CITY OF WORCESTER

Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Meeting

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 6:00 P.M.

Recessed: 6:08 P.M. Reconvened: 6:48 P.M. Adjourned: 8:50 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Khrystian E King
Vice Chairperson George J Russell
Councilor Sean M Rose
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor King Councilor George J. Russell, who attended the meeting virtually until the meeting recessed at 6:08 P.M.
 
Also:Chief Development Officer Peter Dunn Chief Financial Officer Timothy McGourthy City Auditor Robert Stearns City Solicitor Michel Traynor Assistant City Clerk Clare M. Robbins
 
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 attend the meeting in-person within the meeting location, follow the below link to join via Zoom or dial the direct line as indicated. Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/99524470181 Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099 Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Zoom Access Code: 995 2447 0181

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the following speakers:
1. Frank Callahan, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3b CC
2. Councilor Thu Nguyen, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #6a
3. Anne Lisi, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3b CC and #6a
4. Alicia Haddad, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to item #3b
5. Alex Guardiola, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to item #3b
6. William S. Coleman, III, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3b
7. Jenny Pacillo, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3b

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 Committee meeting of September 28, 2022.

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 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Rose absent)

3.

Communications of the City Auditor

3a.

Transmitting an audit of the cityís payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) funds for the past ten years indicating which agreements are inactive and to providing further details that could inform the City Council. # 17b CC August 9, 2022

In Committee August 24, 2022 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the City Auditor, who discussed the purpose of a Payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program, whether any PILOT agreements in place in the city and how many PILOT agreements have expired.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager reengage with organizations and institutions that have had Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements expire with the city for the purpose of reestablishing new agreements. Further, request City Manager work to renew existing PILOT agreements with new parameters.

Chairperson Councilor King discussed the negotiation of PILOT agreements with the Chief Financial Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed whether taxable properties purchased by nontaxable institutions come off the tax roll, as well as the process used to determine whether a property should be exempt from taxation with the Chief Financial Officer and City Assessor.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request City Assessor provide City Council with a report concerning steps taken over the last three (3) years to reassess and revalue tax exempt properties.

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 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Rose absent)

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager reengage with organizations and institutions that have had Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements expire with the city for the purpose of reestablishing new agreements. Further, request City Manager work to renew existing PILOT agreements with new parameters.

Request City Manager request City Assessor provide City Council with a report concerning steps taken over the last three (3) years to reassess and revalue tax exempt properties.

3b.

Transmitting an informational communication relative to the Community Preservation Act (CPA) surcharge and the related state match that the City would have raised if it had adopted it in 2018. # 13a CC May 25, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the City Auditor, who discussed calculations of earnings that would have been realized had the city have adopted the CPA in 2018.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the appropriateness of discussing the CPA in the forum of a standing committee meeting, as well as how monetary figures associated with the item were calculated with the City Auditor.

Chairperson Councilor King discussed the process by which the Standing Committee reviewed information relative to placing the CPA question on the ballot, as well as how the revenue is tracked with the City Auditor.

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 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Rose absent)

4.

Communication of the City Clerk

4a.

Transmitting an informational communication relative to information regarding the process of making charter changes and placing ballot questions on a State Election ballot. # 13a CC June 7, 2022

In Committee August 24, 2022 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the importance of a larger hearing associated with the city residentsí desire for charter change.

Chairperson Councilor King discussed methods associated with making charter changes with the City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed whether questions on the ballot could be listed as binding or nonbinding with the City Solicitor.

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

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Rose absent)

5.

Communications of the City Manager

5a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to ARPA status report. # 10.4D CM September 20, 2022

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the Chief Development Officer, who provided an update concerning aid being given to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as community-focused initiatives being undertaken by the city using ARPA funding.

Chairperson Councilor King discussed implementing appropriate community feedback to improve programs funded using ARPA monies, applications associated with receiving ARPA monies and the selection process for allocating funding with the Chief Development Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the types of businesses and individuals applying for ARPA funding, as well as how descriptive the applications are with the Chief Development Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to bring forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Chief Development Officer provide City Council with a copy of the rubric/decision making tool for disbursement of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies.

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 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Rose absent)

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Chief Development Officer provide City Council with a copy of the rubric/decision making tool for disbursement of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies.

5b.

Recommend adoption of an amendment to the Cityís organizational ordinances to create the Latino Advisory Commission. # 9.40A CM November 30, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and provided an overview of the purpose of the Latino Advisory Commission.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the City Solicitor, who discussed the application process for residents to join the Latino Advisory Commission.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following two (2) Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager provide City Council with an update concerning the work being done as it relates to the Latino Advisory Commission; and 2) Request City Manager work with the with appropriate stakeholders in the black/African America community to discuss whether a commission similar to the Latino Advisory Commission should be established for the black/African American community.

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 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Rose absent)

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide City Council with an update concerning the work being done as it relates to the Latino Advisory Commission.

Request City Manager work with the with appropriate stakeholders in the black/African America community to discuss whether a commission similar to the Latino Advisory Commission should be established for the black/African American community.

6.

Miscellaneous Item

6a.

Order of Councilor Thu Nguyen - Request City Council authorize and create a community ad-hoc committee to engage Worcester residents in the process of hiring a city manager, do community listening sessions in all five districts, and provide a report with feedback and data to city council. # 11c CC April 12, 2022

In Committee April 27, 2022 - Held In Committee May 4, 2022 - Held In Committee May 25, 2022 - Held In Committee July 14, 2022 - Held In Committee August 24, 2022 - Held In Committee September 28, 2022 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and discussed actions taken relative to the search for a permanent City Manager.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Clerk provide City Council with an update concerning the establishment of an ad-hoc committee to engage Worcester residents in the process of hiring a city manager.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the Assistant City Clerk, who read into the record a statement prepared by Councilor Haxhiaj supporting the item.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Russell, who stated he was in opposition to the item as written.

Chairperson Councilor King discussed the upcoming City Council meetings with the Assistant City Clerk.

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

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Rose absent)

Chairman's Orders

Request City Clerk provide City Council with an update concerning the establishment of an ad-hoc committee to engage Worcester residents in the process of hiring a city manager.