CITY OF WORCESTER

JOURNAL OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Council Chamber

Convened: 7:02 P.M.

Recessed to Finance Committee: 8:14 P.M.
Adjourned from Finance Committee and Reconvened to Regular Session: 9:05 P.M.
Adjourned: 9:10 P.M.


Mayor
Konstantina B. Lukes

 

www.worcesterma.gov

City Manager
Michael V. O'Brien

City Auditor
James A. DelSignore

Councilors

Paul P. Clancy Jr. William J. Eddy
Michael J. Germain Barbara G. Haller
Philip P. Palmieri Joseph M. Petty City Clerk
David J. Rushford
Gary Rosen Frederick C. Rushton
Joffrey A. Smith Kathleen M. Toomey
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


1.

INVOCATION - Pastor Rob Ginsburg, First Alliance Church of Worcester

2.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

3.

STAR SPANGLED BANNER - ALEXANDRA MILLS

4.

ROLL CALL - All present except Councilor Toomey and the Mayor in the Chair

5.

ITEMS OF CITIZEN INTEREST

5a.

The City Council of the City of Worcester hereby expresses condolences to the family of Arthur Sullivan who recently passed away. - Introduced in City Council by Councilor Michael J. Germain The City Council of the City of Worcester hereby expresses condolences to the family of Al Cotton, former City Council member, who recently passed away. - Introduced in City Council by Mayor Konstantina B. Lukes

 

6.

ITEMS OF DEPARTMENTAL OR EMPLOYEE INTEREST

7.

PETITIONS

7a.

Councilor William J. Eddy request that street lighting be installed in Howe Avenue between the parking lot of the Congregational Church and the terminus of this new street.

Attachments

Referred to Public Service and Transportation Committee

 

7b.

Councilor Paul P. Clancy Jr. request to repair the sidewalk and piping that is protruding from the sidewalk in the vicinity of 17 Euclid Ave.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

7c.

Mayor Konstantina B. Lukes on behalf of Shyam Sharma request to change the name of Institute Rd., running from 45 to 65 Institute Rd., to Institute Road Way.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

7d.

Scott Babbitt request the sidewalk be reconstructed and widened on Belmont St., from Bell Pond to the entrance to Seabury Heights.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

7e.

Henry Rouba request that the City of Worcester implement a snow ban violators accounting system.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

7f.

Marion Moriarty request to remove handicap parking space at 34 Florence St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7g.

Laura Shugart request one of the handicap parking signs in front of 51 Beaver St. be removed.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7h.

Mayor Konstantina B. Lukes on behalf of Shyam Sharma request to exempt the horseshoe portion of Institute Rd. from the mandates of the winter parking ban.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7i.

Paulette Lacoste request to build an ice skating rink in Crompton Park.

Attachments

Referred to Youth, Parks and Recreation Committee

 

7j.

NATIONAL GRID & VERIZON NEW ENGLAND, INC. for joint or identical pole relocation in: WEST BOYLSTON ST.

Attachments

Hearing set for February 12, 2008 - 7:00 P.M.

 

8.

ORDERS

8a.

Request the City Manager communicate with the Massachusetts Highway Department to request that they comprehensively remove snow from the sidewalks that are their responsiblity, in the interest of the public's safety, especially in West Tatnuck along the westerly side of Pleasant St. so that children do not need to walk in the roadway that is a busy state highway. (Eddy)

Attachments

Motion Eddy to amend: Further, request City Manager review the sidewalk snow removal policy as it relates to state highways and consider the city plowing unshoveled public ways and bill the appropriate owners. Motion Lukes to amend: Further, request City Manager request the City Solicitor provide a legal opinion. Motion Eddy to amend: Further, request report within two weeks for the next City Council meeting. Order adopted as amended

 

8b.

Request City Manager forward a report to City Council listing the highest 250 wage earners for the year 2007. (Lukes)

Attachments

Motion Haller to amend: Further, request City Manager include in the listing a category that would designate those wage earners who are part of the Executive Management. Motion Lukes to amend: Further, request a separate category for off duty earnings for police officers so that the list of highest wage earnings will reflect only salaries from tax levy monies. Order Adopted as amended

 

8c.

Request City Manager provide a status report on the implementation of the Climate Action Plan. (Lukes)

Attachments

Motion Lukes to amend: Further, request City Manager include this status report as a regular item in the monthly Economic Development Report. Order adopted as amended

 

8d.

Request City Manager communicate with Wyman Gordon Company regarding maintaining and upgrading its parcel located on the Madison Ave. boundary to improve the aesthetic appearance of the neighborhood. (Lukes, Palmieri, Haller)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

8e.

Request City Manager report on the EPA's recent announcement of the 18.2 million dollar compliance costs of pending draft storm water permit. (Lukes, Palmieri)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

8f.

Request City Manager prepare special legislation for a home rule petition under section 100 of Massachusetts pension benefits for Worcester firefighter Mark Stomski who suffered catastrophic injury on duty causing irreversible heart and lung damage. (Clancy, Petty, Palmieri, Rushton, Toomey, Smith, Rosen, Haller, Eddy, Germain, Lukes)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

8g.

Request City Manager contact Verizon in order to determine if and when FiOS television service would become available in Worcester. (Palmieri, Clancy)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

8h.

Request City Manager report to City Council on the shortest term possible for a new cable contract and respectfully consider that no contract be longer than a five year period. (Palmieri, Clancy)

Attachments

Motion Rushton to amend: Further, request City Manager report to City Council if Charter argues that a shorter contract could result in substantial increase in prices. Mayor Lukes suspended the rules to allow Mauro DiPasquale, a Worcester resident, to speak. Order adopted as amended

 

8i.

Request City Manager report to City Council on the feasibility of having language in the storm water permit with EPA that sets a limit to the costs associated with mandates, and further pursue language that would have EPA stand by their own estimates of costs. (Clancy)

Attachments

Motion Lukes to amend: Further, request City Manager provide City Council with the specific language that is at issue so City Council may review it. Order Adopted as amended

 

8j.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the number of structure fires, by month, for the period November 2006 through January 2007. (Haller)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9.

COMMUNICATIONS

9a.

James A. DelSignore, City Auditor, transmitting communication relative to Worcester's DCU Center Fund - the Arena Component and Convention Center Component financial statements with supplemental schedules for the years ended June 30, 2007 and 2006 plus the independent auditor's report.

Attachments

Referred to Municipal Operations Committee

 

9b.

Elizabeth A. Early, Executive Secretary, Worcester Retirement Board, transmitting letter of notification that the City of Worcester Retirement Board will consider granting Cost of Living increases to all eligible retirees at a Board Meeting on February 21, 2008.

Attachments

Placed on file

 

9c.

Michael V. O'Brien, City Manager, respectfully recommend transfer of One Hundred Seventy Two Thousand Seven Hundred Eighty One Dollars And Eighty Three Cents ($172,781.83) for Budgeted Pay Raises for Non-Represented Employees.

Attachments

Order adopted on a roll call vote of 8 Yeas and 0 Nays (Palmieri, Petty, Toomey absent) and Referred Municipal Operations Committee for informational purposes only

 

9d.

Michael V. O'Brien, City Manager, request City Council adoption of Salary Ordinance Amendment to Implement the Fiscal Year 2008 Non-Bargaining Unit Employee Wage Package Effective January 1, 2008.

Attachments

Voted to advertise proposed ordinance on a roll call vote of 9 Yeas and 0 Nays (Palmieri, Toomey absent)

 

9e.

Michael V. O'Brien, City Manager, transmitting informational communication relative to a Plan to SAVE our Neighborhoods.

Attachments

Referred to Economic Development Committee

 

9f.

Michael V. O'Brien, City Manager, respectfully request City Councilís adoption of a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to File and Accept Applications for Assistance and to Take Any and All Actions Necessary to Implement an Interdepartmental Strategy for Foreclosure Education, Prevention, Management, and Enforcement.

Attachments

Resolution adopted

 

9g.

Michael V. O'Brien, City Manager, recommend that Sixteen Thousand Dollars And No Cents ($16,000.00) be Transferred from Account # 900-92000, City Manager's Contingency, and be Appropriated to Account # 280-92000, Code Enforcement Ordinary Maintenance, to Fund Relocation Costs Associated with the Displacement of Families Due to Inadequate Heating and Other Utilities.

Attachments

Order adopted on a roll call vote of 9 Yeas and 0 Nays (Palmieri, Toomey absent)

 

9h.

Michael V. O'Brien, City Manager, recommend that Eight Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars And No Cents ($8,700.00) be Transferred from Account # 14S48526, Code Enforcement, and be Appropriated to Account # 14S43626, Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, to Fund Housing Placement Services.

Attachments

Order adopted on a roll call vote of 9 Yeas and 0 Nays (Palmieri, Toomey absent)

 

9i.

Michael V. O'Brien, City Manager, respectfully request City Council Review, Consideration, and Adoption a Reorganization of the Departments, Boards, and Commissions of the City of Worcester.

Attachments

Referred to Municipal Operations Committee

 

10.

RECESSED TO FINANCE COMMITTEE - 8:14 P.M.
RECONVENED TO REGULAR SESSION - 9:05 P.M.

10a.

#8.30A CM July 17, 2007
Communication of the City Manager transmitting the City's Five Year Capital Improvement Program.

Attachments

Held in Finance Committee

 

10b.

#10.37C CM August 14, 2007
Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the Fiscal Year 2008 Budget.

Attachments

Held in Finance Committee

 

10c.

#8.6A CM August 28, 2007
Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication regarding the adoption and implementation of Chapter 32B, Section 18.

Attachments

Held in Finance Committee

 

10d.

#8.28A CM August 28, 2007
Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to a legal opinion as to the City Council's legal jurisdiction and powers regarding the City budget for FY 2008 which has been previously voted by City Council.

Attachments

Held in Finance Committee

 

10e.

#5b CC September 25, 2007
Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication regarding a Financial Update of the Fiscal Year 2008 Budget.

Attachments

Held in Finance Committee

 

10f.

#9a CC December 18, 2007
Communication of the City Auditor transmitting communication relative to the City's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2007.

Attachments

Held in Finance Committee

 

10g.

#8.30A CM December 3, 2007
Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication regarding an update on the City's Five Year Plan and Quarterly Report.

Attachments

Held in Finance Committee

 

10h.

#16a CC January 8, 2008
Communication of the City Auditor transmitting communication relative to the November 2007 Auditor's Report.

Attachments

Held in Finance Committee

 

11.

REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS

11a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication regarding Union Station Parking Garage: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11b.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting information communication regarding the Union Station Garage Memo that was submitted to the City Council and approved on December 5, 2006: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11c.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS Upon the Order of Councilor Frederick C. Rushton - Request City Manager consider outsourcing the management of Workerís Compensation issues similar to the program used by the City of Springfield, where the overall Workerís Compensation costs were reduced by 47%, and in the City of Methuen where a savings of more than $4 million was realized: recommend Order be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11d.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS Upon the Communication of David J. Rushford, City Clerk, transmitting communication relative to the type and extent of information filed with the City Clerk concerning businesses operating in the City of Worcester: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

12.

TABLED ITEMS

12a.

Order of Mayor Timothy P. Murray - That the ordinance relative to the Police Department License Board as it relates to taxi regulations be rescinded. (Tabled - Murray April 25, 2006)

Attachments

No action taken

 

12b.

Communication of the City Manager recommending the Adoption of a Loan Order in the amount of Three Hundred Thousand Dollars And No Cents ($300,000.00) to be appropriated to Account #91C778, Providence Street Tot Lot, for the purpose of funding the construction of the planned playground at Providence Street. (Tabled - Lukes July 17, 2007)

Attachments

No action taken

 

12c.

Grant permission to NATIONAL GRID for conduit system in KANSAS ST. (Tabled - September 18, 2007)

Attachments

No action taken

 

12d.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING Upon the Petition of Daniel Leland request installation of a mirror at the end of Rosamond St. so that he will be able to see vehicles coming around corner: recommend Petition be denied. (Tabled - Clancy January 8, 2008)

Attachments

Motion Clancy - Request to take item off the Table - Approved and Recommitted to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

13.

SUSPENSION OF RULES

13a.

COMMUNICATION - Michael V. O'Brien, City Manager, transmitting informational communication regarding the Five Point January 2008 Financial Plan Update.

Attachments

Referred to Finance Committee

 

13b.

COMMUNICATION - James A. DelSignore, City Auditor, transmitting communication relative to a financial analysis of the City's General Fund and Enterprise Funds.

Attachments

Referred to Finance Committee

 

13c.

Motion Lukes @#8f CC - Request City Manager verify all qualifications and medical status of this particular firefighter and request the City Auditor give a comparison as to the benefits of section 100 IOD and what would be the financial outcome and what any other medical or legal issues that need to be addressed.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

13d.

Motion Petty @ #8g & 8h CC - Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning how Peg Access fees work. (Petty)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

13e.

Motion Rosen @ #8g & 8h CC - Request City Manager consider including language in the new contract that would allow subscribers to purchase cable TV converter boxes rather that rent them from the franchise holder.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

13f.

Motion Petty @ #8g & 8h CC - Request City Manager provide City Council with a report explaining the rules for converting from analog to digital and how Charter plans to implement the changes and provide the rights of the subscribers and associated costs for this conversion.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

13g.

CHAIRMAN'S ORDER FROM THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - Request City Manager provide City Council with a detailed report concerning the reasons for the increase in motor vehicle excise taxes. (Haller)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

13h.

CHAIRMAN'S ORDER FROM THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - Request City Manager submit to City Council a report with the number of trash bags sold last and number sold this year to date as a means to compare and determine the reasons for the decline in trash bag fee revenues (Rushton)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

13i.

CHAIRMAN'S ORDER FROM THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - Request City Manager provide City Council with a report relative to the annual subsidy for trash collection program and projected costs for FY2008. (Clancy)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

13j.

CHAIRMAN'S ORDER FROM THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the plans for implementing the upcoming police class. (Petty)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

13k.

PETITION - Councilor Barbara G. Haller on behalf of Quat Tran, Representative of the Vietnamese Community of Greater Worcester, request to display and hang the Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom Flag during the Vietnamese New Year in front of City Hall February 4, 2008 through February 11, 2008.

Attachments

Approved

 

13l.

PETITION - Councilor Gary S. Rosen on behalf of Jeannine Gemme request sidewalk repair in front of 772 Pleasant St.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

13m.

PETITION - Councilor Joffrey A. Smith on behalf of the Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts request to install private directional signs on public ways.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee