7:16: Mayor Lukes starts the meeting with a moment of silence to recognize City Council reporter’s Nick Kotsopoulos’s loss of his father.
7:21: Gary Rosen proposes the Philadelphia Plan. He tells the council how the city 300 miles to our south came up with this plan that worked well for them. It brought in businesses by offering a 10 year abatement. He asks the manager to look at the Philadelphia Plan and show Worcester how it can help our city as well.
7:34: Paul Clancy has Rosen’s back. He says “the Philadelphia Plan could be a good plan” to bring businesses into Worcester. He notes the plan originally was made to improve and bring in residential properties, but asks the City Manager to look into laws that would allow Worcester to implement a similar plan.
7:26: Rick Rushton says “we’ve been on a slow train to nowhere” since 1984 when Worcester went to a duel tax rate, and says looking at the Philadelphia plan is the first step towards lowering taxes to our business owners, something we’ve needed to do for a long time now. He hopes this is one of many ideas that can be talked about, and possibly used in our own city.
7:29: Kate Toomey creates a new word: “Worcesterdelphia”. Maybe there should be Worcester City Council Dictionary for times like this.
7:32: Barbara Haller says there is progress being made with College Hill, and is hopeful that students who live there in off-campus housing and other residents will live next to each other comfortably and peacefully. She notes that the students are a large part of our city, and do many wonderful things. We need to make sure we don’t forget that as we enforce policy to keep open container, and such things under control.7:44: Mike Germain says although “this is a wonderful step in the right direction”, presses that we need follow-up. He says from experience that right now, the students will begin to hibernate with cold temperatures, snow, along with finals. Come spring time when it warms up, it is likey that more parties, and outdoor activities will take place, and noise and public drinking could be on the rise once again. He also warns that come next September, we’ll have a whole new group of students who will also need to learn the city and neighborhood policies.
7:47: City Manager promises it will be followed-up on.
8:01: Mayor Lukes steps down to the vice chair seat to address the reforestation. She says there is a legitimate concern that many trees will remain tree-less unless we look at the current policy saying areas where trees could conflict with power lines would not have trees planted. She asks to allow residents to come forward to speak.
8:05: A resident doesn’t understand how everywhere else there are trees on top of underground power lines, but DPW says they can’t plant them on top in the Burncoat area. He hopes it can once return to the way it once was with shade trees on both sides of the streets.
8:08: Once again, Joff Smith wants trees for his people. Trees for both sides, please!
8:11: City Manager O’Brien suggests trees will be planted further back from the streets on private properties, but will continue to be maintained by the city. This way, the utility lines and the trees will last, and survive.
8:12: Another resident stands to ask where the city expects to put the trees on the private property, where there is barely any space, and the only space there is to plant a tree is clearly only on the city’s median property.
8:13: The mayor says it’s a rhetorical question.
8:14: An outcry from the crowd says that they can’t believe Mayor Lukes would suggest the resident who spoke isn’t asking for an answer, but just speaking for the hell of it. He wants answers!
8:22: Palmieri is suggesting our DPW crew paint baby feet every ten feet inside of a painted line on the side of the street for parents who are picking up their kids from school. How cute.
8:23: Rosen reminds the Council that next Tuesday is election day. Toomey, and Lukes… you almost forgot, didn’t you? He encourages everyone who is watching on T.V. to voice their opinion at the polls next Tuesday.