Appointments & Confirmations
- Boston Public Health Commission: Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan was reappointed and Francis Doyle appointed to the Commission by the Mayor, subject to Council confirmation
- Audit Committee: We voted to confirm Mark Ciccone for a term until November 2020
Student Housing: Mayor Walsh submitted an ordinance to create a new Certificate of Occupancy permit for private student housing, which would institute a $15/unit fee (capped at $2,500 per building) and give the City greater authority to regulate the conditions of student housing ($300/month violation penalty per unit). The matter was sent to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.
Municipal Lobbying: Mayor Walsh submitted a home-rule petition to create regulations on disclosure and registration for lobbying at the city level, modeled after existing State-level regulations. The rules would apply to both executive and legislative lobbying, including communications with all city employees at all levels over government operation. The rules would also include procurement contracts in the regulatory framework. The matter was sent to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.
City Clerk Election: As required by City Charter, we took a vote to elect a City Clerk (every 3 years after the first Monday in February). The Clerk serves as Clerk both for the City of Boston and for the City Council, responsible for leading a staff to maintain the records of the City and track administrative procedures at Council meetings. Clerk Maureen Feeney was reelected unanimously.
Trauma Recovery Centers: Councilor Pressley called for a hearing on the Boston Public Health Commission’s Trauma Recovery Centers. She noted that the Health Commission established 8 Trauma Recovery Centers in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan that provide trauma support services and referrals to additional health services. She further stated that data from these centers could help align and target funding for improved services and coordination. The matter was sent to the Committee on Healthy Women, Families, and Communities for a hearing.
Firearm Safety/Gun Violence Prevention Resolution: We voted to suspend and pass Councilor Pressley’s resolution in support of HR 2612/S 1473, a bill sponsored by Senator Ed Markey to authorize the appropriation of funds to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearm safety or gun violence prevention – treating gun violence as a public health issue. Under that framework, the federal government should be providing research to support prevention and reduction of gun violence as it would for other public health crises.
Youth Development Program Funding: Councilor Campbell submitted her first hearing order today, calling for a review of funding for youth development programs in the public safety context. She emphasized the need for developing proactive, coordinated, systematic programming, because our youth development programs often address mental health services, mentoring, job opportunities for our youth in a way that impacts public safety. She noted that 20,000 people are incarcerated in MA, with the majority returning from state and federal detention facilities to the city of Boston. Many are first exposed to the criminal justice system as youth. At the hearing, she will focus on the need to maximize investments in our youth and hear from young people about what is working. As is Council tradition, we all stood and gave her a standing ovation for her first remarks on the Council floor. The matter was sent to the Committee on Public Safety & Criminal Justice for a hearing.
Massport/City Development: Councilor Flaherty called for a hearing on Massport Development Plans for City- or EDIC-owned parcels, especially in the Marine Industrial Park. He noted it was reported that MassPort recently put out an RFP for property, which would be a unique economic development opportunity for the City and seafood industry. However, the site is on a ground lease with 53 years and no guarantee of renewal. Any future changes would have to come before the City Council, so Councilor Flaherty believes that Massport needs to engage with the community and Council now. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Planning & Development for a hearing.
Upcoming Hearings/Working Sessions (Watch at www.cityofboston.com/citycouncil/live.asp)
- Tuesday, 2/9 at 10AM, Council Chamber: Hearing on Ordinance to Exempt Elderly Residents from Snow Removal Obligations (Government Operations)
- Tuesday, 2/9 at 1PM, Piemonte Room: Working Session on Urban Renewal (Planning & Development)