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.