CITY OF WORCESTER

Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Meeting

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:30 P.M.

Adjourned: 7:26 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Khrystian E King
Vice Chairperson Kathleen M Toomey
Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Khrystian E King Vice Chairperson Councilor Kathleen M Toomey Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson
 
Also:City Auditor Robert V. Stearns City Solicitor Michael Traynor, who participated remotely through digital means City Manager Chief of Staff Jacob Sanders, who participated remotely through digital means City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli, clerk
 
1.

Approval of the Minutes

1a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Municipal and Legislative Operations hereby approves the minutes of the Municipal and Legislative Operations meeting of March 17, 2020.

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Chairperson Councilor King 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.

Communications of the City Auditor

2a.

Transmitting an informational communication concerning the City's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ended June 30, 2019. # 10a CC February 4, 2020

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the City Auditor, who provided an overview of the item, including information relative to the financial health of the city, the cityís general fund balance, OPEB liability, free cash and debt service funds.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who spoke with the City Auditor regarding the various types of accounts the city has, including unassigned and undesignated funds.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Toomey, who spoke with the City Auditor regarding pension liability, what strategies would be most appropriate for debt payments and projections for marijuana host agreements.

Chairperson Councilor King continued discussion over various items pertaining to the cityís finances, including information pertaining to the City Auditorís involvement with determining the budget and whether accessing the cityís ďrainy dayĒ fund would impact the cityís bond rating.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the Chief of Staff of the City Manager, who responded to questions about revenue projections, as well as the schedule and flexibility for the cityís FY21 budget.

Chairperson Councilor King then put forth the following two (2) Chairmanís Order: 1) Request City Manager provide City Council with a report detailing Sections 7 and Section 8 of House Bill No. 4617 pertaining to the use of revolving funds and amortizing deficits; and 2) Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the risks and benefits associated with utilizing funds associated with the Bond Rating Stabilization Fund in the event of fiscal distress.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to send the two (2) Chairmanís Orders to City Council for approval. Councilor Kingís motion was approved on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be placed on file.

Recommend File on a roll vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report detailing Sections 7 and Section 8 of House Bill No. 4617 pertaining to the use of revolving funds and amortizing deficits.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the risks and benefits associated with utilizing funds associated with the Bond Rating Stabilization Fund in the event of fiscal distress.

2b.

Transmitting the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the Worcester Retirement System (WRS) for the systemís year ending December 31, 2018. # 22k CC August 13, 2019

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the City Auditor, who provided an overview of the item, including information concerning investment data and demographic data found within the report.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be placed on file.

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

3.

Communications of the City Clerk

3a.

Transmitting an update relative to the hiring of the Chief of Council position. # 10b CC April 21, 2020

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the City Clerk, who provided an overview of the applicants for the position, the steps being taken to complete the hiring of the Chief of Council position and efforts to procure a diverse pool of applicants.

Chairperson Councilor King put forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Chief Diversity Officer provide City Council with a report concerning the role she played to ensure a diverse pool of applicants applied for the Chief of Council position.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to send the Chairmanís Orders to City Council for approval. Chairperson Councilor Kingís motion was approved on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who put forth the following Chairmanís Order: That the City Council prefers the applicant hired for the Chief of Council position be a resident of Worcester.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to send the Chairmanís Order to City Council for approval. Councilor Mero-Carlsonís motion was approved on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Toomey, who put forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Director of Human Resources ensure the rubric for the Chief of Council position provides for an individual who shows the ability to maintain confidentiality and nonpartisanship.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to send the Chairmanís Order to City Council for approval. Councilor Toomeyís motion was approved on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be placed on file.

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

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Chief Diversity Officer provide City Council with a report concerning the role she played to ensure a diverse pool of applicants applied for the Chief of Council position.

That the City Council prefers the applicant hired for the Chief of Council position be a resident of Worcester.

Request City Manager request Director of Human Resources ensure the rubric for the Chief of Council position provides for an individual who shows the ability to maintain confidentiality and nonpartisanship.

3b.

Transmitting various informational documents regarding the City Clerk's Office. # 12a CC March 17, 2020

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the City Clerk, who provided information relative to structure of the City Clerkís Office and current vacancies within the office.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed the timetable for advertising the various vacant positions within the City Clerkís Office with the City Clerk, including the Assistant City Clerk and Principal Clerk positions.

Chairperson Councilor King put forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with information relative to whether the salary monies allocated to City Clerk David J. Rushford had to be exhausted prior to City Clerk Susan M. Ledoux taking the position.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to send the Chairmanís Orders to City Council for approval. Chairperson Councilor Kingís motion was approved on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be held.

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

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide City Council with information relative to whether the salary monies allocated to City Clerk David J. Rushford had to be exhausted prior to City Clerk Susan M. Ledoux taking the position.

3c.

Transmitting the resumes of Assistant City Clerk Stephen AJ Pottle and Assistant City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli. # 14a CC February 25, 2020

In Committee March 5, 2020 - Held In Committee March 17, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the City Clerk, who spoke concerning the item.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be placed on file.

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

4.

Discussion Item

4a.

Discussion concerning House Bill No. 4598 - An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19 And Local Options.

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and stated that many of the questions pertaining to the discussion were brought up during the discussion of item #2a.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to end the discussion.

Discussion closed on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.