City Council liveblog 4/7/09

4:10: Councilor Gary Rosen, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Health & Human Services, presents an honorary plaque to Valerie Bassett of the Massachusetts Public Health Association. Mayor Konstantina Lukes proclaims the week of APril 6 Public Health Week in the city. Robin Clark, Board Member of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, accepts the plaque on Bassett’s behalf.  Mayor  Lukes apologizes for cuts in the city’s health department. It should be noted Councilors Phillip Palmieri and Rick Rushton are not in attendance.

4:23: Ron Madnick of the Worcester County Chapter of the ACLU asks the council to adopt a policy of holding a public access forum during the first 30 minutes of council meetings. He also asks for an unrestricted amount of time for citizens to speak their peace on their petitions on the agenda.

4:32: Councilor Paul Clancy points out that steel construction on the North High School building project was awarded to a contractor that will employee mostly out-of-state workers. According to Clancy, the next lowest bidder was willing to meet the lowest bid and, unlike the company who was awarded the contract, would have employed Worcester union steelworkers. He asks the legal department to look into the topic, so that the council could have this information before bids are accepted. “I think this is significant considering the amount of money we’re putting into this project,” Clancy says.

4:36: Councilor Barbara Haller announces the Public Safety Committee’s decision to accept the FY 2010 Federal Byrne Grant Application. In a public safety meeting held an hour earlier, Police Chief Gary Gemme said the $791,000 grant will go toward retaining 24 police officers scheduled to be laid off at the end of the month. The extra officers will allow the city to continue its Community Impact Division and Summer Impact Program.

4:40: And that’s it. Meeting adjourned. Has to be a record for fastest meeting ever. Maybe everyone just can’t wait for the 6:30 budget meeting. Stay tuned…

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