Monthly Archives: October 2018

Preview: City Council agenda (October 30)

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

This week: A pretty light agenda.

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

  • Sunderland Road Parcel: Councilor Russell would like the city to sell, if possible, the city-owned lot at Sunderland Road and Lake Ave, as well as zone it for single family homes.
  • Auction City Stuff Online: Councilor Russell would like the city to start selling off surplus real estate, equipment, etc. via an online municipal auction service.
  • Craigslist “Safe Trade Station”: Councilor Bergman would like the city to establish areas in the parking lot and lobby of the main police station where people can meet to consummate Craigslist deals.
  • Jones Memorial: Councilor Bergman would like us to have a monument to Edward Davis “The Jones in Dow Jones” Jones.
  • A Beautiful Tree: Councilor Rose would like the city to plan “an eight foot evergreen tree” at Burncoat and Mountain, to make the area nicer and to allow tree-lighting events.

Preview: City Council agenda (October 23)

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

This week: A pretty light agenda.

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

  • Stop Putting Signs in the Newton Square Rotary: The great Paula Bushey and Denise Billotta have a request that the Council prohibit people from putting signs in the Newton Square Rotary. (They are active in maintaining the area.)
  • Recognizing Local Businesses: The great Bill Coleman has two items asking the Council to recognize long-time city businesses. First, “Mark Ruffo, President and Owner of K & N Supply Plumbing & Heating Company of 159 Water St., a Worcester landmark since 1978.” Second, “S. Richard Sachs, his family and employees of A-1 Wholesale Window and Siding Co. for their long time commitment to the City since 1949.”
  • Boards and Commissions: Lowell Alexander will be reappointed to the Civic Center Commission. The Council will vote whether to reappoint Stephen Stolberg to the Commission on Disabilities, and Patrick Hare to the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board.
  • 521 Sunderland Road: The Manager would like the Council to authorize the city to sell a 2,881 square foot parcel there to a private person for $3,800.
  • Development Tax Breaks: The Manager has an update on our current Tax Incentive Financing deals, which he credits with generating $300 million in investment and 1,700 jobs. This particular report doesn’t outline the extent of the tax breaks themselves.
  • Hazardous Waste Collection Day: This will be Saturday, November 3, 2018, 9:00am–12:00pm. If you make an appointment to make a dropoff (1065 Millbury Street, 508-929-1300) you can give the city your hazardous waste to be disposed of in a responsible manner.
  • Leaf Collection: The city begins leaf collection November 5. All the details are here.

Preview: City Council agenda (October 2)

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

This week: A pretty light agenda.

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

  • Skate Park: Councilor Rosen has an item asking for “a public hearing on the progress being made in discussions between the city administration and the local skateboarding community as both parties work together to find an acceptable, affordable and safe site for a new skate park.”
  • Let’s Get Those Streets Fixed: Councilor Rosen has an item asking the City Manager to change the process of writing contracts for street or sidewalk repair, such that the contractors would “complete their work in a reasonable length of time.” If we can find such a solution, I think it would revolutionize the practice of construction worldwide.
  • Live-Streaming Meetings: Councilor King wants to know if the city is any closer to being able to livestream city meetings and events on social media.
  • Trans Rights: Councilors King, Mero-Carlson, Rivera, and Rose would like the Council to endorse ballot question 3, which would preserve transgender rights in the state. This was held over from last week’s meeting.

This week’s School Committee agenda

The report of the Superintendent is on “Innovation Pathways” (and it’s impossible to miss that someone else put this PowerPoint together and got it scanned), which looks like an extention of the vo-tech paths within the district; non-Tech kids are being bussed to Tech to take four sorts of vocational programs after school.

There are resignations, hires, transfers, as per usual this time of year. There are also congratulations of various sorts.

Mr. Monfredo is requesting a report on Buddy Benches, the Middle School Kindness Challenge, and a comparison of Worcester with other Gateways and Boston on financial aid, assessments, dropout rate, graduation rate, chronic absenteeism. With the exception of financial aid, if one assumes he means college aid, that would more or less be the report that Mr. O’Connell should probably request instead. 

Mr. O’Connell is requesting a report on 2018 MCAS scores; two thoughts: one would expect that to be this week’s report of the superintendent, and one might do better requesting a report on accountability results. 

Miss McCullough is asking for a report on ALICE training to include I’m not Scared…I’m Prepared programming.

Miss Biancheria would like a report on transportation that was moved to Fremont Street (the new full-size buses run from there, as the WPS-operated special ed buses always have), a report on those ten new buses, and a report on snow removal equipment (is this going to be a list of snowblowers at every school?).

And Mr. Foley has the following:

Request that the Administration consider the implications of excessive heat and humidity upon the learning environment in the classrooms and the schools without air conditioning and the adverse conditions for students, teachers and staff. The Administration should develop a policy to be followed when the city has experienced consecutive days of excessive heat and humidity and the conditions in many of the schools are intolerable.

There is a request to approve a prior year payment $2,060.20 to a parent for transportation of a McKinney-Vento student.

There is a request to accept:

  • a Project Lead the Way grant for $7500 (for “higher-order thinking”) at Jacob Hiatt Magnet
  • $399.21 from Lifetouch to Lake View School –
  • $50.00 from American Income Life Insurance Company to Belmont Street Community School
  • $24.50 from American Income Life Insurance Company to Tatnuck Magnet Elementary School
  • $515.16 from Lifetouch to Woodland Academy
  • – to Worcester Technical High School:- $5,920.00 from Sarah Daniels Pettit & William O Pettit, Jr Fund/Greater Worcester Community Foundation

    – $560.00 from Saul A. Seder Fund/Greater Worcester Community Foundation for participation in Skills USA

    – $291.00 from Thurston E. Solomon & Everett J. Morter Memorial Fund/Greater Worcester Community Foundation for participation in Skills USA

    – $500.00 from Air-Tite Products Co., Inc./Mr. & Mrs. Neil Garnache to be used as a scholarship for a student who will be furthering their education beyond high school in memory of Donald P. Garnache, graduate of Boys’ Trade

  • – to Worcester Arts Magnet:- $100.00 from various donors to be used for Chromebook licenses

    – $500.00 from JMH Solutions

  • – to support the Exhilarate Worcester Initiative at Woodland Academy:- $4,414.65 from various donors

    – $125.00 from On the Rise Baking

    – $500.00 from Blaine Warren Advertising

    – $750.00 from Commonwealth of MA Mid-District District Attorney’s Office

The administration is also requesting the school committee approve a five year lease for Chromebooks and a six year lease on desktops and such.And there are some new nurses to approve the hire of.

They’ve also once again posted a non-specific executive session, which isn’t cricket.

7 pm, City Hall. If an item is on the agenda, members of the public may request a suspension of the rules in order to speak to the item.