CITY OF WORCESTER

Economic Development Committee Meeting

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:10 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:09 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Candy Mero-Carlson
Vice Chairperson Sean M Rose
Councilor Matthew E Wally
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson Councilor Sean M Rose Councilor Matthew E Wally
 
Also:Councilor Gary Rosen Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey Councilor Morris A. Bergman Councilor Donna M. Colorio City Solicitor Michael Traynor Chief Development Officer Peter Dunn Assistant Chief Development Officer Stephen Rolle City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli, clerk
 
1.

Approval of the Minutes

1a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Economic Development hereby approves the minutes of the Economic Development Committee meeting on October 27, 2020.

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson read the item and moved for a roll call vote to adopt the item. Order adopted on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

2.

Public Participation

2a.

In order to ensure the continuation of active public engagement, the City of Worcester will now use a phone conference line for members of the public to participate in all public meetings. To participate during the public participation phase of City Council, you may call the direct line indicated: Esther Howland Chamber - 415-655-0001 (Access Code: 173 442 0537) or enter the below URL into your web browser. If you would like to raise your hand when in the meeting as a call-in user during public participation you may dial *3.

https://cowevents.webex.com/cowevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e10e865934a6055612e83ec267a92f82d

Attachments
3.

Zone Change Hearing

3a.

Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Donald J. O'Neil, Esq on behalf of Nancy A Negoshian & Dovetail Properties, LLC request to extend the RG-5 Zoning District in the vicinity of Goldthwaite Rd. westerly to include in their entirety the parcels of land located at 43, 45 Goldthwaite Rd. and 24-26 Varney St. # 18a CC August 11, 2020

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. Nancy Negoshian, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3a
2. Donald OíNeil, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3a

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized the Assistant Chief Development Officer, who provided an overview of the item, including information relative to the affected area near Varney St, and Goldthwaite Rd., which was approximately one acre in size.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be approved.

Recommend Approval on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

4.

Communications of the City Manager

4a.

Recommend adoption of the attached amendment to the Cityís organizational ordinances relative to the establishment of the Worcester Ballpark Authority. # 9.13B CM October 6, 2020

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson read the item and moved to take the item up collectively with Item #4b.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized the City Solicitor, who discussed revisions desired to the initially proposed ordinance, including an amendment to the board size from five members to seven members and that a board member always be a laborer. The City Solicitor then provided an overview of the responsibilities and duties of the proposed Worcester Ballpark Authority (WBA).

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson discussed the similarities and differences between the WBA and the Civic Center Commission (CCC), as well as how membership of the WBA would be appointed with the City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Rosen, who discussed the authority of scheduling non-baseball events at the ballpark, as well as concerns regarding transferring the authority of decisions dealing with the ballpark from the Council to the WBA with the City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Wally, who discussed whether any issues had ever arisen relative to the Civic Center Commission being the governing body for the DCU Center, as well as items that would come before City Council for the ballpark instead of the WBA with the City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed the proposed amendment of increasing the board from five members to seven members, the licenses that the WBA are able to provide, and whether the WBA will have authority over the picket park with the City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a report concerning details associated with the licenses the proposed Worcester Ballpark Authority would be authorized to grant.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Bergman, who discussed the general mission and goal of the WBA, whether an advisory board would be able to fulfill the general mission and goal of the administration, whether it would be possible to put a sunset clause for the WBA, the WBAís authority over the parking for the ballpark, whether there is a way to repeal the board in the events that the City Council is not satisfied with the board and whether the City Council can initiate for the repeal process for the WBA with the City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Rose, who discussed the appropriateness of the WBA and appreciation for the seat of labor being added to the proposed WBA.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Colorio, who discussed the timetable associated with establishing the WBA, the City Councilís ability to propose amendments for WBA responsibilities, confirmation votes for the board members, City Councilís authority to remove members from the WBA, whether a member has been removed by the City Manager with the City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson discussed the timeline for the City Council to act upon the item, as well as a desire to have as much information associated with the WBA in front of the Committee as possible prior to a decision being made.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Rosen for a second time, who discussed the difference between commissions and authorities with the City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson moved for a roll call vote to recommend the items be held.

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a report concerning details associated with the licenses the proposed Worcester Ballpark Authority would be authorized to grant.

4b.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the proposed Worcester Ballpark Authority. # 9.13C CM October 20, 2020

Attachments

Recommend Hold (See Item #4a)