CITY OF WORCESTER

JOURNAL OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Esther Howland Chamber

Convened: 7:00 P.M.

Adjourned: 9:24 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

City Manager
Edward M. Augustus, Jr.

City Auditor
Robert V. Stearns

Councilors

Morris A. Bergman Tony Economou
Michael T. Gaffney Khrystian E. King
Konstantina B. Lukes Candy Mero-Carlson City Clerk
David J. Rushford
Sarai Rivera Gary Rosen
George J. Russell Kathleen M. Toomey
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


1.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE/STAR SPANGLED BANNER

2.

ROLL CALL - All present with the Mayor as chair except for Councilor Rivera

3.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

3a.

At the request of Councilor Sarai Rivera, Mayor Petty recognized Abe Markos of Markos Jewelers for operating Markos Jewelers for 35 years on Main St. and for all his contributions he has made over the years to the city and the kindnesses he has shown to its residents. The Mayor presented to him the “Key to the City” and a Certificate of Recognition.

 

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 19, 2016.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

5.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

5a.

Mayor Petty recognized the following speaker:
1. William Breault, Worcester resident
2. Jo Hart, Worcester resident
3. Wanda Alvarado, Worcester resident
4. Nathan Pickens, Worcester resident

 

6.

FIRST ITEMS OF BUSINESS

6a.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to a presentation on the 2015 annual crime statistics. (Held - Gaffney January 26, 2016)

Attachments

Presented by Deputy Police Chief Steven Sargent and Captain Paul Saucier. Communication Placed on file.

 

6b.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to a presentation on the Gun Buyback Program. (Held - Gaffney January 26, 2016)

Attachments

Mayor Petty moved to Table the item. Tabled - Petty

 

7.

PETITIONS

7a.

Barbara Petrozzi request Bauer St. be resurfaced.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

7b.

Holly Marti request installation of resident permit parking on Merrick St., from Elm St. to Cedar St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7c.

Holly Marti request installation of resident permit parking on Cedar St., from Merrick St. to Russell St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7d.

Charise Canales request traffic study in the Chatham St./Newbury St. area be completed for public safety purposes.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7e.

Councilor Morris A. Bergman request installation of a left hand signal to the traffic device at the intersection of Southbridge St. at Hammond St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7f.

Councilor Morris A. Bergman request installation of a left hand signal to the traffic device at the intersection of Park Ave. at May St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7g.

Councilor Morris A. Bergman on behalf of Jean Nuzzetti request installation of a handicap parking space in front of 12 Normal St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7h.

Jean Munoz request removal of handicap parking space in front of 58 Houghton St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7i.

Jean Munoz request installation of a handicap parking space in front of 53 Penn Ave.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7j.

NATIONAL GRID for conduit locations in: TAINTER ST.

Attachments

Hearing set for February 9, 2016 - 7:00 P.M.

 

7k.

William S. Coleman III request City Council have City Administration have a printed version of our Police Crime Statistics available to the public at all library branches, Clerk's Office and the Senior Center.

Attachments

Petitioner spoke and Referred to the City Manager.

 

7l.

William S. Coleman III request City Council invite all returning soldiers and their families to a City Council meeting and as a first order of business to thank them for their service.

Attachments

Petitioner spoke and Referred to the Veterans' and Military Affairs Committee

 

8.

CHAIRMAN'S ORDERS

8a.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES - Request City Manager provide City Council with information concerning homeless encampments and their locations within the City.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9.

ORDERS

9a.

Request City Manager consider initiating the process for hiring an additional police and fire recruitment class as soon as possible. (Toomey, Petty)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9b.

Request the Police Chief provide Stop Sign enforcement at Crowningshield Rd. as it meets Massasoit Rd. (Russell)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9c.

Request the Standing Committee on Youth, Parks and Recreation invite representatives from Tenacity, Inc. to discuss the progress, success and potential expansion of its Summer Tennis and Reading Program (STRP) which is held free-of-charge for Worcester youth at four city sites. (Rosen)

Attachments

Referred to Youth, Parks and Recreation Committee

 

9d.

Request City Manager report on the 250 highest salaries paid to city employees stating the name, job title and annual salary for the school department and city separately. (Lukes)

Attachments

Councilor Lukes moved to amend to report all employees salaries and further, request report include the budgetary impact of the Health insurance contributions made by the employee groups. Order adopted as amended.

 

9e.

Request City Manager initiate contact with Eastern Coast Hockey League Commissioner Brian McKenna and ECHL Team Owners indicating the City of Worcester's enthusiastic support of Cliff Rucker’s efforts to bring an expansion team to the City. Returning professional hockey to downtown is critically important to continued efforts to support downtown businesses while giving residents affordable entertainment options within the city. (King, Rosen, Mero-Carlson, Gaffney, Russell, Economou)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9f.

Request City Manager provide a report concerning the effectiveness of the Shot Spotter System. (Gaffney)

Attachments

Placed on file

 

9g.

Request City Auditor conduct an audit of the accuracy of the time records submitted by and on the behalf of any and all employees and independent contractors of the Mosaic Cultural Center. (Gaffney)

Attachments

Mayor Petty moved to amend: Since the Attorney General has been requested to review the records of Mosaic Cultural Center, request City Auditor hold off for a month with the audit until the city has received a response from the Attorney General and at that time he can determine if it is necessary to go forward with the requested audit. Order adopted as amended

 

9h.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the 2016 summer anti-crime action plan. (Gaffney, King, Rosen)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9i.

Will present proposals regarding the budget. (Gaffney)

Attachments

Councilor Gaffney moved to Table the item. Tabled - Gaffney

 

9j.

Request City Manager report to City Council concerning the financial health, viability and future of the Simon Property Group's Greendale Mall which is less than 80% occupied and suffering from declining revenues. (Rosen)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9k.

Request City Manager provide City Council with an update report on the progress of the Worcester Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (WAASE). (Rivera)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9l.

Request City Auditor report on the return on investments of the Retirement Board for the past 10 years as reported by Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) and how those returns impact on the city budget, further what the role of the City Auditor is as a member of the Retirement Board and what is the role of the Board's consultant regarding the return on investment and the cost of the Board's consultant. (Lukes)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9m.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the Youth Division of the Public Health and Human Services Department and the work they are doing, some of the accomplishments of the past year and their goals for upcoming year. (Rivera)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9n.

Request the Mayor arrange/coordinate with the City Clerk to mail a letter of sympathy and acknowledgement of appreciation for military service to the next of kin of local deceased veterans. (Bergman)

Attachments

Referred to Veterans' and Military Affairs Committee

 

10.

REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

10a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Upon the Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of William Sylvester and Paul Towler request the BG-2 zone be extended to include the entire parcel at 1023 Main St., the American Legion Main South Post 341: recommend passage of the accompanying proposed Ordinance.

Attachments

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

 

10b.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Upon the Communication of the City Manager recommend adoption of a resolution to designate 33 and 57 Southgate Street as a Certified Project and approve a Tax Increment Financing Plan for the property: recommend adoption of the accompanying Resolution.

Attachments

Resolution adopted on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and 0 Nays (Rivera absent)

 

11.

REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

11a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to an update of the Youth Violence Prevention Initiative: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11b.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to a Needs and Resources Assessment and Strategic Process to Address Issues Surrounding Youth and Gang Violence in the City: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11c.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the transmitting informational communication relative to child abuse and neglect in-service training: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11d.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the transmitting informational communication relative to an update of the Quality of Life Taskforce: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11e.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to a Quality of Life Task Force: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11f.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the 2015 Community Health Assessment: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11g.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the annual 2014 CHIP report: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11h.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the Communication of the City Manager recommending review, consideration, and adoption of the attached Ordinance Amendment to move the Youth Opportunities Office to the Executive Office of the City Manager - Division of Public Health: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11i.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to a presentation on Worcester's response to the opiate epidemic: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11j.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to an update on the Opioid Overdose Prevention Plan.: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11k.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Upon the Petition of William Breault on behalf of the Main South Alliance for Public Safety, request the City Council request the City Manager work with the Police Chief and the Fire Chief to amend their departmental protocols to include the use of intra-nasal Narcan (Naloxone) when first responders treat individuals in a heroin overdose condition, a protocol currently being followed by UMass EMS Medical Services professionals: recommend Petition be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

12.

TABLED UNDER PRIVILEGE

12a.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager transmitting informational communication on a quarterly update relative to the City of Worcester’s plan to implement improved strategies and policies that better serve and represent our diverse community. (Tabled Under Privilege - Lukes January 26, 2016)

Attachments

Mayor Petty moved to Table this item. Tabled - Petty

 

13.

TABLED ITEMS

13a.

RESOLUTION of Mayor Joseph C. O'Brien - That the City Council of the City of Worcester hereby goes on record in support of the Administration’s 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

 

13b.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to Out of State Residents Working on Local Projects and Not Meeting the State's Health Care Mandates. (Tabled Under Privilege - O'Brien August 14, 2012 and Tabled - Lukes September 4, 2012)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13c.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager transmitting communication relative to parking meters at Rockwood Field. (Tabled Under Privilege - Eddy December 10, 2013 and Tabled December 17, 2013)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13d.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the number of properties in areas surrounding Holy Cross, Clark University, Becker College and WPI that are listed as having true four-bedroom units. (Tabled - Bergman August 19, 2014)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13e.

PETITION of Frank Kartheiser et al on behalf of the Worcester Community-Labor Coalition request City Council hold public hearings starting in October on charter change and that at the conclusion of the hearings the Council takes a vote on holding an election to let the voters decide Worcester's future form of government. (Tabled Under Privilege - Lukes August 19, 2014 and Tabled - Petty September 16, 2014)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13f.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager recommending approval of Legislation to Impose a Fine on Motorists that Damage a Bridge that is marked with a Height Restriction. (Tabled - Bergman December 2, 2014)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13g.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the Brittan Square Parking Lot. (Tabled - Palmieri January 7, 2015 and January 13, 2015)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13h.

ORDER of Councilor Morris A. Bergman - Request City Manager provide information from the City Solicitor as to what steps are available to enforce breaches of the Services Agreement with Laz Parking Limited, LLC in regards to City owned parking garages, specifically the Federal Plaza Parking Garage. (Tabled - Petty January 7, 2015, Tabled Under Privilege - Bergman January 13, 2015 and Tabled - Bergman January 20, 2015)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13i.

ORDER of Councilor Morris A. Bergman, Councilor Tony Economou and Councilor George J. Russell - Request City Manager provide information from the City Assessor, Chief Financial Officer and City Solicitor as to the assessed real property values of all City owned parking garages, the amount of debt, if any, the anticipated repairs and/or capital improvements costs for fiscal year(s) 2015/2016 and the existing lease commitments/terms for spaces in these garages. (Tabled - Petty January 7, 2015, Tabled Under Privilege - Bergman January 13, 2015 and Tabled - Bergman January 20, 2015)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13j.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE Upon the Order of Councilor Michael T. Gaffney request City Manager consider amending the Five Point Financial Plan to require that any increases in local aid received from the Commonwealth be assigned to the Other Post Employment Benefit Trust Fund: recommend Order be placed on file. (Tabled - Gaffney June 16, 2015)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13k.

ORDER of Councilor Gary Rosen and Councilor Philip P. Palmieri - Request City Manager inform City Council as to whether he and other representatives from the city intend to meet with the owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox to see if they have any interest in relocating to Worcester. (Tabled - Gaffney September 29, 2015)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13l.

PETITION of Todd Holland request the City Council Calendar available on the City Government web site provide the following: 1) Under description a full and accurate synopsis be placed to properly inform all citizens of the true & accurate purpose of said meeting. 2) Under the Heading of "More Information" a link is provided to available agenda and purpose of meeting. 3) All meeting minutes be available on line in a timely manor and to include accurate details on presenters, attendees and attachments of any proposed plans. 4) A more efficient format making it easier to navigate using a graphical user interface friendly to people who lack full computer literacy. (Tabled - Economou January 12, 2016)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13m.

PETITION of Todd Holland request all City of Worcester agendas include the name of the specific person(s) or department presenting on each item in a given agenda. (Tabled - Economou January 12, 2016)

Attachments

No action taken

 

14.

BUSINESS UNDER SUSPENSION - Items brought forth under suspension at the January 26, 2016 City Council meeting.

14a.

ORDER of Councilor Michael T. Gaffney @ #10a CC - Request City Auditor report the city’s current growth rate and the current spending rate to see if it is going to collide against the tax levy capacity and include some estimated years. Mayor Petty moved to amend: Further, request the report include the actual current unused and available tax levy. - Item #13a Order adopted as amended

 

14b.

ORDER of Council Kathleen M. Toomey - Suspension of Rules - Request City Manager request the City Solicitor provide City Council with a legal opinion as to whether backup materials for a presentation is required to be given to City Council prior to the meeting or is the communication notifying City Council of a presentation sufficient. - Item #13b Order adoped

 

14c.

ORDER of Councilor Tony Economou - Suspension of Rules - Request City Manager request the Commissioner of Public Works review its snow plowing policy to eliminate the practice of plowing excess snow onto street corners. - Item #13c Order adopted

 

15.

NEW BUSINESS UNDER SUSPENSION OF RULES - items brought forth at the February 2, 2016 City Council meeting.

15a.

Motion Gaffney @ #6a CC - Request City Manager request the Police Chief prepare a graph comparing shooting and stabbing incidents to show if the utilization of Shot Spotter has influenced weapon choice.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

15b.

Motion Russell @ #6a CC - Request City Manager report to City Council as to when outside funding for Shot Spotter is ending and has this program proved useful enough for the city to assume the entire funding of the program. (Russell)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

15c.

Motion Lukes @ #9g CC – Request City Manager develop a protocol for conducting random audits for all grants and further, report who is receiving as employees monies from all the city involved grants.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

15d.

Motion Toomey @ #9g CC – Request City Manager consider providing support or training programs, perhaps in collaborations with our local colleges, for those applying for grant funding.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

15e.

Motion Lukes @ #9g CC – Request City Manager request the City Solicitor report what are the consequences of an employer such as Mosaic Cultural Center for not complying with a court order requiring child support payroll deductions for one their employees. Councilor Toomey moved to amend: Further, request the City Solicitor report as to how would the city be aware if an outside agency is or is not in compliance with any court orders for child support.

Attachments

Order adopted as amended

 

15f.

Motion Gaffney – Suspension of Rules – Request the Standing Committee on Rules and Legislative Affairs consider limiting the speaking time for the city administration.

Attachments

Referred to Rules and Legislative Affairs Committee