Posted by Jeremy Shulkin
Keep your fingers crossed for internet this week.
Posted by Jeremy Shulkin
7:13: We’re off. This Saturday mailmen will be collecting non-perishable items of food and bringing them to local food pantries.
7:16: Ronal Madnick of the Worcester ACLU is here to request that the City Council adopt a “public access” open forum, which would take place in the first 30 minutes of any council meeting and allow anyone to speak on any item of business on the agenda. Maybe he’s worried the councilors will think this will stretch meetings into the wee hours, so he clarifies that in many cities/towns it doesn’t significantly lengthen the meetings. He calls it a “very modest proposal.”
7:19: Bill Coleman is here to ask that Thomas Hoover be invited to “return to our city and be recognized for his years of service as our City Manager and begin the process for placement of his portrait in our City Hall.” Clancy wants letters sent to Mayors Mariano and Murray to let them know we’re saving space for their portraits too.
7:26: Rushton is talking about the Stretch Energy Building Code amendment, calling it a “sustainable way” to build in the city. He says it’s only a 1-3% cost increase on the front end for building, but it’s paid back in energy savings in 1-2 years on the residential side and 8 years on the commercial side. The city will apply for a grant to get money to get this started. 7:37: Clancy is talking about the rising sewer rates, and how this wasn’t a surprise–Moylan has been railing against this for a while now, and the price hikes are because of the EPA (with a little bit of the DEP thrown in there too).
7:38: Smith asks Commissioner Moylan about the status on our EPA permits. Moylan says there’s an appeal to the permit issued for the Upper Blackstone Treatment Plant–he says if EPA forces to city buy the permit it will have a “huge impact on sewer rates.” The other is the Storm Water Management permit. He calls the permit “onerous” and “complicated to comply with.” Moylan says the deck is stacked against Worcester, because the EPA’s appeals board is all EPA members with an interest in seeing their permits be bought. Smith notes “that doesn’t seem very fair.”
7:44: They file the communication relative to the Crompton Park pool construction. No discussion on it–or the problems it’s going through.
7:45: Palmieri is talking about a tougher smoking law, targeting hookas. Palmieri mixes up “hooka” with “hooker”–draws some chuckles. The law would establish hooka bars as “smoking establishments.” Derek Brindisi says it’s time to recognize hookas as a health hazard.
7:59: Rushton isn’t so quick on the hookas, calling them an important Middle Eastern cultural “social” tool.
8:02: The sign ordinance comes up, but after some quick discussion by Rushton (about how “change is necessary, but it’s a matter of how much change”) there’s going to be a 30 commenting period. Damien Jacob of the Worcester Sign Company, who’s in the audience, doesn’t address the council.
8:04: We’re done with the agenda, in suspension Lukes wants a list of the top 25 salaries of Quinn Bill earners. Rushton amends it to be a larger scope–everyone.