CITY OF WORCESTER

Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Meeting

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Meeting Room

Convened: 6:08 P.M.

Adjourned: 8:06 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
 

Worcester Youth Center - 326 Chandler Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Khrystian E King Councilor Kathleen M Toomey Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson
 
Also:Councilor George Russell, who joined the meeting remotely City Solicitor Michael Traynor Professor of Law at Stanford University Nathan Persily, who joined the meeting remotely Principal Clerk Lorena Castillo City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli, clerk
 
1.

Virtual Attendee Call-In Information

1a.

Pursuant to Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021 and 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 the meeting, you may join us directly within the location, follow the below link to join via the WebEx application or dial the direct line as indicated. If you would like to raise your hand when in the meeting as a call-in user you may dial *3. Ė Phone Number: 415-655-0001, Access Code: 2303 922 0028.

https://cow.webex.com/cow/onstage/g.php?MTID=e3158abe5ea126ecb609cd4ae533f9d4f

Attachments
2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

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 22, 2021.

Attachments

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

3.

Miscellaneous Items

3a.

Order of Mayor Joseph M. Petty Ė That the City Council of the City of Worcester does hereby authorize the City Solicitor to execute the consent decree containing the following three electoral system options: Option #1: A single-member district-based system for electing all members of the Worcester School Committee with no at-large seats (the ďSingle Member SystemĒ). Under any such Single Member System, there shall be a total of six (6) single-member Worcester School Committee districts, including two (2) majority-minority districts, based on citizen voting age population of Hispanic/Latino/a and Black residents, and the Mayor as Chair. Option #2: Hybrid: A hybrid system that combines single-member district-based seats with 1 at-large seat. Under the Hybrid System, the Worcester School Committee shall be comprised of seven (7) single-member district-based seats, including two (2) majority-minority districts, based on citizen voting age population of Hispanic/Latino/a and Black residents, with one (1) at-large seat and the Mayor as chair. Option #3: Hybrid: A hybrid system that combines single-member district-based seats with 2 at-large seats. Under the Hybrid System, the Worcester School Committee shall be comprised of six (6) single-member district-based seats, including two (2) majority-minority districts, based on citizen voting age population of Hispanic/Latino/a and Black residents, with two (2) at-large seats and the Mayor as chair. # 19c CC October 12, 2021

Attachments
In Committee for informational purposes only

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and provided an overview concerning the decision to execute the consent decree and discussed the various options available to the city for electing School Committee and City Council officials.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the following speakers:
1. John Anderson, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to item #3a
2. Roberta Schaeffer, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to item #3a
3. Christine Johnson, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to item #3a
4. Randy Feldman, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to item #3a
5. Konstantina Lukes, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to item #3a
6. Robert (No last name given), No resident given, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to item #3a
7. Sue Mailman, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to item #3a
8. Eric DeMeulenaere, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to item #3a
9. Natalie Turner, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to item #3a
10. Karen Valentine Goins, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to item #3a
11. Ruth Rodriguez Fay, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to item #3a

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who spoke concerning the needs for transparency relative to the redistricting process and the importance of district representation.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Toomey, who spoke concerning the item.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request City Solicitor work with the cityís counsel to provide City Council with a report concerning voting data relative to the southeast Asian community in the city.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the City Solicitor, who discussed the conditions by which the potential School Committee districts could be amended.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Resolution: That the City Council of the City of Worcester does hereby support a six district school committee structure.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote concerning the aforementioned Chairmanís Resolution. Motion approved on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Toomey and Councilor Mero-Carlson, who both spoke in favor of two (2) at-large seats being part of the School Committee election process.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Resolution: That the City Council of the City of Worcester does hereby support a School Committee election process that includes two at-large members and one Mayor.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote concerning the aforementioned Chairmanís Resolution. Motion approved on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Council dually consider changing the City Councilís method of electing City Council in order to align it with the chosen electoral system for the School Committee.

Chairperson Councilor King 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 work with the cityís counsel to provide City Council with a report concerning voting data relative to the southeast Asian community in the city.

Request City Council dually consider changing the City Councilís method of electing City Council in order to align it with the chosen electoral system for the School Committee.

Chairman's Resolutions

That the City Council of the City of Worcester does hereby support a six district school committee structure.

That the City Council of the City of Worcester does hereby support a School Committee election process that includes two at-large members and one Mayor.

3b.

Communication of the City Clerk transmitting an informational communication concerning House Bill 4118 an Act Relative to Re-precincting (formerly H.3863), relative to the City Council 2020 Redistrciting process, as indicated in the City of Worcester's Charter Section 7-6 Districts: Section A&B. # 12a CC October 12, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and 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