Preview: City Council agenda (February 26)

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

This week: The last meeting was cancelled, so lots of stuff you’ve read about before.

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

  • Zoning: The Council will likely vote to rezone 223 Greenwood St. from a current designation of single-family residential to light manufacturing. There is a request to make 35 & 33 Wachusett Street zoned for business and part of the Commercial Corridor Overlay District.
  • Public and Private Streets: There are requests to make the private streets Riedl Place, Forkey Ave, and Sherer Trail public streets.
  • Police Body Cameras: Gordon Davis would like the Council to “establish policies for the use of police body cameras.” The city’s most recent union agreement with our police should have them starting a body camera pilot program this year. If you are not happy with the language in that agreement or would like more specifics this would be a good meeting to make some comments. (I don’t know anything about the specifics here.)
  • Violating Open Meeting Law: The Council will likely request the city’s lawyers opine as to whether Council subcommittees can do site visits if part of the site is not open to the public, or whether that would be a violation of open meeting law. Last meeting, at the prompting of Councilor King, the Council asked for a legal opinion as to whether we could get the state legislature to exempt the Worcester City Council from open meeting law. (This sounds crazy but this is what the minutes say, maybe this was misstated in the minutes.)
  • Network TV in Worcester: Councilor Rosen would like the Manager “to be taken to bring a network-affiliated television station to the resurgent City of Worcester.” Note that traditional television and especially network-affiliated television would seem to be on the decline nationally.
  • The Revenue of the Renaissance: Councilor Lukes would like a report from the manager as to whether we are seeing more property taxes the last couple years “resulting from the Worcester Renaissance.”
  • A Town, A City: Evan Corrigan requests that we start preparing for February 29, 2020 as “Worcester Day.” Since we were chartered a city on Leap Day, this is the closest thing to a 200th anniversary we are going to have.
  • Boards, Commissions, and Appointments: Michael Curtis will be appointed a constable, Mitchell Perry will be appointed to the Worcester Arts Council, and Chareese Allen will be appointed to the Board of Health. The Council will vote on appointing Carol Stovall to the Citizens Advisory Council.
  • Airbnb: A report from the city’s lawyer notes that there is now statewide regulation of Airbnbs and the like, including up to 9% taxes and the option for cities to pass their own regulations.

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