Insurance Company to Woodland Academy 
  • $250.00 from WEDF to Nelson Place School 
  • $4,455.50 from Unifirst Corporation to Tatnuck Magnet School 
  • $250.00 from WEDF to Belmont Street Community School

Mr. O’Connell is requesting that they review the new science curriculum.

There are several new courses coming through, seeking approval:

Mr. Monfredo is asking “Administration forward a letter to the City Council requesting that it review the proposed zoning regulations for cannabis facilities and reconsider the proposed boundary by making it further than 500 feet away from any school building.” Not sure why the School Committee wouldn’t simply to this itself.

Mr. Comparetto is suggesting a development position be added to the Worcester Public Schools; please see Boston for why Worcester keeps its development outside the administrative structure. 

Mr. O’Connell wants to set up a public participation process for Doherty and Burncoat; watch this one. We’ll be told that all meetings are posted public meetings, but note how few there have been for Doherty (and were for South) compared even to Nelson Place, let alone what happens in other districts. The Worcester way is come back with a fait accompli and say that there are no other options. 

And Mr. O’Connell has an item about JROTC participation in Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day activities, which sounds like someone thinks they got left out.

Remember, if the School Committee doesn’t pass the whole budget before their regular meeting, they’ll stay after the regular agenda to do so then!

Preview: City Council agenda (June 12)

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

This week: More budget, Notre Dame, antipsychotics.

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

  • Budget: If you care about the details of the city’s budget for the next fiscal year, this is a good meeting to attend and speak your mind.
  • $15 million for Notre Dame church: Barbara Haller wants the city to commit as much as $15 million to save Notre Dame church from demolition and turn it into a “multicultural center/performance and event space.” She and Ted Conna also have several items asking the Council to instruct the Manager to buy the building. Last week the mayor made it clear this isn’t going to happen, but the mayor of course is just one vote.
  • Drugs in the water: Councilor Lukes has an item asking the Manager to test “if medications and drugs are in our drinking water,” in particular antipsychotic and antibiotic drugs. I am surprised we don’t already test this from time to time.
  • Sidewalk trees on Pleasant Street: The section of Pleasant Street nearest to downtown is getting new sidewalks this summer. Councilor Rivera has an item asking if there can be some trees added at the same time. I was at a neighborhood meeting last week where a constituent requested Councilor Rivera try to make this happen. This is how stuff gets done.