CITY OF WORCESTER

Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Meeting

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Levi Lincoln (North) Chamber

Convened: 5:03 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:24 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:Deputy City Clerk Stephen AJ Pottle, clerk Chief Financial Officer Tim McGourthy Budget Director Erin Taylor Senior Staff Assistant Jeannie Michelson
 
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 November 16, 2020.

View Agenda

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.

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: Levi Lincoln Chamber - 415-655-0001 (Access Code: 180 604 3527) 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://cow.webex.com/cow/onstage/g.php?MTID=efcf8dfe193cc65a0eddf4017f6f55d2a

Attachments
3.

Communications of the City Manager

3a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to funding received to address the impacts of COVID-19. # 16a CC January 5, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and discussed why FEMA funding was not included in the report, as well as the cityís potentially FEMA-eligible costs with the Chief Financial Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed the city and schoolís funding received through the CARES Act with the Chief Financial Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed whether there are any prohibitions with using CARES Act funding to match FEMA funding, as well as the monies associated with the usage of the DCU Center as a field hospital with the Chief Financial Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the new FEMA policy to provide 100% reimbursement.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the Chief Financial Officer, who discussed the cost sharing process as related to the School Department budget for FY21.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the cost-share process as related to the School Department budget for FY21.

Chairperson Councilor King then discussed whether the PPE purchased by FEMA reimbursement can be utilized for general community distribution or whether it can only be utilized for municipal direct needs, recent submissions for additional technologies for remote work, and anticipated impact of additional federal and state aid with the Chief Financial Officer and the Budget Director.

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

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

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the new FEMA policy to provide 100% reimbursement.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the cost-share process as related to the School Department budget for FY21.

3b.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the Fiscal Year 2021 financial update, as of November 30, 2020. # 8.28B CM December 22, 2020

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed the impact COVID-19 has had on the cityís tax base, as well as the cityís current vacancy factor with the Chief Financial Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Chief Financial Officer provide City Council with a report concerning the vacancy factor that the city had at the midpoint of FY20.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed anticipated construction in the fall with the Chief Financial Officer and the Budget Director.

Chairperson Councilor King discussed the meetings concerning FY22 Budget process with management from all municipal departments, utilization of Governorís recommendations for the budget with the Budget Director and the Chief Financial Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King then brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Chief Financial Officer provide City Council with a report concerning the process for budget building for the new financial year.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the Chief Financial Officer, who discussed the Cityís resiliency and ability to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the bond ratings process and communication with bond rating agencies.

Chairperson Councilor moved for a roll call vote to recommend item be filed.

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

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Chief Financial Officer provide City Council with a report concerning the vacancy factor that the city had at the midpoint of FY20.

Request City Manager request Chief Financial Officer provide City Council with a report concerning the process for budget building for the new financial year.

3c.

Transmitting informational communication relative to current opportunities on boards and commissions for the City of Worcester. # 9.38A CM October 20, 2020

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the Senior Staff Assistant, who discussed the advertising and recruitment process, and challenges concerning maintaining a social media presence or PR campaign for the cityís boards and commissions.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed putting flyers in supermarkets, providing City Councilors with documents to post on social media and speaking to youth and cultural groups about civic engagement with the Senior Staff Assistant.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed the vacancies that are currently listed on the cityís boards and commissions with the Senior Staff Assistant.

Chairperson Councilor King discussed the demographics of the cityís residents who serve on the cityís boards and commissions, and impact of going remote on individual attendance to the civic meetings with the Senior Staff Assistant.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager provide City Council with a report relative to flyers be explored for recruitment purposes, including provision of flyers in jpeg form to City Council and other stakeholders to further advertise for boards and commissions recruitment; 2) Request City Manager work with young adults and seniors in high school to create dialogue concerning civic duties; 3) Request City Manager include At-large Councilors and District Councilors in conversation concerning improving recruitment for boards and commissions; 4) Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the impact of virtual attendance at the various board and commission meetings and; 5) Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning strategies to resolve challenges concerning Internet connectivity for boards and commissions members for virtual attendance purposes.

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

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

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report relative to flyers be explored for recruitment purposes, including provision of flyers in jpeg form to City Council and other stakeholders to further advertise for boards and commissions recruitment.

Request City Manager work with young adults and seniors in high school to create dialogue concerning civic duties.

Request City Manager include At-large Councilors and District Councilors in conversation concerning improving recruitment for boards and commissions.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the impact of virtual attendance at the various board and commission meetings.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning strategies to resolve challenges concerning Internet connectivity for boards and commissions members for virtual attendance purposes.