CITY OF WORCESTER

JOURNAL OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Esther Howland Chamber

Convened: 7:00 P.M.

Adjourned: 8:21 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

City Manager
Michael V. O'Brien

City Auditor
James A. DelSignore

Councilors

Tony Economou William J. Eddy
Michael J. Germain Konstantina B. Lukes
Joseph C. O'Brien Philip P. Palmieri City Clerk
David J. Rushford
Sarai Rivera Frederick C. Rushton
George J. Russell Kathleen M. Toomey
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


1.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

2.

STAR SPANGLED BANNER - DOHERTY MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL MADRIGAL SINGERS

3.

ROLL CALL - All present with the Mayor in the Chair except for Councilors O'Brien and Rushton. Councilors O'Brien and Rushton arrived at 7:15 P.M.

4.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES

4a.

Order - That the City Council of the City of Worcester hereby approves the minutes of the City Council meeting of January 24, 2012.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

5.

ITEMS OF CITIZEN INTEREST

6.

ITEMS OF DEPARTMENTAL OR EMPLOYEE INTEREST

7.

PETITIONS

7a.

Thomas & Lori Costello request abatement of street betterment assessment #25026 in the amount of $9,126.00 for Zoar St.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

7b.

Thomas & Lori Costello request abatement of street betterment assessment #24972 in the amount of $17,375.40 for Dupuis Ave.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

7c.

Hery Nelson & Vera Ampofoah request abatement of street betterment assesment #25023 in the amount of $11,863.80 for Zoar St.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

7d.

Michelle Owusu request abatement of street betterment assessment # 24937 in the amount of $638.52 for Erie Ave.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

7e.

Mayor Joseph M. Petty and Councilor Philip P. Palmieri on behalf of Ana Rodriguez request repainting of the crosswalk and installation of advisory signage in advance of the crosswalk located in Lincoln St. at the intersection with Shaffner St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7f.

Theresa Porcaro et al request to remove handicap parking space in front of 201 Dana Ave.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7g.

Nicholas Zavras requests to rescind the handicap parking space on the Harvard St. side of 18 Walnut St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7h.

Susan Moran request to install a handicap parking space in front of 41 Mann St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7i.

Mary Wangeci Mbugua, et al request to install two handicap parking spaces on the Channing St. side of 12A Mount Vernon St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

8.

COMMUNICATION OF THE CITY CLERK

8a.

Transmitting communication expanding upon the newspaper article regarding the human error factor which occurred in the city's recount.

Attachments

Councilor Lukes moved to to Table this Under Privilege Tabled Under Privilege - Lukes

 

9.

CHAIRMAN'S ORDERS

9a.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Request the City Manager request Vanguard to provide the City Council with details of their parking needs at their future CitySquare site beyond the 127 spaces they will lease from Unum in the east garage.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9b.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Request the City Manager request Berkeley Investments for their vision for development of parcels D and E at the time the street grid is completed on January 1, 2013.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9c.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Request the City Manager request the City Solicitor for legal input concerning a minimum goal of 50% employment for Worcester County residents.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9d.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Request the City Manager provide the City Council with a list of the cities and towns that comprise Worcester County.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9e.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Request the City Manager to take the necessary actions to have the several pedestrian street crossings in the new CitySquare street grid equipped with audible crossing devices.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9f.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS - Request City Manager request the City Solicitor provide the City Council with a statutory explanation as to whether or not a street or sewer betterment must be paid-in-full at the time the assessed party conveys the property to a new owner, or, if that assessment may carry forward to the new owner.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9g.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS - Request City Manager request the City Solicitor to provide the City Council with a legal opinion concerning whether or not the 20,000 square foot lot threshold may result in arbitrary and capricious valuations and is a statutorily required designation.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9h.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING - Request the City Manager consider installing a curb cut and crosswalk with flashing light in Foster Street mid-block between Commercial Street and Major Taylor Boulevard.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

10.

ORDERS

10a.

Request City Manager communicate with the Boston and Main Railroad and request that they institute a continuous plan for upkeep of their highly visible railroad property that runs parallel to West Boylston Street especially from the Greendale Mall northerly. (Economou, Petty)

Attachments

Councilor Economou moved to amend: Further, request City Manager work to eliminate the blight behind the Eagle statue on West Boylston Street. Order adopted as amended

 

10b.

Request the Standing Committee on Public Service & Transportation to hold a public hearing and invite representatives from National Grid and the Department of Public Utilities to discuss the trimming of trees around electrical power lines and informing the city administration when power outages take place in the City of Worcester. (Palmieri, Toomey, Economou, Eddy, Rushton, O'Brien, Rivera, Russell, Lukes, Petty)

Attachments

Order adopted and Referred to the Public Service and Transportation Committee

 

10c.

Request the Worcester School Committee review the parking situation at the Gates Lane School on Main Street and pursue options including negotiating with the owner of the Webster Square Plaza to allow staff to park at the plaza in order to alleviate the current congestion in and around Holland Road, Catalpa Street and Wentworth Street that creates an unsafe pedestrian situation. (Eddy)

Attachments

Councilor Eddy moved to amend: Further, request City Manager and the Superintendent of Schools report back to City Council plans to alleviate the parking situation. Councilor O'Brien moved to amend: Further, request City Manager and Superintendent of Schools consider revisiting the plan to expanded circular driveway at Gates Lane School which would add parking and allow buses to maneuver in and out of the school and further, provide City Council with costs to implement this plan. Councilor Toomey moved to amend: Further, request City Manager provide the School Committee with Bennett Field plan. Order adopted as amended

 

10d.

Request City Manager work with the Parks Commission in designating public land as a dog park by July 1, 2012. (Rushton)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

10e.

Request the Standing Committee on Education work with the counterpart standing committee of the School Committee to develop a master plan for renovation of public school buildings. (Petty)

Attachments

Mayor Petty moved to amend: Further, request the Committees provide City Council with the master plan within 90 days. Councilor Rivera moved to amend: Further, request the Committees consider University Park Campus School when developing the master plan for improving infrastructure. Councilor Toomey moved to amend: Further, request the Committees develop a plan to improve technology within the schools and find funding for these improvements. Order adopted as amended and Referred to Education Committee

 

10f.

DECREE TO MAKE PUBLIC: HEATH STREET

Attachments

Order adopted on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and 0 Nays (Germain absent)

 

11.

COMMUNICATIONS

11a.

Michael V. O'Brien, City Manager, transmitting informational communication relative to District Improvement Financing (DIF) Amendments.

Attachments

Councilor Rushton moved to table the item. Tabled - Rushton

 

11b.

Michael V. O'Brien, City Manager, transmitting informational communication relative to Crime Statistics for the Calendar Year 2011 in the City of Worcester.

Attachments

Referred to Public Safety Committee

 

12.

RESOLUTION

12a.

That the City Council of the City of Worcester hereby recognizes and extends its deepest gratitude and appreciation to Herbert H. Adams for his lifetime dedication to community, city and nation. (Economou, Petty)

Attachments

Resolution adopted on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays

 

13.

REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS

13a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the City's Triennial Revaluation: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

13b.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting an update relative to the triennial revaluation process and data collection and analysis for commercial properties: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

14.

REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS

14a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Petition of Michael & Janet Bresnahan request abatement of street betterment assessment #24988 in the amount of $10,126.87 for Julien Ave.: recommend adoption of the accompanying order for a partial abatement in the amount of $9,825.97 resulting in a new assessment of $300.90.

Attachments

Accepted & Adopted on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays

 

14b.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Report of the Planning Board upon the Petition of Paul Mungovan et al request to make public Dexter St.: recommend adoption of the accompanying Order.

Attachments

Accepted & Adopted

 

14c.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the Flooding that Occurred in the Green Island Neighborhood on September 8, 2011: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

14d.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the City Ordinance Addressing Public Sidewalk Snow Removal: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

14e.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Proposed Ordinance amending Chapter 12 Section 23 of the Revised Ordinances of 2008 relative to Sidewalk Snow Removal: recommend Proposed Ordinance be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

14f.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the Construction Progress Report for the Quarter Ending, September 30, 2011: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

14g.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Report of the Planning Board upon the Petition of Michael Lanava request to make public the private portion of Oriol Dr: recommend Report and Petitioner be given leave to withdraw.

Attachments

Accepted

 

14h.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Petition of Russell Haims request the stone property marker at the corner of Claremont St. be removed as it is in the middle of sidewalk: recommend Petitioner be given leave to withdraw.

Attachments

Accepted

 

14i.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Petition or Councilor William J. Eddy request sidewalk repair in front of 15 and 17 Herbert Rd.: recommend Petitioner be given leave to withdraw.

Attachments

Accepted

 

15.

REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRAFFIC & PARKING

15a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING Upon the Petition of Susan Price request handicap parking space in front of 25 Windsor St.: recommend Petition be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

15b.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING Upon the Petition of Patrick Mongeau request additional handicap parking spaces around 340 Main St.: recommend Petition be placed on file

Attachments

Accepted

 

15c.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING Upon the Petition of Petition of Ronald Donnelly of CBRE Facilities request two "No Parking" signs on each side of the entrance at 40 Crescent St.: recommend Petition be placed on file

Attachments

Accepted

 

15d.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING Upon the Petition of Annie Walters request installation of a handicap parking space in front of 61 Dorchester St.: recommend Petitioner be given leave to withdraw

Attachments

Accepted

 

15e.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING Upon the Communication of the City Manager recommend adoption of an Ordinance to Amend Section 45 of Chapter 13 of the Revised Ordinances of 2008 to Install a Passenger Zone in Front of the Worcester Superior Court House, Located at 225 Main Street and Further Recommend that Section 42 of Chapter 13 be Amended to Install Two Parking Spaces to be Reserved for Trial Court Vans in Front of the Worcester Superior Court House Located at 225 Main Street.: recommend Communication be denied

Attachments

Accepted

 

16.

TABLED UNDER PRIVILEGE

16a.

Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to an update on the status of #5 May Street. (Tabled - O'Brien January 31, 2012)

Attachments

No Action Taken

 

17.

TABLED ITEMS

17a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING Upon the Petition of Councilor Philip P. Palmieri and State Representative Vincent Pedone request to install a trailer truck ban in Mulberry St. between Shrewsbury St. and East Central St.: recommend the passage of the accompanying proposed Ordinance. (Tabled - Petty June 8, 2010)

Attachments

No Action Taken

 

17b.

RESOLUTION of Mayor Joseph C. O'Brien - That the City Council of the City of Worcester hereby goes on record in support Senate Bill 610, an act protecting condominium owners filed by Senator Harriette Chandler and Senator Richard Moore. (Tabled - O'Brien July 19, 2011)

Attachments

No Action Taken

 

17c.

ORDER of Mayor Joseph C. O'Brien - Request City Manager report to City Council concerning the legal authority that college police officers have in patrolling non campus areas of the city and in questioning non-students as part of off campus patrols. (Tabled - O'Brien September 6, 2011)

Attachments

No Action Taken

 

17d.

RESOLUTION of Mayor Joseph C. O'Brien - That the City Council of the City of Worcester hereby goes on record in support of the Administrationís efforts to negotiate the maximum hiring of local residents in Tax Increment Financing agreements and other tools used to attract business and to expand our tax base. (Tabled - O'Brien September 13, 2011)

Attachments

No Action Taken

 

18.

NEW BUSINESS UNDER SUSPENSION OF RULES

18a.

Motion Lukes @ #10b CC - Request City Manager request from the Department of Public Utilities the documented history of blackouts in the City of Worcester and what the DPU has done in terms of oversight such as mandated fines when there is a lapse in service.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

18b.

Councilor Rushton, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, requested the following Report and Chairman's Order be submitted for consideration:

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Upon the Communication of the City Manager Request Certain City Council Actions in Regard to the CitySquare Downtown Development Project: recommend adoption of the accompanying Resolution and Order

Attachments

Councilor Rushton moved to Table this Under Priviledge. Tabled Under Privilege - Rushton

 

18c.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Request City Manager request Consigli Construction Company to report to the City Council concerning efforts towards the furtherance of meeting or even exceeding employment thresholds for Worcester County residents in the City Square project.

Attachments

Councilor Rushton moved to Table this Under Priviledge. Tabled Under Privilege - Rushton

 

18d.

Motion O'Brien @ #11a CC - Request City Manager request the City Solicitor provide a legal opinion as to whether or not the city can require a certain participation of minorities, women and low income residents in voting on publicly funded construction projects by February 14, 2012 City Council meeting.

Councilor Lukes moved to amend: Further, request the City Solicitor define the difference between a goal and a requirement in establishing thresholds for employing women, minorities and low income residents in publicly funded projects.

Councilor Eddy moved to amend: Further, request City Manager report to City Council the cities and towns who have been able to institute a residency requirement in publicly funded projects and what are they doing differently.

Attachments

Order adopted as amended

 

18e.

Motion Toomey @ #11b CC - Request City Manager explore with the MA Insurance Commission if the zone designation for Worcester used to establish auto insurance rates may be changed due to the decrease in the reported number of stolen vehicles.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

18f.

Motion Russell @ #11b CC - Request the Police Chief assign command staff to attend Crime Watch meetings throughout the city on a random basis.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

18g.

Motion O'Brien - Suspension of Rules - Request City Manager provide City Council with an update regarding the Brown Square Fire Barn status and city plans and if a rehabbed canteen truck may be stationed there.

Attachments

Order adopted