Boston City Council meeting - October 25, 2017
Today we began our meeting by lighting candles to celebrate the Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light. We also joined Councilor Pressley in celebrating House Slam, the nationally recognized Haley House Slam Poetry team, who also shared their work with us. As always, please reach out with any questions to michelle.wu@boston.gov or 617-635-3115. Anyone can sign up to receive these notes by email at www.michelleforboston.com/sendmenotes or see the whole list of notes at www.michelleforboston.com/notes.
Boston Public Health Commission Nurses Contract: We voted to appropriate $74,601 from the FY18 Collective Bargaining Reserve to cover costs associated with the collective bargaining agreement between the Boston Public Health Commission and the 30 public health nurses represented by Local 1199 SEIU. Major provisions of the agreement include base wage increases of 2% effective the first pay period of January each fiscal year.
Elderly Commission Funding: The Mayor submitted two orders for Council approval to accept and expend grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The first is a $1.2 million grant to fund a comprehensive and coordinated health and social service system to assist elders to maintain independent living in their own communities as long as desired. The second is a $474,000 grant to run administrative expenses of the Elderly Commission Area Agency on Aging. The matters were assigned to the Committee on Healthy Women, Families & Communities for a hearing.
DNA Testing Backlog Funding: The Mayor submitted an order to accept and expend a $225,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice for the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program to fund two Criminalist positions, lab supplies, and continuing education expenses. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice for a hearing.
Boston Start-Up Funding: We voted to pass the Mayor’s submitted an order to accept and expend a $71,000 grant from the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation of Boston for the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development to fund a Start-Up Manager’s Position in the Office.
Surviving Spouse Benefits: We voted unanimously to pass Councilor Flaherty’s home-rule petition to reinstate the ability of spouses of City of Boston employees who died in the line of duty and later remarried to receive City of Boston health insurance. In 2000, the legislature repealed part of the “remarriage penalty” allowing those spouses who remarried to receive pension benefits, but not insurance benefits. This home rule petition would remove the “remarriage penalty.” It now goes to the State House for state legislative approval. Read the committee report and language here: http://meetingrecords.cityofboston.gov/sirepub/view.aspx?cabinet=published_meetings&fileid=222782.
Community Preservation Act: We voted unanimously to suspend and pass a technical amendment to the Community Preservation Committee Ordinance that I filed to adjust the legal timelines for the Council to select four committee members. The original ordinance required that nominations be finalized within 90 days of passage (which would run up in the first week of November), instead of within 90 days of the relevant committee being formed. In order to line up those timelines and give the City Council’s CPA committee 90 days to complete their work as specified by the Council order we later passed (and which would give us until December. This allows for fuller outreach and promotion of the opportunity and a comprehensive selection process.
Siting of Technology and Telecommunications-Based Infrastructure: Councilor Flaherty called for a hearing on how and where small cell, small wireless and distributed antenna systems equipment are sited throughout our neighborhoods. He cited numerous complaints from residents throughout the city about the infrastructure and equipment appearing without any process or notification on streets and poles near residences. Councilor Flaherty asked for the Dept. of Innovation and Technology, Transportation, Public Improvement Commission, Public Works, and other stakeholders to take part. The matter was assigned to the Committee on City and Neighborhood Services and Veterans Affairs for a hearing.
Upcoming Hearings/Working Sessions (Watch at www.cityofboston.gov/citycouncil/live.asp)
  • Monday, 10/30 at 2:30PM: Working Session on Docket #0393, petition for a special law re: An Act Authorizing Additional Licenses for the sale of All Alcoholic Beverages to be Drunk on the Premises ln Boston, (Government Operations) [Curley Room, 5th Floor City Hall]