CITY OF WORCESTER

Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Meeting

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:06 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:04 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
 
Also:Chief Financial Officer Timothy McGourthy Chief Human Resources Officer 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/93823030890
Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099
Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Zoom Access Code: 938 2303 0890

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 October 3, 2023.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and moved to adopt the item. Order adopted

3.

Communication of the City Manager

3a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the Fiscal Year 2024 financial update, as of September 30, 2023. # 8.28A CM November 14, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the Chief Financial Officer, who discussed the financial data and financial health of the city, flood fluctuation and state aid budget, as well as the debt service obligation and debt load of the city.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the interest rates for the debt service, the debt obligation for Doherty Memorial High School construction project, the difference in interest rates of Doherty Memorial High School construction project in comparison to South High School construction project and plans concerning debt repayment with the Chief Financial Officer.

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 informational communication relative to a report of all the City Manager's Contingency Fund expenditures over the past five (5) years. # 10.29A CM August 22, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the Chief Financial Officer, who discussed how the Contingency Fund is utilized, as well as the fiscal transfers relative to the Contingency Fund.

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

3c.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the Racial Equity Audit Report for the departments of Human Resources and Health & Human Services. # 15c CC September 29, 2022

In Committee March 2, 2023 - Held In Committee July 20, 2023 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and discussed the history of the Racial Equity Audit Report and the Chief Diversity Officer/Chief Equity Officer position.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized the Chief Human Resource Officer, who discussed actions that have been taken relative to the city-level recommendations provided by the Racial Equity Audit Report, including revising the job descriptions and changes to the job posting process, new paid leave policies,

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the timeline relative to the creation and posting of the annual Diversity Report to the cityís website, as referenced in the Racial Equity Audit Report recommendations.

Chairperson Councilor King then discussed targeted recruitment and collective bargaining efforts, the usage and effectiveness of using diversity job boards and centralizing the screening process with the Chief Human Resources Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Rose, who discussed strategies for working with unions to increase city employment with the Chief Human Resources Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the timeline and prioritization of recommendations provided by the Racial Equity Audit Report, including data pertaining to their targeted recruitment strategies and feedback concerning initiatives being made regarding improving the work culture in the city as relates to inequity.

Chairperson Councilor King then discussed the role of the internal investigator, as well as salary audits with the Chief Human Resource Officer.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following two (2) Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager conduct a salary audit in the city to ensure equity and competitive wages for all employees; and 2) Request City Manager provide City Council with an update concerning the Equity Audit Report for the Worcester Police Department.

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 provide City Council with a report concerning the timeline relative to the creation and posting of the annual Diversity Report to the cityís website, as referenced in the Racial Equity Audit Report recommendations.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the timeline and prioritization of recommendations provided by the Racial Equity Audit Report, including data pertaining to their targeted recruitment strategies and feedback concerning initiatives being made regarding improving the work culture in the city as relates to inequity.

Request City Manager conduct a salary audit in the city to ensure equity and competitive wages for all employees.

Request City Manager provide City Council with an update concerning the Equity Audit Report for the Worcester Police Department.

4.

Miscellaneous Item

4a.

Order of Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson and Councilor Khrystian E. King - Request City Clerk work with the Director of Human Resources to provide City Council with a report regarding additional City Council Office staffing options, including job descriptions and salary options for new positions. # 11g CC July 18, 2023

In Committee August 17, 2023 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor King read the item and recognized the City Clerk, who discussed the historical timeline of the item and the hiring process for the additional City Council aide positions, the language concerning the drafting of ordinance concerning the hiring authority and hiring practices of the City Council.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following two (2) Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager prioritize the drafting of a Special Act to amend the City Charter to allow the City Council to hire its own support staff; and 2) Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the process for obtaining external legal counsel for the purposes of drafting a Special Act to amend the City Charter to allow the City Council to hire its own support staff.

Chairperson Councilor King then discussed whether there has been engagement between the Clerkís Office and the Law Department concerning the Special Acts ordinance draft language and the feasibility of including in the Clerkís Ordinance a temporary clause to allow the City Clerkís Office to aide the Chief of Council in managing the City Councilís Office with the City Clerk.

Chairperson Councilor King brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Clerk and City Manager work in conjunction with the Standing Committee on Public Works to review the logistics and rearrangement of the desks within the City Council Office.

Chairperson Councilor King recognized Councilor Rose, 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

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager prioritize the drafting of a Special Act to amend the City Charter to allow the City Council to hire its own support staff.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the process for obtaining external legal counsel for the purposes of drafting a Special Act to amend the City Charter to allow the City Council to hire its own support staff.

Request City Clerk and City Manager work in conjunction with the Standing Committee on Public Works to review the logistics and rearrangement of the desks within the City Council Office.