CITY OF WORCESTER

Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment Committee Meeting

Monday, January 31, 2022

Virtual Meeting

Convened: 6:00 P.M.

Adjourned: 7:40 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Etel Haxhiaj
Vice Chairperson Kathleen M Toomey
Councilor George J Russell
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Etel Haxhiaj Vice Chairperson Councilor Kathleen M Toomey Councilor George J Russell
 
Also:Assistant City Manager/Director of Urban Innovation Eric Batista Chief Information Officer Michael Hamel Chief Sustainability Officer John Odell Data Officer Michael Glaser Deputy City Clerk Stephen AJ Pottle, 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 remote participation only at all City Council and Standing Committee meetings. To partake in the meeting, you may 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. - Phone Number: 415-655-0001, Access Code: 2312 647 8021, Event Password: EH22. https://cow.webex.com/cow/onstage/g.php?MTID=ed7002ba06ca2b6227ded132c421b66ea

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj read the item and recognized the following speakers:
1. Oliver Chadwick, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3c
2. Sam Hopkin, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3c
3. Tarang Shah, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3c

2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment hereby approves the minutes of the Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment Committee meeting of June 23, 2021.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj 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 Councilor Etel Haxhiaj - Request Standing Committee on Urban Technologies, Innovations, and Environment schedule a meeting that invites appropriate representatives from the cityís departments that oversee issues pertaining to said Standing Committee to discuss its goals for the next two (2) years, as well as review the previous successes and challenges of the various departments. The Standing Committee of Urban Technologies, Innovations and Environment considers matters pertaining to smart city solutions, process engineering, technology, telecommunications, strategic planning, green spaces, blue spaces, urban agricultural, urban trees, climate change and electric aggregation. # 8c CC January 18, 2022

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj read the item and recognized the Assistant City Manager, who discussed the efforts concerning implementation of the Open Data portal, the challenges relative to the implementation of new technology and technological programs that are being developed and adapted by the city.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized the Chief Information Officer, who discussed the plans concerning implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) program and rebuilding project for the GIS program for the city.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized the Chief Sustainability Officer, who discussed the Sustainability & Resilience Department operations and programs, and applicants to the Green Worcester Advisory Council.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized the Assistant City Manager, who discussed goals concerning racial equity for each city department.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized the Chief Information Officer, who discussed plans concerning increasing accessibility for the city website.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized the Chief Sustainability Officer, who discussed efforts to make emission data for city facilities available and accessible to the public.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed environmental concerns relative to road upkeep projects, candidate for the Green Worcester Advisory Council, installation of solar panels for city-owned properties and the property information available and accessible for the new Building Blocks program as well as other functions of the program with the Chief Sustainability Officer and the Assistant City Manager.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed privacy concerns relative to the Building Blocks program and the incorporation of data from the Police and Fire Departments in the program with the Assistant City Manager.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized the Assistant City Manager, who discussed utilization of Building Blocks program by other municipalities with the Data Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the development of comprehensive 311 program and mobile app with the Assistant City Manager and Councilor Toomey.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj then discussed the benefits of the 311 program and other methods of communication, including phone line and other messaging apps, and integrating data from the 311 program to Building Blocks with the Assistant City Manager.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj 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.

Order of Councilor Matthew E. Wally, Councilor Morris A. Bergman, Councilor Donna M. Colorio, Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, Councilor Sarai Rivera, Councilor Sean M. Rose, Councilor Gary Rosen, Councilor George J. Russell, Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey and Mayor Joseph M. Petty - Request Standing Committee on Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment hold a meeting with the appropriate representatives from the cityís staff to discuss municipal broadband. # 9e CC November 23, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj read the item and recognized the Assistant City Manager, who discussed the challenges relative to building municipal broadband network in the city and the needs to do a feasibility study for the costs and best options of the project with the Chief Sustainability Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed exploring 5G network provided by T-Mobile, challenges relative to 5G services, the School Departmentís hotspots distribution program and working with WPI to research EBRS as an option with the Assistant City Manager.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed WPIís network infrastructure, the legality concerning the usage of land and fiber leasing by utility companies with the Assistant City Manager.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning the amount of city-owned fiber optic cables installed in the city.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized the Assistant City Manager, who discussed the Request for Proposal (RFP) process and how to provide information and updates on the program to the public.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj brought forth the following two Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager provide City Council with quarterly update concerning the status of implementing municipal broadband in the city. Further, request City Manager include said quarterly update on the cityís website; and 2) Request City Manager consider holding a public meeting to allow for public input relative to implementing municipal broadband in the city.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj 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 quarterly update concerning the status of implementing municipal broadband in the city. Further, request City Manager include said quarterly update on the cityís website.

Request City Manager consider holding a public meeting to allow for public input relative to implementing municipal broadband in the city.

3c.

Petition of Tarang Shah request the city end its financial support for fossil fuels by taking the following actions: 1) Within five (5) years, support the city's climate declaration, city-owned investment portfolios shall not contain any shares of fossil fuel companies; 2) support similar divestment by its colleges, which have significant investments in fossil fuel companies; and 3) support similar divestment from fossil fuels by the State of Massachusetts, and will additionally resolve to support the location option divestment bill, H. 3662/S.636, as well as new drafts and similar bills that will be introduced in the future. # 7t CC November 23, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj read the item and recognized Councilor Toomey, who discussed the cityís investment accounts.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj brought forth the following two Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning the actions taken by the city to address climate issues; and 2) Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning the legal actions available to the city relative to divesting in fossil fuel companies.

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

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

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning the actions taken by the city to address climate issues.

Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning the legal actions available to the city relative to divesting in fossil fuel companies.

4.

Communication of the City Manager

4a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the City of Worcester Social Media Policy. # 18a CC September 22, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj read the item and recognized the Assistant City Manager, who provided an overview of the social media policy for city employees.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed whether the social media policy is applicable to elected officials with the Assistant City Manager.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj 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