Today’s meeting started with two presentations: Councilor Pressley led the Council in honoring Clarence Cooper, longtime political activist in Boston and a founding member of the Unity Sport and Culture Association. We also joined Councilor Edwards in recognizing Boston Police Captain Kelly McCormack for his commitment to service as he recently went above and beyond to make sure a family passing through Boston got home safely after the young lady had brain surgery. Anyone can sign up to receive these notes by email at www.michelleforboston.com/sendmenotes or see the list of all previous notes at www.michelleforboston.com/notes.
School Repairs: The Mayor filed an order to submit statements of interests to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for their Accelerated Repair Program for the following schools: Rafael Hernandez School, Patrick Lyndon, Donald McKay K-8, James Otis, Josiah Quincy ES, Snowden International at Copley and the John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science -- including replacement, renovation or modernization of school facility systems, such as roofs, windows, boilers, heating and ventilation systems, to increase energy conservation and decrease energy related costs in a school facility. The matter was assigned to the Ways & Means Committee for a hearing.
Collective Bargaining: Mayor Walsh filed orders to fund the recently settled collective bargaining agreements between the Boston School Committee and the Boston School Police Patrolmen’s Association. This would include base wage increases of 2% in October of each fiscal year. The contract is from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2020. The matter was assigned to the Ways & Means Committee for a hearing.
Grant: Mayor Walsh filed an authorization order for Council approval for the Police Department to receive $30,000 from the Department of Justice for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program to fund surveillance vehicles for the Boston Police Department Fugitive Unit. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Public Safety & Criminal Justice for a hearing.
- Boston Conservation Commission: Mayor Walsh appointed Michael Parker as member until November 2019
- Boston Retirement Board: The Board selected Thomas V.J. Jackson as a member until January 2019
- Assessing Department: Commissioner Ronald W. Rakow appointed William Dudula as an Assistant Assessor
Curbside Composting Program: Councilor O’Malley and Pressley refiled a hearing order on the feasibility of implementing a curbside composting program in Boston. They both spoke on how such a program would save the City money by reducing waste sent to landfills, while also producing finished compost that could be used for landscaping in Boston’s parks and gardens or could be sold. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Environment, Sustainability & Parks for a hearing.
Annual Homeless Census: Councilor Essaibi-George called for a hearing on this year’s homeless census, the point of time count that occurs each year surveying individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Boston shelters and on the streets. This data is used to identify policy priorities and measures to end homelessness. Having a hearing would give the Council an opportunity as in previous years to focus on how homelessness impacts individuals, children, young adults and families, as well as resources currently in place to support team. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health & Recovery.
Voting Rights for Immigrants with Legal Status: Councilor Campbell called for a hearing to explore the possibility of allowing Legal Permanent Residents, visa holders, Temporary Protected Status recipients, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients to vote in municipal elections and to examine other inclusive practices. Currently, non-U.S. Citizens are prohibited from voting by state law and thus limited in playing an active role in civic life. Several Councilors supported the need for the Council to have this discussion, given that federal laws and politics are preventing many of these people from becoming American citizens. Others expressed that voting should remain a right for United States citizens only. The matter was assigned to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.