CITY OF WORCESTER

Municipal and Legislative Operations Committee Meeting

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:01 P.M.

Adjourned: 5:41 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Morris A Bergman
Vice Chairperson Luis A Ojeda
Councilor Donna M Colorio
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Morris A. Bergman Councilor Luis A. Ojeda, who arrived at 5:03 P.M. Councilor Donna M. Colorio
 
Also:City Solicitor Michael Traynor Community and Intergovernmental Affairs Manager David Quiroa Chief Financial Officer Tim McGourthy Chief Development Officer Peter Dunn Chief Human Resources Officer William Bagley Director of Housing Development and Healthy Homes James Brooks Deputy City Clerk Clare Robbins, 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 December 19, 2023.

View Agenda

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

2b.

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 December 20, 2023.

View Agenda

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

3.

Communications of the City Manager

3a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the Fiscal Year 2024 financial update, as of December 31, 2023. # 8.30A CM January 23, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Bergman read the item and recognized the Chief Financial Officer, who provided an overview of the item and discussed the timeline concerning the finance reports being brought forward to City Council, as well as the functions of the new Workday program.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman moved to recommend the item be placed on file.

Recommend File

3b.

Transmitting Informational Communication Relative to the update on the administration of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. # 8.39A CM January 23, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Bergman read the item and recognized the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Development Officer, who provided an overview of the item.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman then discussed the amount of the ARPA funding that has been expended, the amount of funding that is contractually obligated to be expended and the funding that is allocated to the Downpayment Assistance program for first-time homebuyers with the Chief Development Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized the Director of Housing Development and Healthy Homes, who discussed the amount of funding that has been expended to first-time homebuyers, as well as the residency requirement for the Down payment Assistance program.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Ojeda, who discussed how the information concerning Down payment Assistance program is currently being promoted to the public with the Director of Housing Development and Healthy Homes.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Colorio, who discussed the qualifications for the Down payment Assistance program with the Director of Housing Development and Healthy Homes.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman discussed what would happen to the money allocated to the Down payment Assistance program if it is not fully spent by December 31, 2026, whether the funding is a loan or a grant to first-time homebuyers and the 5-year residency restriction policy with the Director of Housing Development and Healthy Homes and the Chief Financial Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Ojeda, who discussed whether there is a follow-up procedure with the Down payment Assistance funding recipients and the education workshop provided to recipients with the Director of Housing Development and Healthy Homes and the Chief Financial Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager work with the Chief Development Officer to develop a testimonial marketing campaign to advertise the Down payment Assistance program.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman moved to recommend the item be placed on file.

Recommend File

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager work with the Chief Development Officer to develop a testimonial marketing campaign to advertise the Down payment Assistance program.

3c.

Recommend adoption of an Ordinance relative to vacation, sick, parental, compassionate and holiday leave for unrepresented employees. # 11.3A CM December 5, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Bergman read the item and moved to take the item up collectively with items #3d through #3f.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized the Chief Human Resources Officer, who spoke concerning the item.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman moved to recommend the item be placed on file.

Recommend File

3d.

Transmitting informational communication relative to a side-by-side comparison of the benefits of the Paid Family Medical Leave Act to the new leave benefits that will be offered by the City, effective January 1, 2024. # 9.3A CM October 17, 2023

Attachments

Recommend File (See Item #3c)

3e.

Transmitting informational communication relative to a report outlining the City administrationís research into the Commonwealth of Massachusettsí Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program. # 19g CC September 12, 2023

Attachments

Recommend File (See Item #3c)

3f.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the restructuring of the Comprehensive Leave Benefits in Lieu of adoption of PFML. # 11.3A CM September 12, 2023

Attachments

Recommend File (See Item #3c)

4.

Miscellaneous Items

4a.

Resolution of Councilor Khrystian E. King - That the City Council of the City of Worcester does hereby support Massachusetts HD 2091 and SD 761, which would amend Chapter 59 of Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 59 to make it easier for municipalities to collect a minimum of 25% of tax value from large nonprofits that own property valuing more than 15 million dollars. # 12a CC October 17, 2023

In Committee December 20, 2023 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Bergman read the item and recognized the Community and Intergovernmental Affairs Manager, who spoke concerning the status of the items Massachusetts HD 2091 and SD 761.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Colorio, who spoke concerning the item.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman moved to recommend the item be placed on file.

Recommend File

4b.

Order of Councilor Etel Haxhiaj - Request City Manager provide City Council with a report detailing a list of properties purchased by colleges and universities from 2019 to the present, whether the college or university kept the property on the tax roll, any signed community benefit agreements associated with new projects on these properties and what changes, if any, were made to PILOT contributions. # 10a Tuesday, January 17, 2023

In Committee March 2, 2023 - Held

Attachments

Order of Councilor Etel Haxhiaj - Request City Manager provide City Council with a report detailing a list of properties purchased by colleges and universities from 2019 to the present, whether the college or university kept the property on the tax roll, any signed community benefit agreements associated with new projects on these properties and what changes, if any, were made to PILOT contributions.
# 10a Tuesday, January 17, 2023

In Committee March 2, 2023 - Held

Chairperson Councilor Bergman read the item and recognized the Chief Financial Officer and City Solicitor, who discussed the availability of gathering data relative to properties purchased by colleges and universities from 2019 to the present, recently signed community benefit agreements and the PILOT agreements with the colleges and universities.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with a report summarizing Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements with colleges and universities in the city.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Colorio, who discussed how properties purchased by a college/university can be classified for taxable usage, why colleges/universities do not have to pay taxes for dormitories and whether colleges/universities pay taxes for buildings with retail businesses with the City Solicitor.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request City Assessor provide City Council with a report concerning the trigger component that would render the usage of a nonprofit-owned property by a for-profit entity to be classified for taxable usage.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman moved to recommend the item be held.

Recommend Hold

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report summarizing Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements with colleges and universities in the city.

Request City Manager request City Assessor provide City Council with a report concerning the trigger component that would render the usage of a nonprofit-owned property by a for-profit entity to be classified for taxable usage.