CITY OF WORCESTER

JOURNAL OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Esther Howland Chamber

Convened: 6:37 P.M.

Recessed to Executive Session: 7:55 P.M. Reconvened to Open Session: 8:31 P.M. Adjourned: 8:37 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

City Manager
Edward M. Augustus, Jr.

City Auditor
Robert V. Stearns

Councilors

Morris A. Bergman Khrystian E. King
Konstantina B. Lukes Candy Mero-Carlson
Sarai Rivera Sean M. Rose City Clerk
Susan M. Ledoux
Gary Rosen George J. Russell
Kathleen M. Toomey Matthew E. Wally
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


1.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE & STAR SPANGLED BANNER

2.

ROLL CALL - All present with the Mayor as the Chair, except for Councilor King.

3.

PROCLAMATIONS, ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, MOMENTS OF SILENCE

3a.

Mayor Joseph M. Petty recognized Reverend Prince Nana Kobi and invited him to provide an Invocation, in celebration of the sixty-second anniversary of Ghanaian Independence.

 

3b.

Mayor Joseph M. Petty recognized Boy Scout Robert Tokanson of Troop 123, who led the City Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

3c.

Mayor Joseph M. Petty read a Proclamation declaring March 6, 2019 as Ghanaian Independence Day in the city of Worcester. The Proclamation was presented to Reverend Prince Nana Kobi and Reverend Prince Maxwell.

 

3d.

Mayor Joseph M. Petty presented Brody Simoncini with a Key to the City. Brody was recognized by IHOP as its 2019 Kid Chef Champion. His award winning pancake will be available for a limited time in IHOP restaurants nationwide.

 

3e.

Mayor Joseph M. Petty read a Proclamation declaring March 16, 2019 as Robert Goddard Day in the city of Worcester. The Proclamation was presented to Cory Scott, who portrayed Dr. Goddard to accept the Proclamation.

 

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 February 5, 2019.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

5.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

5a.

Mayor Petty recognized the following speakers:
1. Patricia Zavras, Worcester resident
2. Maggie Dowd, Worcester resident
3. Zariyah Horton, Worcester resident

 

6.

HEARING & ORDER

6a.

NATIONAL GRID for a conduit location at : WATER ST./COLUMBIA ST. Granting permission to NATIONAL GRID for a conduit location at : WATER ST./COLUMBIA ST.

Attachments

Hearing Held & Order adopted

 

7.

PETITIONS

7a.

James Gamble request sewers be installed on Gensell Ave.

Attachments

Referred to Planning Board

 

7b.

William S. Coleman III request City Administration consider establishing a two week summer youth Police/Fire Cadet Academy for middle school age boys and girls to give a positive informational outlook on the work of our first line responders.

Attachments

Petitioner spoke and Referred to City Manager

 

7c.

Richard Freeman request sidewalk repair for the entire length of Judson Rd.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

7d.

Habib Amani on behalf of Daniel Amani request installation of handicap parking space in front of 15 Fern St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7e.

Agustina Velazquez, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Centro, request installation of crosswalk on Sycamore St., in vicinity of 11 Sycamore St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7f.

Councilor Sarai Rivera on behalf of Richard Gallant request installation of appropriate speed limit signage on Richards St., in an effort to slow traffic down and improve pedestrian safety.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7g.

Councilor Sarai Rivera on behalf of Richard Gallant request increased traffic enforcement on Richards St., in an effort to slow traffic down and improve pedestrian safety.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7h.

Councilor Sarai Rivera on behalf of Richard Gallant request installation of an electronic sign showing drivers their speed on Richards St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7i.

Councilor Sarai Rivera on behalf of the parents of the PTO at Woodland Academy request installation of a four-way stop sign at the corners of Oberlin St.and Woodland St.

Attachments

Councilor Rivera moved to Table Under Privilege Tabled Under Privilege

 

7j.

Councilor Sarai Rivera on behalf of the parents of the PTO at Woodland Academy request installation of a three-way stop sign at the corner of Claremont St.and Woodland St.

Attachments

Councilor Rivera moved to Table Under Privilege Tabled Under Privilege

 

7k.

Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson request No Left Turn sign at Plantation and Belmont St. (Honey Farms).

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

7l.

NATIONAL GRID for a conduit location at: PLEASANT ST.

Attachments

Hearing set for March 12, 2019 at 6:30 pm

 

8.

ORDERS

8a.

Request City Manager report on the medical/health dangers caused by firefighter apparatus and clothing. (Lukes)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

8b.

Request City Manager assure the City Council that the total length of the $11 million Main Street Reimagined initiative which, according to MassDOT, will create a "welcome, environmentally friendly landscape with trees, visible crosswalks and a safe and friendly atmosphere", has extremely bright street lighting that adapts to movement by pedestrians, cyclists and cars. (Rosen, Bergman)

Attachments

Placed on file

 

8c.

Request City Manager provide a report as to the status and timeline of a community benefit agreement for the ballpark area development. (Russell, Rosen, Rose, Wally, Lukes, Mero-Carlson)

Attachments

Councilor Russell moved to add Councilor King as an author. Order adopted

 

8d.

Request City Manager request the City Solicitor to draft changes to Section 15A relative to Veterans Memorials of Chapter 12 (Part 1) of the City of Worcester Revised Ordinances to include/amend the language (highlighted) and attached herein. (Bergman)

Attachments

Councilor Rivera moved to add her name as an author. Mayor Petty moved to add the entire City Council as authors. Order adopted

 

8e.

Request City Manager consider funding and oversight of an Alum Dosing station at the Ararat Brook entrance of Indian Lake in an effort to reduce the risk of beach closures and to also improve the lakes water quality. (Rose)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

8f.

Request City Manager request the Superintendent of Public Schools consider funding field hockey programs at Forest Grove Middle School, Burncoat Middle School, Worcester East Middle School and Sullivan Middle School. These middle school field hockey programs can act as a bridge/feeder program to the high schools that offer field hockey programming. (Rose, Wally, Russell)

Attachments

Mayor Petty on behalf of Councilor King moved to Table this item Under Privilege. Tabled Under Privilege - Petty

 

8g.

Request City Manager provide City Council with an update on the status of the Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Liability Trust Fund Board. (Wally)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

8h.

Request City Manager report on the number of pedestrian deaths by location for the past 5 years. (Lukes)

Attachments

Mayor Petty moved to amend: Further, request City Manager include in said update information concerning the rate of speed on each of the pedestrian accidents. Order adopted as amended

 

8i.

Request City Manager report on the current plans to achieve Zero Waste by the year 2040. (Lukes)

Attachments

Councilor Lukes moved to amend the Order to read as follows: Request City Manager form a task force as a means to deal with climate change and what procedures need to be in place in order for the city to achieve zero waste by 2040. Order adopted as amended

 

8j.

Request City Manager report on the current indebtedness of the pension/OPEB accounts, projections for payments and the current investments of those funds. (Lukes)

Attachments

Mayor Petty moved to amend: Further, request City Manager provide City Council with an updated report from the city’s actuary regarding OPEB valuations. Order adopted as amended

 

8k.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning what contract changes would be necessary and what additional costs would be incurred, if any, to ensure the staff/company collecting recycling would be obligated to pick up items that may have fallen out of recycling bins but are adjacent to a bin when it is emptied. (Russell)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9.

REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

9a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Upon the Report of the Planning Board Upon the Communication of the City Manager recommending adoption of an Revised Ordinance amendment relative to honeybee keeping and farm stands: recommend to place on file the portion regarding the Honeybee Ordinance and further recommend passage of the accompanying proposed Farm Stand Ordinance.

Attachments

Accepted and Voted to advertise proposed Farm Stand ordinance on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and 0 Nays (King absent)

 

9b.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to strengthening the City's wage theft ordinance: recommend adoption of the accompanying Order to request City Solicitor to draft an updated Wage Theft Ordinance that reflects points provided to the Committee at the February 26, 2019 meeting. (see attached)

Attachments

Accepted & Adopted on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and 0 Nays (King absent). Councilor Mero-Carlson moved for reconsideration on the Item. Reconsideration denied on a roll call vote of 0 Yeas and 10 Nays (King absent).

 

9c.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to semi-annual TIF reporting: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

10.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS

10a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS Upon the Order of Mayor Joseph M. Petty, Councilor Gary Rosen, Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, Councilor Sean M. Rose, Councilor George J. Russell, and Councilor Matthew E. Wally request City Council's Standing Committee on Municipal Operations begin negotiations for the City Manager's salary and contract: recommend adoption of the accompanying Order to request City Council recess into Executive Session on March 5, 2019 for the purpose of receiving the Report of the Committee on Municipal Operations and discuss extended term and salary for City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr.

Attachments

Accepted & Adopted on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and 0 Nays (King absent) City Council recessed to Executive Session: 7:55 P.M. Reconvened to Open Session: 8:31 P.M. Councilor Rose read the terms the City Manager contract and Councilor Lukes and Mayor Petty made motions. (see items #)

 

11.

TABLED UNDER PRIVILEGE

11a.

COMMUNICATION of the City Auditor transmitting for your review the annual audited financial statements and management letter of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority (WRA) for the year ended June 30, 2018 and 2017. Also transmitting a detailed listing of expenses for the same period. (Tabled Under Privilege - King February 26, 2019)

Attachments

Referred to Municipal Operations Committee

 

12.

TABLED ITEMS

12a.

RESOLUTION of Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes – That the City Council go on record in favor of supporting the Worcester Bravehearts as they plan for the future. (Tabled Under Privilege - Lukes August 21, 2018 and Tabled Under Privilege - Petty September 12, 2018 and Tabled - Lukes September 25, 2018)

Attachments

No action taken

 

12b.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to a legal opinion concerning the extent of discussion of City Council matters by City Councilors outside of City Council meetings. (Tabled Under Privilege - Bergman February 5, 2019 and Tabled - Bergman February 26, 2019)

Attachments

No action taken

 

12c.

ORDER of Councilor George J. Russell, Councilor Sarai Rivera, Councilor Gary Rosen, Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes, Councilor Khrystian E. King and Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson - Request City Council have the City Council Standing Committees on Public Works and Municipal Operations conduct a joint meeting about the future recommended staffing of the City Council office as well as logistics for office space for staff and City Council. Further, request the joint committee discuss potential recommendations regarding the job description and role of the City Council staff persons and further, encourage other City Councilors who are not members of the joint committee to attend and be included in the conversation. (Tabled - Petty February 26, 2019)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13.

BUSINESS UNDER SUSPENSION OF RULES - Items brought forth under suspension at the February 26, 2019 City Council meeting.

13a.

ORDER of Mayor Joseph M. Petty – Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a legal opinion as to what jurisdiction the Standing Committee on Public Works has in regards to office space and facilities within the city. – Item #23a CC Order adopted

 

13b.

ORDER of Councilor Matthew E. Wally – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning what would be required for the city to own, maintain and operate a municipal light plant in order to provide electric and gas services to the residents of Worcester. – Item #23b CC Order adopted

 

13c.

ORDER of Councilor Khrystian E. King – Request City Manager request WRA provide a report concerning what communication has occurred between the city and the owner of the Midtown Mall in regards to their property. – Item #23c CC Order adopted

 

13d.

ORDER of Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes – Request City Auditor provide City Council with a report detailing loans that have been taken out by the city for operational and administrative WRA expenses. – Item #23d CC Order adopted

 

13e.

PETITION of Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey requested the sidewalk on both sides of Dell Ave. be repaired. – Item #23e CC Referred to Public Works Committee

 

13f.

ORDER of Councilor Sarai Rivera – Request City Manager request Police Chief provide increased traffic enforcement in the vicinity of the intersection of Wellington St. and Chandler St. – Item #23f CC Order adopted

 

13g.

ORDER of Councilor Sarai Rivera – Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks fix the pothole in the vicinity of 123 West St. – Item #23g CC Order adopted

 

14.

NEW BUSINESS UNDER SUSPENSION OF RULES - Items brought forth under suspension at the March 5, 2019 City Council meeting.

14a.

Motion Rose – Suspension of Rules – Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks provide City Council with a report detailing a long-term approach that could be implemented to decrease the speed of drivers on St. Nicholas Ave.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

14b.

Motion Lukes – Suspension of Rules – Request City Council meet in Executive Session on March 5, 2019 for the purpose of discussing the deployment of public safety personnel in the city’s schools.

Attachments

Councilor Lukes moved to amend her motion to meet in Executive Session on March 12, 2019. Order adopted as amended

 

14c.

In consideration of the votes being taken regarding the salary of the City Manager and the execution of a contract extension, Be It Ordreded: that these votes taken by City Council be a representation of the City Councils support of Mr. Edward M. Augustus, Jr., as City Manager and these votes will take the place of the 2019 annual evaluation. Further, the 2020 and future annual evaluations will continue to be conducted as it has been practiced in previous years. (Lukes)

Attachments

Mayor Petty moved to hold this as First Item of Business on March 19, 2019. First Item of Business - Petty

 

14d.

MOTION - Suspension of Rules - Mayor Petty on behalf of the entire City Council presented the following Order: That Mayor Joseph M. Petty is hereby authorized on behalf of the City Council of the City of Worcester to execute the attached Amend Number One to the City Manager Employment Agreement with Mr. Edward M. Augustus, Jr., under Section 3-1(b) of the City Charter.

Attachments

Order adopted on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and 0 Nays (King absent). Councilor Toomey moved for reconsideration - Reconsideration denied on a roll call vote of 0 Yeas and 10 Nays (King absent). Vote amended on March 12, 2019 item #16i - Order adopted on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays.

 

14e.

MOTION - Suspension of Rules - Mayor Petty on behalf of the City Council presented the following: A Proposed Ordinance Amending the Salary Ordinance Relative to the Salary of the City Manager.

Attachments

Voted to Advertise Proposed Ordinance on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and 0 Nays. Councilor Toomey moved for reconsideration - Reconsideration denied on a roll call vote of 0 Yeas and 10 Nays.