This week, we reported on the partial reopening of one surface lot near Union Station, closed at the beginning of the month in an attempt to drive more traffic toward the Union Station garage.
After meeting with business owners, City Councilor Phil Palmieri brokered an agreement with the city that keeps the lot closest to the Osgood Building open, at least on Friday and Saturday nights. In an interview, Palmieri said he would like that expanded to Thursdays, and indicated that business owners in the are may be interested in taking some sort of control over maintaining the lot.
That “control” could take several forms. While simple maintenance in exchange for nighttime access would be the easiest deal, there are some hints that down the road, a coalition of businesses may be interested in leasing a lot from the city. That would be a new twist on the old idea of privatization, albeit on a much smaller scale.
City CORI reform is expected to take a major step forward at tonight’s City Council Public Safety committee meeting, as City Solicitor David Moore suggests changes to a proposed ordinance in order to avoid perceived potential legal hurdles.
“This is the…best ordinance dealing with this issue in the country,” says EPOCA Director Steven O’Neill, one of the driving forces behind CORI reform in the city.
One of the legal questions – whether or not the ordinance would apply to the School Department – has been answered with language that clearly establishes the law is only for city side departments. Similarly, the word “administration” was added to the ordinance to ensure that the rules were not interpreted as falling under City Council authority.
While some opposition is expected tonight, the council has supported the ordinance to date; the group is expected to pass a final ordinance on Tuesday night.
In this week’s Worcester Magazine, Editor Jim Keogh reports on the closing of Foothills Theatre. As part of the story, Photographer Brittany Durgin put together an audio slide show featuring Board of Directors member Robin Bahr-Casey speaking about her feelings on the theater ceasing operations.