City Council Live Blog 11/17/09

7:06: And we’re off!

7:06: Collin Hassett with National Grid is here to request conduits underground on Mill Street and June Street.

7:09: Councilor Eddy brings up reliability issues for these neighborhoods and asks what this construction will do to alleviate the problems. “This project doesn’t address those areas on June street” replies Hassett, but they’ll be able to better pinpoint problem areas, and he says they’ll be requesting future projects to better their service. “This is more or less the first phase for us to address broader issues,” Hassett responds.

7:12: Eddy asks about a pole held up by a rope on Tatnuck Street. Will these projects address the “pole with the rope?” Hassett says he’ll be in the area tomorrow and will take a look at it.

7:16: Rosen brings up Swine Flu. Asks how many vaccines are available. The answer? 6,000. Enough for Worcester public schools? Yes. Volunteer nurses and staff from the Red Cross and other medical societies will be in the WPS tomorrow providing vaccines.

7:20: Rushton gives a “public service announcement” regarding hunger in Massachusetts. Notes that single mothers are suffering from hunger at a higher rate than others in our community. Asks people listening to drop off some food if they can to food pantries, the Mustard Seed, or churches and synagogues.

7:21: Rushton brings up Diamond Chevrolet’s departure from Worcester. Requests exit interviews between businesses that leave the city and Worcester’s economic development team to see why they leave.

7:23: Haller stands up to agree with Rushton and takes it a step further, requesting entrance interviews as well, asking them why they came to Worcester.

7:24: Eddy stands up to talk about replacements for council seats. He cites that if he were to leave, since he ran unopposed, no one would be there to take his seat until the next election. He says that maybe someone with three write-in votes would take his spot. “Is that the mandate?” he asks.

7:26: He wants a charter commission that will address this. “We’re talking about a joke” that would take his place. For the record, Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse were only one vote away from tying for second place in the D5 election.

7:28: Councilor Haller takes the mic. She brings up the off-campus behavior at Holy Cross. “I spent this weekend from 11:30 to 2:00 am roaming the streets of Caro to observe the behaviors of the students of Holy Cross…and we have a long way to go…we are no where close to the right solution on this.”

7:30: “The best description I can use is ‘Mardi Gras.'” She uses Clancy’s quote from a couple weeks ago. “Without the beads,” Clancy chimes in. She says that Senator Moore and Rep. Fresolo have joined in to address the problems in the area.

7:32: “Nothing has changed and it’s disheartening given all the effort and time,” says councilor Clancy, referring to Holy Cross’ night life. “The [students] that are participating have a total disregard for the neighborhood.”

7:37: There’s a request to update the information on Holy Cross’ partying. “We want to have regular updates on Holy Cross from the city manager.” Councilor Toomey would like to see Holy Cross take a look at WPI’s program for its frat houses as a model for a plan that has worked.

7:39: Councilor Palmieri stands up to address the Holy Cross grievances, calling them “tiring.” He suggests having Father McFarland from Holy Cross at a council meeting to hear these complaints. He ends with fighting words: “This wouldn’t happen in my district. That’s for sure.”

7:41: “A nice cold night in a WPD cell would solve this real quick,” says Rushton. “After a couple arrests things seem to settle down real quick…this town and gown relationship, we’ve given them enough rope and they’ve hung themselves.”

7:44: Germain speaks as someone who had to deal with the same issue when he was a higher-up at Holy Cross in 1987. “We have to put some bite into something, and that’s holding the absentee landlords accountable.”

7:45: He also brings up PILOT, charging that sending police and the fire dept. takes city resources. “That’s the only way it’s going to get better, if it comes out of their pocket,” he says, referring to both Holy Cross and the landlords.

7:48: Petty wants a report that describes the police powers of each campus, noting that Holy Cross doesn’t have its own police department like Clark, Becker, etc.

7:49: City Manager Mike O’Brien speaks regarding these issues. He agrees with Haller that much has been accomplished, like educating landlords so they know what the laws are (like ending over-crowding apartments or having students sign leases way in advance of living in the house). He notes that the city’s approach is working because it’s sending students to look for off-campus housing, since no one wants to pay $2,000 per floor, per house.

7:53: Palmieri would like a building next to the Hanover to be restored so that it’s no longer vacant. He wants support from the council and the city to get discussions moving in terms of rehabbing buildings throughout the city, but that one in particular he wants to focus on.

7:55: And we’re done! Quick meeting.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “City Council Live Blog 11/17/09

  1. mike

    didn’t see it the meeting, but how does palmeiri now this wouldnt happen in his district, is he that good , what an arrogant sob

  2. Palmeri wants to work on the south side of Main, near the Hanover? The city has no money and he is talking about sending the city out on a rehab job. That’s part of the city’s problem. Doing things it should not be wasting taxpayer’s money on. What about completing city square first? The council was talking about tearing down the old mall since Marianno was Mayor.
    Palmeri is wacked.

  3. Phil’s always literally correct. In this case, saying that “this would never happen in my district” is literally true, since there are no colleges in his district.

  4. Kate Toomey

    Please take a look at the video of the meeting. I DID NOT say that WPI Fraternities should be added to the watch. I said that I had previously asked that the city and HC look at the program WPI has in place for its fraternities because it works. PLEASE, make a correction. Thank you.

    Also, there IS an institute of higher learning in Phil’s district…it us UMASS Med School. And I have heard neighbors complain about the Med Students as well, but not to the extent that we see with HC.

  5. worcestermagazine

    Noted, Kate. The correction has been made.

  6. Kate Toomey

    Thanks 🙂

  7. If you ain’t part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem. Sound familiar?

    Hasn’t this problem issue been going on now for years at all the colleges. Ever look at the college’s crime stats? Astronomical year over year increases. I’ll wager serious money that those numbers are also vastly understated. That’s right – understated.

    Consider this. When a calls comes into the WPD, stating it’s a student/college related problem, the WPD contacts the college. The college cops arrive, investigate, determine it’s a couple drunk students. Send them on their way, more than likely to another beer bash. Situation under control, no report in police log (which by the way are not available for public inspection since they’re private property). Ergo stats manipulated.

    Secondly, this issue with the T&G reporting the problems, thereby it being forced into City Hall’s purview, then the usual downplaying the issue, then the obligatory we’re working on. Hasn’t this game been going on now for some 5 years?

    Today I heard Rushton on Levy’s show. Ya see Jordan it’s just college kids being college kids. They’re such an asset to our city… look at all the neat stuff they do for us… We don’t wanna hurt their futures by arresting them ya know… they’re future lawyers and presidents yada yada yada…What utter bull. That attitude is the cause of the problem. Rushton you are the problem.

    So Rick, what about the student murders last year? Put that in perspective for us.

    Great job City Council. You’re a credit to the interests that manipulate policy in this city. Namely the non-taxing paying ones.

  8. If the general area surrounding HC was like any other area surrounding a large urban campus then there would be things for the students to do directly off campus other than party.

    Students will be students, this will never change, but if you want to lessen the partying give them things to do besides get hammered and screw.

    College Sq should look completely different and have a way different feel than it does.

    Barbara you want to lessen the partying AND add to the cities tax rolls? Figure out a way to make College Sq the kind of place the kids want to venture down the hill to and hang out.

    Whatever happened to the idea of developing the green space along Southbridge St into a college friendly commercial district?

  9. zed

    Anybody remember what happened to the woman who held after hours parties in one of the “affluent” neighborhoods? There were calls to have her drawn and quartered. The blue collar neighborhoods can just suck it up right?

  10. Pingback: Wholly Cross about College Square « Nicole, Worcester

  11. I figured someone would point out that UMass Med School is in Phil’s district, but I didn’t think it would be another City Councilor…

    Anyway, UMass Med School is about as far removed from being on any lists of “party schools” as an institution of higher learning can possibly be. UMass Med School also isn’t located next to any neighborhoods full of three deckers with absentee landlords renting out to UMass Med School students. Phil’s “literally correct” claim can hardly be called to task…

    Heh… This is not to say that Phil can never be called to task for simply being himself, of course. And yes, I will be keeping an eye on the sidewalk in front of his house again this winter, to see if he continues to thumb his nose at the sidewalk snow and ice removal ordinance.

    You’re just lucky, Kate… no sidewalk in front of your house.

  12. zed

    Jeff, which house? The one where he lives with his family or his voting “residence”

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