11/24/09 City Council Live Blog

7:09: It begins! It’s crowded and busy out in the hallway, and there’s a good-sized crowd in the seats

7:10: Eddy starts us off with a resolution to honoring judge, city councilor, and mayor Paul Mullaney for his commitment to the community, and his 90th birthday. “It’s far too often that we don’t speak enough about the people who made this city what it is today,” says Eddy.

7:13: Mullaney speaks. “It gives me a great feeling for Thanksgiving and the holidays to follow.” He attributes his long life to never having a cigarette and adds “I never had a drink of alcohol–until I got to the city council.”

7:15: Rushton stands up to complement Mullaney as well. Says that his father-in-law ran against Mullaney for congress in 1974, and that it’s a testament to both men that they could have a “spirited debate” on the council floor and then walk away friends.

7:18: Toomey stands and calls the judge a role model. Her uncle and Judge Mullaney were on the council together too.

7:20 Palmieri stands and says he goes “way back” with judge Mullaney. He remembers the 1974 election and describes the energy and excitement over it throughout city.

7:24: Clancy rises to say a few words. Mentions Mullaney’s war record (WWII and Korea) and his service to his city and family.

7:26: Haller rises to discuss a development on May and Woodland street, and the residents of the development are using street parking rather than parking the designated lot. She would like the issue looked at.

7:29 Smith stands up to ask about the impact of a historic district–wants everyone to be informed before they make a decision, especially so they know how this proposal will impact property values.

7:30: Palmieri is confused about the facts. He says they’re still waiting for answers. He says a “critical property” has been bought, but wonders if the people who were affected by this–two people in the audience who recently bought a home in the designated area–were notified by real estate agents or lawyers.

7:33: He says the effort was “Herculean” but the couple have gotten short-changed. Says the end result isn’t fair to the couple, and it’s the city’s job to make things “fair and balanced.”

7:36: Rosen introduces Paul Martin to speak. Martin talks about increased traffic on Pleasant St and around Tatnuck Square. He ask the city to make a light at the bottom of Wrentham Rd. He says it will alleviate a lot of problems.

7:40: Toomey wants to speak about the city’s new tree. Calls it “admirable” that O’Brien found a solution to the expense problem of finding a new tree every year. But she says that planting a tree would have been better. She wants to make people aware that the organization Park Spirit will take donations to plant a real, live tree for future use when the fake tree’s 15 year life-span ends.

7:43: Germain cares more about the skating rink on the Common. Commissioner Moylan comes up to speak about it. Says it will be ready for next winter. But, for this winter the city is looking at some temporary solutions with private partners to have skating on the Common. The boards will still be installed this winter even without water to protect the surface from the de-icing chemicals used on the sidewalks.

7:45: Rosen wants to talk about the CHRISTMAS tree (he enunciates the word). Thanks O’Brien for saving money but asks “Did we ever consider having a nursery installed?…An artificial tree should’ve been a last resort.”

7:47: O’Brien responds. Planting a tree that size would be problematic. “It’s smart, it’s green, it’s cost-effective.” Says that this tree could be used in conjunction with another tree in the future, says it gives the city flexibility financially and in terms of celebratory options.

7:49: Rosen thanks O’Brien, but says it would’ve been more fitting with the holiday spirit to plant a tree. He doesn’t like that the Christmas tree is called a “Holiday” tree, saying it’s demeaning to Christmas, wants people to refer to it as a Christmas tree.

7:52: $98,000 in funds reappropriated to fund the cost of collective bargaining agreement between the city and the police department. All vote yes, except Lukes.

7:53: Rushton has something to say about stimulus spending. He thinks that spending money on public safety is not wasteful stimulus money because without public safety, no one, businesses especially, won’t stay.

7:55: Only MA spent a lot of stimulus money on public safety, credits Patrick for doing something 49 other governors did not. Says it “gives us more breathing room” because the city and state are “starting to turn around.”

7:57: Eddy wants to echo Rushton, but says O’Brien and Chief Gemme’s effort pushing for and working for having stimulus money spent on public safety won the dough.

8:02: Five people have looked into applying for Library Board.

8:04: Toomey stands up to discuss a DOT meeting regarding building a better bridge over Lake Quinsigamond, and that Rep. Pedone says people coming into Worcester “should be met with a signature bridge.” She says this is our chance to have a say in a $140 million project. The bridge should be visually pleasing from the water and the road, and that the lake’s character deserves a statement-making bridge (she says the lake is the 4th best in the world for crew racing (rowing)).

8:13: Germain informs the council that the city has won a grant for $5,000 to improve tennis courts and lighting at Christoforo Colombo Park (East Park).

8:16: Palmieri brings up Holy Cross partying again, referencing yesterday’s press conference at the school. He’s still not happy with the issues going on on College Hill, and not happy with the school’s approach.

8:17: O’Brien says the city has made great strides in regard to College Hill, and is looking forward to more “thoughtful and diligent discussion to advance this cause.”

8:18: Palmieri questions the cost of the bridge, “a lot of taxpayer money for one bridge.” The council calls for a report on the bridge.

8:19: Clancy notes that nine of the tabled items on the agenda are a year old. Time for some metaphorical house cleaning. He wants them addressed next week.

8:21: And we’re done. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

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1 Comment

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One response to “11/24/09 City Council Live Blog

  1. I think people leaving Worcester “should be met with a signature bridge,” too.

    And if Phil Palmieri doesn’t like HC’s approach…perhaps he has a relative on College Hill he can move in with and run for District 4 councilor.

    And count me as the sixth person who’s interested in applying to the library board. (I actually will apply tomorrow…)

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