City Council Liveblog 1/20/09

7:14: Obama’s swearing in: awesome.  City Council meeting that same night? Meh.

Well, we’re hear for the EXCITEMENT and ENERGY and DECISIVENESS that you’re all used to.  Stick with us the next couple hours.

7:16: Lorraine Laurie, getting a lot of praise as she receives the Caffrey award for her community involvement.  No one has been a more constant presence or voice for the Green Island/Vernon Hill hood.

7:24: Palmieri is reiterating his call for the city to better “celebrate” new businesses that open.

7:24: The Monthly Economic Development Report.

Rosen is asking about the load factors on Direct Air, and how cut rates from other airlines are effecting business.

Julie Jacobson: Initial promotions boosted loads, though things have leveled off, as anticipated.  MassPort has taken over marketing activities.

Worcester to Myrtle Beach service starts in March.

7:27: Rosen asking again about free parking at the airport; Jacobson says parking revenue “is critical” to the operation of the airport.

7:31: These ED updates are becoming like deja vu all over again. Rosen asks about….opening the ice skating rink downtown this winter.

O’Brien says it’s possible, but he needs to figure out if it makes fiscal sense with the cuts he’ll probably have to make over the next three to four months.

7:33: Haller–what about Wyman-Gordon?

McGourthy: Meeting with local officials is done; meeting with President officially requested.  The President wants to sell a good part of the parcel, ASAP, while keeping some operations in the city.

“This owner is stifling progress,” says Haller.

7:37: Cool news.  The old Burwick building should be ready for residential occupancy in 90 days or so.

7:44: The city just accepted the fifth and final year of Weed & Seed money.

7:48: A coalition of water treatment operators and municipalities has issued a report and letter to the feds regarding concerns about federal mandates.

Clancy says, finally, the feds have started to listen, more than they ever had before, to local concerns.

7:52: And Councilor Joff Smith is reiterating long standing city concerns that the feds continue to issue mandates(clean water, sewage, etc), while not having any understanding about how they affect towns and rate payers.

Palmieri calls it a “fairness issue.”

Moylan: “I…would say for the first time, we have EPA’s attention.  The coalition…have captured the attention of the regulators.”

The differences have been “distilled to a few.  They’re huge, but they’re a few.”

Those differences with the EPA come down to 1)affordability and 2)What defines “good science” before mandates are made.

8:03: Interesting report on the state of the fire department fleet.  7 of the 21 apparatus are considered in “fair” condition, though Chief Dio says that’s in relation to other vehicles, not an overall status.

Next year, the city is scheduled to replace two of those vehicles; the two old ones will go into a reserve fleet.

Are firefighters safe?

Chief Dio says that while the vehicles are older than he’d like at the extreme, he feels that the system in place is a good method, and ensures safety.

8:09: Councilor Toomey asks how often the spare/reserve vehicles are used.

Dio says they’re generally only used when another vehicle has to come offline.

8:15: Chief Gemme wants to slightly adjust the police department hierarchy to retain supervisory positions in the Bureau of Professional Standards.  Critical timing, as Gemme notes.

8:21: Lots of snow=a huge motha snow removal deficit.

8:33: Under suspension, nothing of note happens.

Meeting over. We’re out.  See you back here tomorrow.

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1 Comment

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One response to “City Council Liveblog 1/20/09

  1. Any word on what will go in on the ground level of the Burwick Building?

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