CITY OF WORCESTER

Finance Committee Meeting

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Levi Lincoln (North) Chamber

Convened: 5:15 P.M.

Recessed: 7:16 P.M. Reconvened: 11:25 P.M. Adjourned: 11:27 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Joseph M Petty
Vice Chairperson Donna M Colorio
Councilor Morris A Bergman
 
Councilor Khrystian E King
Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson
Councilor Sarai Rivera
Councilor Sean M Rose
Councilor Gary Rosen
Councilor George J Russell
Councilor Kathleen M Toomey
Councilor Matthew E Wally

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:All members were present with the Mayor as the Chair except for Councilor Toomey, who arrived at 5:49 P.M. City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. Acting Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Johnson City Auditor Robert V. Stearns City Solicitor Michael Traynor City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli, clerk
 
Also:Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools Maureen Binienda Commissioner of Health and Human Services Matilde Castiel
 
1.

Approval of the Minutes

1a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Finance hereby approves the minutes of the Finance Committee meeting on May 26, 2020.

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Mayor Petty read the item and moved for a roll call vote to adopt the item. Order adopted on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and 0 Nays (Toomey absent).

2.

FY 2021 Budget Hearing - Worcester Public Schools

2a.

Worcester Public Schools - VI-1, pg. 109

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Mayor Petty read the item and recognized Councilor Colorio, who discussed what areas would be revised or cut if state and federal aid was not received and whether online learning programs are available with the Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools and the Chief Financial Officer of Worcester Public Schools.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed national trends to homeschooling, social distancing on school busses and the need for repairs at Worcester East Middle with the Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools and the Chief Financial Officer of Worcester Public Schools.

Councilor Russell then put forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Superintendent of Public Schools provide City Council with a report concerning how issues around plastic tarps being used to block the draft and chipped paint on the ceilings at Worcester East Middle will be addressed.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed the sufficiency of the budget due to COVID-19 related issues with the Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools and the Chief Financial Officer of Worcester Public Schools.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor Bergman, who discussed personal protective equipment (PPE) needs for the school system, whether online learning could be done in place of snow days and how COVID-19 affected planning for the school year with the Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools and the Chief Financial Officer of Worcester Public Schools.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor Rose, who discussed steps taken for trauma response for students, cultural responsiveness training and Worcester Public Schoolsí online learning needs with the Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor Rivera, who discussed the feasibility of utilizing the WRTA for transporting students, technological advancement in the schools and the work being done to diversify the school system with the Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools and the Chief Financial Officer of Worcester Public Schools.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor Rosen, who discussed the training process for teaching virtually, student responses to online learning and the process for homeschooling with the Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor King, who discussed residency requirements for Worcester Public Schools staff, funding for social emotional learning, the purchase of Chromebooks, diversifying the staff of the Worcester Public Schools, the hiring of the Chief Diversity Officer and transportation issues surrounding getting to athletic fields with the Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools.

Councilor King then put forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools ensure child safety components are addressed, should use of the WRTA busses for Worcester Public Schools students be considered.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed how Worcester Police Department officers are used in Worcester Public Schools with the Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools. Councilor Toomey then moved for a roll call vote to approve the budget.

Budget approved on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Superintendent of Public Schools provide City Council with a report concerning how issues around plastic tarps being used to block the draft and chipped paint on the ceilings at Worcester East Middle will be addressed. (Russell)

Request City Manager request Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools ensure child safety components are addressed, should use of the WRTA busses for Worcester Public Schools students be considered. (King)

3.

FY 2021 Budget Hearings - Health and Human Services

3a.

Health and Human Services - VIII-1, pg. 121

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Mayor Petty read the item and recognized Councilor Rivera, who discussed whether there were any new needs or gaps in the departmentís budget due to COVID-19 with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services and the Director of Public Health.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor King, who discussed the vacancies within the Health and Human Services Department with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services and the Director of Public Health.

Councilor King then put forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager conduct a staffing analysis to determine how the city can be most effective in ensuring the health needs of the cityís residents.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor Colorio, who discussed the work done to ensure the safety of the homeless population during COVID-19 with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services.

Mayor Petty recognized Councilor Wally, who discussed inter-municipal agreements associated with other towns with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services and the Director of Public Health.

Councilor Wally then put forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with a report detailing the projected revenue in FY21 of the towns associated with the inter-municipal agreements regarding public health services.

Mayor Petty moved for a roll call vote to approve the budgets associated with #3a through #3c.

Budgets approved on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager conduct a staffing analysis to determine how the city can be most effective in ensuring the health needs of the cityís residents. (King)

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report detailing the projected revenue in FY21 of the towns associated with the inter-municipal agreements regarding public health services. (Wally)

3b.

Public Health - VIII-2, pg. 127

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Budget approved on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #3a)

3c.

Elder Affairs - VIII-3, pg. 135

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Budget approved on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #3a)

4.

FY 2021 Budget Hearings - City Manager's Office

4a.

City Manager's Office - XV-1, pg. 197

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Mayor Petty read the item and moved for a roll call vote to take items #4a through #4c, #5a through #5f, #6a, #7a, #8a, #9a, #10a, #11a through #11c, #12a and #13a collectively, and to recommend the items be held.

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and 0 Nays (Rivera absent)

4b.

City Manager's Contingency - XV-2, pg. 203

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

4c.

Cable Services - XV-3, pg. 205

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

5.

FY 2021 Budget Hearings - Administration and Finance

5a.

Administration and Finance - XVI-1, pg. 209

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

5b.

Assessing - XVI-2, pg. 221

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

5c.

City Energy and Asset Management - XVI-3, pg. 225

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

5d.

Debt Service Principal and Interest - XVI-4, pg. 233

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

5e.

Pension Obligation Bonds - XVI-5, pg. 237

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

5f.

DCU Center - XVI-6, pg. 241

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

6.

FY 2021 Budget Hearing - Five Point Plan Funds

6a.

Five Point Plan Funds - XVII-1, pg. 243

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

7.

FY 2021 Budget Hearing - Line Item Budget

7a.

Line Item Budget - XVIII-1, pg. 247

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

8.

FY 2021 Budget Hearing Recessed - Department of Public Works and Parks

8a.

Snow Removal - IV-9, pg. 69

In Committee May 26, 2020 - Held

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

9.

Motion Held in Committee

9a.

Motion of Councilor Morris A. Bergman - That the City Council does hereby cut $60,000.00 from the Overtime Expenditure portion of the Snow Removal Budget for the purpose of decreasing the number of snow removal inspectors per vehicle from two to one.

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Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

10.

Fiscal Year 2021 Budget

10a.

Communication of the City Manager recommend approval of the Fiscal Year 2021 proposed Capital Improvement Plan for the City of Worcester. # 8.36B CM May 12, 2020

In Committee May 19, 2020 - Held In Committee May 26, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

11.

Communications of the City Manager

11a.

Submission of the Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Operating Budget for City Council review and consideration. # 8.36A CM May 12, 2020

In Committee May 19, 2020 - Held In Committee May 26, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

11b.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the total number of hours and wages for all snow removal inspectors and the total number of snow removal inspectors so employed for FY16 - FY19. # 9.5C CM May 26, 2020

Attachments

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

11c.

Transmitting informational communication relative to a status report on finances for City parking garages. # 9.5B CM May 26, 2020

Attachments

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

12.

Communication of the City Auditor

12a.

Transmitting an informational communication regarding the passage of time taken to develop the Madison Properties' effect on the timing of the receipt of revenues required to service Series A bonds. # 8b CC June 4, 2019

In Committee June 11, 2019 - Held In Committee May 19, 2020 - Held In Committee May 26, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

13.

Miscellaneous Item

13a.

Order of Councilor Khrystian E. King, Mayor Joseph M. Petty and Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey - Request City Manager consider revising the Financial Integrity Plan for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) to allocate excess New Growth above budgeted to: 1) The High School Building Fund; and 2) The City Manager Capital Campaign Fund, to prepare for the capital costs for the South Division Fire Station and the city wide Financial Management System. # 10b Tuesday, May 12, 2020

In Committee May 19, 2020 - Held In Committee May 26, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 11 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)