Monthly Archives: April 2019

Preview: City Council agenda (April 2)

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

This week: Lodging, rectangular fields.

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

  • Airbnb: The Council will likely ask the City Manager to come up with a plan for collecting the various taxes the city can levy on Airbnbs (“the 3% Community Impact Fee and the 6% hotel-motel tax for short term rentals”).
  • Four Unrelated People: Councilor Bergman, in the spirit of making housing more affordable, has proposed that the city allow more than 3 unrelated people to live in certain units, without those then being subject to costly “lodging house” requirements. The Council has a couple related items this week, asking for clarification on “lodging houses” and for a legal opinion as to whether relevant Boston ordinances could be adopted by Worcester. In slightly related items, Councilor Wally wants the city to keep a list of all non-owner-occupied units, so the city could keep a special eye on substandard situations in absentee landlord buildings.
  • Rectangular Fields: AKA soccer fields. Councilor Rose has an item asking the city to build a soccer field “adjacent to the Roberto Clemente baseball/softball field on the Northeast Cutoff.”
  • Pretending to Be the School Committee: Councilor Lukes wants the Council to “endorse” police being stationed in public buildings, particularly schools. I never understand why the Council so often feels bored with non-school business and attempts to be the School Committee. Mayor Petty has a previously-tabled item in which the city’s lawyers make clear that the City Council is not the School Committee.

Worcester School Committee meets Thursday

Here’s an angry/sarcastic/opinionated agenda preview cross-posted from Tracy’s blog.

Let me note by the way that we’ve entered the biannual “city council takes up school committee items” that happens every election year; that was last week, but there are more items on this week’s agenda. We’re also seeing the school committee agenda flooded with items, as happens every election year. That’ll get a lot of reports generated (maybe) but it doesn’t get work done.

In any case, the Governance subcommittee has a meeting scheduled this week on Tuesday (it says Thursday, but I’m going to guess the date is what’s right) with a number of items that…look like they belong in finance? However both a possible lunch policy and adherence to the recess policy are the agenda, which I know is of interest to many.

As a side note, having to click through means one can miss meetings; Teaching, Learning, and Student Support met on March 20. This report on Hanover Academy raises more questions than it answer. There was also a report on snow day remote learning (which looks mostly as though it is another copy of DESE’s information on it).

The full Committee meets Thursday. The agenda is here. The superintendent’s report is on AVID.

The mostly-online back and forth over a post by Mr. Comparetto (see the first Worcesteria item here) is being taken up by the EAW president Roger Nugent, who calls Mr. Comparetto’s comment “racist.”

Mr. Nugent is also requesting additional speech and language pathologists.

There are appointments and recognitions.

The same backup is coming back on online grading and has anyone yet asked about doing it in house?

Mr. O’Connell is suggesting the use of Confronting White Nationalism in Schools: A toolkit. I’ll just leave that there.

Somehow we’re still seeing prior year payments, this one for $60.00 to the LearnWell for in-district tutoring.

There is a request that the committee accept a donation of $5,700 from the Goddard Scholars Academy PTO for Chromebooks.

Mr. Monfredo is collecting books and suggests that administrators highlight programs in their schools during the report of the superintendent.

Miss McCullough is proposing “Adulting Days.”

Oddly, Mr. Monfredo and others are suggesting now that the Committee send a letter requesting “Foundation Funding Bill that would benefit the GateWay Cities,” which is odd coming from a committee that received the clear comparisons they did.

There is a request for dates and times of spring cleanups.

Mr. Comparetto is proposing: district school committee seats; mentorship opportunities; a report on teacher diversity; a grow your own teacher program; a report on One City, One Library; a report on farm-to-school programs; an internship program; a moratorium on high-stakes testing; a report on progress of the strategic plan; a request for additional budget hearings; a report on wraparound coordinators; an update on immunizations; after school and out of school programming.

Mr. O’Connell is asking for information on

Miss Biancheria is asking for a report on “Stand for the Silent.”

And there is an executive session on a grievance, a workers comp case, possible litigation around a teacher, and Jane Doe v the Worcester Public Schools.