CITY OF WORCESTER

JOURNAL OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Esther Howland Chamber

Convened:

Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

City Manager
Edward M. Augustus, Jr.

City Auditor
Robert V. Stearns

Councilors

Morris A. Bergman Donna M. Colorio
Khrystian E. King 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 Chair

Note: Assistant City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli, clerk

3.

PROCLAMATIONS, ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, MOMENTS OF SILENCE

3a.

MOMENTS OF SILENCE - Mayor Petty requested everyone to remain standing for a Moment of Silence in remembrance of Michael Clancy, son of former City Council Paul P. Clancy, Jr.; Michael Lavin, former representative of Union 495; David Lavallee, father of Deputy Assistant to the City Manager Nicole Valentine; Michael Salvidio, former Chairperson and member of the city of Worcester Zoning Board of Appeals.

 

3b.

Mayoral Special Recognition – Mayor Petty presented a proclamation to Simon Eber which was requested by Councilor Rose. Simon is a student in Worcester and Kid President/Founder of Simon Gives Worcester which is a nonprofit founded at Forest Grove Middle School in 2016. The nonprofit presents backpacks to children in need along with providing birthday celebrations for children that normally would not have the means to celebrate their day.

 

3c.

PROCLAMATION - Mayor Petty read a Proclamation declaring the Month of February 2020 as Black History Month in the city of Worcester. The Proclamation was presented by Councilor King to NAACP Fred Taylor and Gordon Davis, along with Gwen and John Davis, Edward G. Robinson, Jim Scott, Margarita Carter Paradise, Nelly Bedina, Ronald Naji, and Marilyn Efoko.

 

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 28, 2020.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

5.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

5a.

Mayor Petty recognized the following speakers, who spoke concerning to items on the agenda: 1. Idella Hazard, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of #8a 2. Gordon John Davis, Worcester resident, spoke in support of his petition #6l 3. Gordon Davis, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of #6l 4. Michael Papagni, President of the Fire 1009, spoke on Item #7J. 5. Jacob Vazquez, Economic Development Associate from the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, spoke in favor of Item #10a. 6. Meg Coffin, CEO at the Center for Living and Working, spoke in support of her petition #6c.

Attachments

 

6.

PETITIONS

6a.

Kelly Casey request abatement of street betterment assessment #25609 in the amount of $11,250.00 for Hilma St.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

6b.

Noe Coto Bonilla request resident permit parking on South Crystal St. from Canterbury St. to Cambridge St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

6c.

Meg Coffin request installation of a flashing pedestrian crosswalk signal at the crosswalk from Chatham St. to High St.

Attachments

Petitioner spoke (see #5a) Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

6d.

Josh Dufresne request various school safety measures be implemented in the vicinity of 345 Greenwood St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

6e.

Damaris Acevedo request installation of a green left arrow on the traffic light at the intersection of Mill St. and Chandler St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

6f.

Damaris Acevedo request installation of a green left arrow on the traffic light at the intersection of May St. and June St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

6g.

Loan Pham request removal of handicap parking space in the vicinity of 31 Stanton St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

6h.

Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey on behalf of Kathleen Ryan Trumpaitis request installation of resident permit parking in front of and in the vicinity of 5 Nebraska St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

6i.

Councilor Gary Rosen request the traffic lights at Harrington Corner be adjusted to shorten the frequent and long backup of vehicles that are coming down Pleasant. St. (toward Dunkin Donuts) and entering the intersection.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

6j.

Councilor Sarai Rivera on behalf Roni Orozco and Pastor Raul Elizalde request installation of “No Parking Anytime” signage in front of Casa de Oracion, located at 21 Canterbury St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

6k.

Councilor Morris A. Bergman on behalf of the family of John D. Foley, who passed away in WWII, request that a memorial Square be erected in his honor and memory at or near 358 Chandler St.

Attachments

Referred to Veterans' Memorials, Parks and Recreation Committee

 

6l.

Gordon Davis et al request City City Council request the City Manager review current policies and practices regarding levying late fees when a parking ticket is appealed and or establish a policy that will explain said rules and regulations.

Attachments

Petitioner spoke (see #5a) Referred to City Manager

 

7.

ORDERS

7a.

Request City Manager and Mayor establish a tercentenary committee to properly prepare for Worcester's 300th anniversary celebration on June 14, 2022. (Bergman)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

7b.

Request City Manager and Mayor give special recognition this year (the 100th Anniversary of woman's voting rights) to the first female Worcester School Committee member, Helen A. Ball-elected in 1897. (Bergman, Rosen, Colorio, Wally, Mero-Carlson)

Attachments

Mayor Petty moved to add the entire City Council as sponsors. Order adopted

 

7c.

Request City Manager request Chief Information Officer ascertain if City Council and City Manager agendas can be subscribed to via the City website and receives via email directly to subscribers. (Bergman, Wally)

Attachments

Councilor Rose requested to added as a sponsor. Order adopted

 

7d.

Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a legal opinion as to whether the Open Meeting Law would need to be followed for any public or private meetings that will be held on the premise of the Municipal Service Center, located at 801 Main St. (Colorio)

Attachments

Placed on file

 

7e.

Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks replace missing traffic signage in the neighborhood of Fruit St. and Hampden St., including missing stop signs, resident only parking signs and street signs. (Colorio)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

7f.

Request City Manager include in the capital budget for the Department of Public Works and Parks a self-contained infrared patching machine for pot hole repairs, which could be used to improve methods of repair and add years to our current road surfaces. (Colorio)

Attachments

Mayor Petty moved to amend to request City Manager provide City Council with a report prior to include this in the capital budget. Councilor Toomey moved to amend to "Further, request City Manager to investigate also the use of a product, that is connected to Saint Gobain, to pave and seal pavement patches for pot holes. Order adopted as amended

 

7g.

Request City Manager provide cleanup of the waste caused from illegal dumping on Walpole St. and create a plan to monitor further illegal dumping in the area. (Rivera)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

7h.

Request City Manager work with businesses in the vicinity of flower bins to determine whether the businesses will maintain said flower bins or that they should be removed. (Rivera)

Attachments

Councilor Rivera moved to amend to add "Pleasant St.". Order adopted as amended.

 

7i.

Request Standing Committee on Municipal and Legislative Operations review the office structures, staffing levels and salaries of similar sizes cities’ City Clerk’s and Election Offices, as well as City Council support staff offices. (Mero-Carlson, Rosen, Bergman)

Attachments

Referred to Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee

 

7j.

Request City Manager prepare a Home Rule Petition extending the retirement age to 26 under Section 100 for Ava Roy, the daughter of Worcester Firefighter Christopher Roy. (Petty)

Attachments

Mayor Petty recognized Michael Papagni who requested to amend the order to be effective on December 9, 2018. Order adopted as amended. Reconsideration denied on a roll call vote of 0 Yeas and 11 Nays.

 

7k.

Request City Manager provide City Council with an update concerning Worcester’s Black History Trail, as well as the projected timeline for completion on the project. (King)

Attachments

Councilor King moved to hold this Under Privilege. Tabled Under Privilege - King

 

7l.

Request City Clerk provide City Council with a report concerning a departmental overview of the City Clerk and Election Commission Office, which includes 1) a list of each staffed position over the last six (6) years, 2) an organizational chart of the offices over the last six (6) years, 3) historical information concerning the staffing levels and structure of the City Clerk and Election Commission Office, 4) the salaries, scales and ranges of employees within the office, 5) staffing levels and salaries of similar sized cities’ City Clerk and Election Commission Offices and 6) any other pertinent information relative to the City Clerk and Election Commission’s Office. (King)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

7m.

Request City Manager request Veterans’ Agent/Director provide City Council with a report identifying all black, mulatto and mixed raced Worcester residents who served in World War II. Further, request City Manager review the city’s list against any national databases with similar information. (King)

Attachments

Councilor King moved to Hold this Under Privilege. Tabled Under Privilege - King

 

8.

RESOLUTIONS

8a.

That the City Council of the City of Worcester does hereby support and recognize February 2020, as BLACK HISTORY MONTH in the City of Worcester. Further, the City Council does hereby call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all its citizens to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities and programs in honor of the many achievements and contributions made by African Americans to our economic, cultural, spiritual and political development. (King) (Introduced - February 4, 2020)

Attachments

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

 

8b.

That the Worcester City Council encourages our state delegation to advance and advocate a change to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40A (Zoning), Section 3 whereby notice be given to a city or town and a public hearing in the town or city take place prior to said use. (Bergman, Rosen, Mero-Carlson)

Attachments

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

 

9.

COMMUNICATION

9a.

Edward M. Augustus, Jr., City Manager, recommending adoption of an Order to authorize the transfer of the parcel of land located at 45 Green Street, formerly the General Pickett Municipal Parking Lot (Pickett Lot), from the Off-Street Parking Board to the City Manager and to further authorize the conveyance of the Pickett Lot to the Worcester Redevelopment Authority (WRA).

Attachments

Councilor Wally moved to be recused and he left the room. Order adopted on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and Nays..

 

10.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

10a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Upon the Communication of the City Manager recommend approval of a Certified Project Designation and Tax Increment Financing Plan for Table Talk Pies, Inc.: recommend approval of the accompanying Resolution.

Attachments

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

 

11.

REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY

11a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY Upon the Order of Councilor Kathleen M Toomey - Request the Standing Committee on Public Safety meet with the Fire Chief, Police Chief, Director of Communications and Commissioner of Inspectional Services to discuss goals and objectives for the upcoming year: recommend Order be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11b.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the recognition of Halloween: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11c.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to expanding the Sound the Alarm Program, if supply of smoke detectors is adequate, by posting information at the Housing Court and Schools: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11d.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to an update of the Fire Prevention Division: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

11e.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY Upon the Communication of the City Manager Transmitting informational communication relative to the status of improvements and rehabilitation of Fire Department facilities: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

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.

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

 

12c.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manger transmitting informational communication relative to a legal opinion as to the jurisdiction of office space and facilities within City Hall. (Tabled Under Privilege - Mero-Carlson March 12, 2019; Tabled Under Privilege - Petty March 19, 2019 and Tabled - Petty March 26, 2019)

Attachments

No action taken

 

12d.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Petition of Susan Burns & Mary Landry request abatement of sewer betterment assessment #31247 in the amount of $36,000.00 for Luther Ave.: recommend Petition be denied. (Tabled Under Privilege - Rose April 23, 2019 and Tabled - Russell April 30, 2019)

Attachments

No action taken

 

12e.

ORDER of Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes - Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a legal opinion regarding the process of instituting a residential rent control program and the resulting impact of implementing such a program. (Tabled Under Privilege - Lukes September 17, 2019 and September 24, 2019 and Tabled - Lukes October 15, 2019)

Attachments

No action taken

 

12f.

ORDER of Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey - In light of recent events, request City Manager consider establishing a process to inspect rental apartments, which would help to confirm structural changes are done to the standards set by Inspectional Services, in the interest of public service. Further, request City Manager provide City Council with a recommendation as to how often these inspections should take place. (Tabled - King December 17, 2019)

Attachments

No action taken

 

13.

BUSINESS UNDER SUSPENSION OF RULES - Items brought forth under suspension at the February 4, 2020 City Council meeting.

13a.

ORDER of Councilor Khrystian E. King – Request City Manager and City Clerk provide City Council with a report concerning the staffing impact “Mini City Halls” would have on the City Clerk’s Office, as well as what processes are necessary for implementing a “Mini City Hall.” – Item #12a CC Order adopted

 

13b.

ORDER of Councilor Donna M. Colorio – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the services and new programs expected to be offered at Mini City Hall locations. Further request City Manager include in said report information concerning the successes of the various programs implementing at the Mini City Hall. – Item #12b CC Order adopted

 

13c.

ORDER of Councilor Morris A. Bergman – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning why the City took six (6) years before rendering judgment on the tax lien for the property located at 261 Clover St. – Item #12c CC Order adopted

 

13d.

ORDER of Councilor Morris A. Bergman – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the rationale for the assessment value for the property located at 261 Clover St. See Item #12d CC Order adopted

 

13e.

ORDER of Councilor George J. Russell – Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks consider providing the public with educational information regarding the ability to use multiple containers when putting out their recycling. – Item #12e CC Order adopted

 

13f.

ORDER of Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey – Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks ensure the new curbside recycling brochure be provided to tenants and property owners alike. – Item #12f CC Order adopted

 

13g.

ORDER of Councilor Khrystian E. King – Request City Manager denote on recycling brochures that clear bagged recyclables are acceptable. – Item #12g CC Order adopted