CITY OF WORCESTER

Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment Committee Meeting

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:04 P.M.

Adjourned: 5:57 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Matthew E Wally
Vice Chairperson Kathleen M Toomey
Councilor George J Russell
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Matthew E Wally Vice Chairperson Councilor Kathleen M Toomey Councilor George J Russell
 
Also:Director of Urban Innovation Eric Batista Acting Chief Information Officer Walter Guertin Director of Energency and Asset Management John Odell City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli, clerk
 
1.

Virtual Attendee Call-in Information

1a.

In order to ensure active, public engagement, the City of Worcester currently allows for both in-person and remote participation at all City Council and Standing Committee meetings. To partake in this meeting, you may join us directly within the Esther Howland (South) Chamber, dial the direct line as indicated, or join us using the link listed below. Ė Phone Number: 415-655-0001, Access Code: 172 113 4802. https://cow.webex.com/cow/onstage/g.php?MTID=edf581922ed16c6dad5f2bcb18d60f0af

Attachments

No speakers were recognized during this portion of the meeting.

2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment hereby approves the minutes of the Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment Committee meeting of April 13, 2021.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Wally 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

3.

Communications of the City Manager

3a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to fossil fuel pollution. # 11.30A CM June 8, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Wally read the item and recognized the Director of Energy and Asset Management, who discussed the effect of fossil fuel pollution and the needs to switch to renewable energy sources.

Chairperson Councilor Wally recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed methods to quantify the data concerning deaths related to fossil fuel pollution with the Director of Energy and Asset Management.

Chairperson Councilor Wally recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the costs associated with completing a fossil fuel pollution study and implementing a switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources with the Director of Energy and Asset Management.

Chairperson Councilor Wally recognized Councilor Toomey, who spoke to the city collaborating with UMass Memorial to prevent the negative health impacts of fossil fuel pollution.

Chairperson Councilor Wally moved to recommend the item be placed on file. Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

3b.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the City of Worcester IT Strategic Plan. # 21i CC June 8, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Wally read the item and recognized the Acting Chief Information Officer, who discussed the recommendations provided by the IT Strategic Plan.

Chairperson Councilor Wally recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed mobile access challenges with the Acting Chief Information Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Wally moved to recommend the item be placed on file. Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

4.

Miscellaneous Items

4a.

Petition of William S. Coleman, III, request City Council request City Manager consider looking into a radio broadcast of City Council on WCUW, WICN FM and WCRN AM as an additional way to provide access to City Council meetings for residents of Worcester. # 8n CC May 4, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Wally read the item and recognized the following speakers:
1. William S. Coleman, III, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item
2. Troy Tyree, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item

Chairperson Councilor Wally discussed the needs for better access and transparency for the City Council meetings.

Chairperson Councilor Wally recognized the City Clerk, who discussed the timeline associated with bringing forth items within the Standing Committee to City Council.

Chairperson Councilor Wally recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed whether there are limitations to the broadcasting of City Council meetings with the Director of Urban Innovation.

Chairperson Councilor Wally recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed whether there would be any costs associated with the City Council meetings being broadcast on the radio.

Chairperson Councilor Wally brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request City Solicitor review the legalities associated with allowing City Council meetings to be broadcast on the radio.

Councilor Wally then brought forth the following Chairmanís Resolution: That the City Council of the City of Worcester does hereby support its meetings being broadcast on local radio for its residents.

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

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

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request City Solicitor review the legalities associated with allowing City Council meetings to be broadcast on the radio.

That the City Council of the City of Worcester does hereby support its meetings being broadcast on local radio for its residents.

4b.

Order of Councilor Sean M. Rose, Councilor Khrystian E. King, Councilor Sarai Rivera - Request City Manager work with the City Clerk to explore other opportunities for residents to speak on behalf of council items in addition to calling in to City Council meetings. Examples of this could include an email account that can be offered to prewrite testimony, a running blog or some element of social media as potential options. # 10j CC March 9, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Wally read the item and recognized the City Clerk and the Director of Urban Innovation, who discussed the process and challenges concerning obtaining new software for creating City Council agendas, the various public participation features associated with the new software options being reviewed by the department and funding sources for implementing said new programming.

Chairperson Councilor Wally recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed existing channels individuals can use to provide testimony to the City Council, as well as the need to ensure the testimonies are submitted by Worcester residents with the City Clerk.

Chairperson Councilor Wally brought forth the following two Chairmanís Order: 1) Request City Clerk provide City Council with an update concerning the reviewing of new software for building its City Council agendas; and 2) Request City Manager work with the City Clerk to provide City Council with a report concerning how background information on residents providing public testimony through online sources will be verified within any new software implemented by the department.

Chairperson Councilor Wally recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed concerns relative to the verification of the background information and the accuracy of the submitted testimonies through the use of technology.

Chairperson Councilor Wally moved to recommend the item be held. Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

Chairman's Orders

Request City Clerk provide City Council with an update concerning the reviewing of new software for building its City Council agendas.

Request City Manager work with the City Clerk to provide City Council with a report concerning how background information on residents providing public testimony through online sources will be verified within any new software implemented by the department.