CITY OF WORCESTER

Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Meeting

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Levi Lincoln (North) Chamber

Convened: 6:05 P.M.

Adjourned: 7:36 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 Khrystian E. King Councilor George J. Russell Councilor Sean M. Rose, who participated in the meeting remotely
 
Also:City Auditor Robert V. Stearns City Solicitor Michael Traynor Director of Human Resources William Bagley 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 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
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 April 10, 2023.

View Agenda

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.

Communications of the City Clerk

3a.

Transmitting an informational communication regarding the administration of the 2023 Municipal Elections. # 9b CC December 13, 2022

In Committee April 10, 2023 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the City Clerk, who provided an overview of the item and discussed education outreach and strategies employed by the City Clerkís Office to inform voters of the new voting process and increase voter turnout, the design of the election notices and the city website design for the voter information page.

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

3b.

Transmitting an informational communication relative to the passage of an amendment to the Worcester Home Rule Charter, effective September 1, 2022. # 12b CC November 15, 2022

In Committee April 10, 2023 - Held

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

3c.

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 In Committee October 19, 2022 - Held In Committee April 10, 2023 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the City Clerk, who provided an overview of the item and discussed the process for placing ballot questions on a State Election ballot.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the timeline for creating the State Election ballot with the City Clerk.

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

4.

Communication of the City Manager

4a.

Recommend approval of an amendment to the Organizational Ordinance relative to the Technical Services Department. # 10.15B CM September 20, 2022

Attachments

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

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

5.

Miscellaneous Items

5a.

Petition of Megan McCraw and Brian Dutremble request City Council request City Manager to opt-in to the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. # 9k CC May 9, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. Megan McCraw, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item

Chairperson Councilor King discussed the procedure to and impact of opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program (PFML) with the City Solicitor and Director of Human Resources.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Rose, who discussed the role that the cityís unions and collective bargaining contracts have relative to the city opting into the PFML.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager reach out to the President of NAGE Local 495 to inquire whether the union is in support of efforts by the City Council to pursue opting into Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML).

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the Director of Human Resources, who discussed the impact opting into PFML may have on municipal operations and municipal employees, findings from research done by the Human Resources department concerning the PFML, as well as the cityís current paid leave policies for municipal employees.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the Chairpersonís intent for moving the item forward.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following two (2) Chairmanís Orders on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays: 1) Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, including whether there are funds available within the cityís budget to immediately implement the program; and 2) Request City Manager conduct outreach to city employees who may benefit from information concerning existing family and medical benefits available to city employees, in an effort to determine how the city can best support said employees.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Rose, who discussed the needs to obtain more information concerning the PFML program before voting to opt-in.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the Director of Human Resources, who discussed the impact opting-in to the PFML program may have on Worcester Public Schools employees, as well as the importance of including the school side in any discussion around opting into the program.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the City Auditor, who discussed any potential financial impacts opting into the PFML program may have on his department, as well as the role his department would have in auditing funds associated with the program.

Chairperson Councilor King then brought forth the following Chairmanís Order on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays: Request City Auditor provide City Council with a report regarding the fiscal impact that opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program would have on the cityís Fiscal Year 2024 Budget.

Chairperson Councilor King discussed the role the cityís Law Department would play relative to reviewing information concerning the PFML program with the City Solicitor and Director of Human Resources.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the City Clerk, who discussed procedural timelines associated with hearing items relative to the PFML program.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Clerk provide City Council with a report concerning whether any motions were made by the City Council concerning opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave program during its meeting on May 9, 2023.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Rose, who discussed the importance of prioritizing discussions between the city and local unions, such as NAGE Local 495 and EAW, to aid in determining the appropriateness for opting into the PFML program.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the City Councilís role in discussions concerning opting into the PMFL program with local unions representing city employees with the City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor King then brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager work with the Superintendent of Public Schools to inform the appropriate stakeholders within the cityís Public Schools department, elected and nonelected, that the City Council is considering opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, in an effort to allow for said stakeholders to provide feedback to the City Council relative to their position concerning the issue.

Chairperson Councilor King discussed the language required for opting into the PFML program with the City Clerk and City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Rose, who discussed the importance of including EAW members in discussing opting into the PFML program.

Chairperson Councilor King then brought forth the two (2) following Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager ensure representatives from the EAW are included in any discussion relative to the city opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, in order to ensure their feedback is weighed in any decision to opt into the PFML program; and 2) Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a detailed legal interpretation of the Massachusetts General Law associated with opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be approved to request City Council consider opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, at such a time when the City Council is provided a complete and detailed report concerning the program and its impact on the city and its employees.

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

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager reach out to the President of NAGE Local 495 to inquire whether the union is in support of efforts by the City Council to pursue opting into Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML).

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, including whether there are funds available within the cityís budget to immediately implement the program.

Request City Manager conduct outreach to city employees who may benefit from information concerning existing family and medical benefits available to city employees, in an effort to determine how the city can best support said employees.

Request City Auditor provide City Council with a report regarding the fiscal impact that opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program would have on the cityís Fiscal Year 2024 Budget.

Request City Clerk provide City Council with a report concerning whether any motions were made by the City Council concerning opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave program during its meeting on May 9, 2023.

Request City Manager work with the Superintendent of Public Schools to inform the appropriate stakeholders within the cityís Public Schools department, elected and nonelected, that the City Council is considering opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, in an effort to allow for said stakeholders to provide feedback to the City Council relative to their position concerning the issue.

Request City Manager ensure representatives from the EAW are included in any discussion relative to the city opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, in order to ensure their feedback is weighed in any decision to opt into the PFML program.

Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a detailed legal interpretation of the Massachusetts General Law associated with opting into the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program.

5b.

Order of Councilor Khrystian E. King - Request City Manager work with the Director of Human Resources to develop an annual performance evaluation tool for the City Clerk and City Auditor. # 11a CC February 7, 2023

In Committee April 10, 2023 - Held

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

5c.

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 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

5d.

Petition of William S. Coleman, III request City Council add a provision to its rules that allows a petitioner one point of information or clarification on an item before the City Council. # 7b CC March 30, 2021

In Committee December 20, 2021 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. William S. Coleman, III, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed ensuring the timeframe in which a petitioner can ask for a point of clarification be limited to three minutes, which is the original amount of time allotted for a petitioner to speak as a public participant of a City Council meeting.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Rose, who spoke concerning the feasibility of implementing the allowance of a point of clarification for public participants.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the City Clerk, who provided his interpretation for appropriate times at which a petitioner could be allowed to ask for a point of clarification during a City Council meeting.

Chairperson Councilor King discussed amendment process of Rules of City Council with the City Clerk and City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor King moved for a roll call vote to recommend approval to amend the Rule 40 of the Rules of City Council to include a section that would allow for a petitioner to be granted one (1) additional minute to speak before the City Council to provide a point of clarification on their item(s), which would occur once the item is brought up for debate by the City Council and at a time in the discussion that is deemed appropriate by the Chair.

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