WORCESTER – The last City Council meeting before next week’s Municipal Election will feature an agenda from the City Manager and there will be no orders from City Councilors. However, there are plenty of items on the agenda to look out for.
Blinking Lights at Lake Park
If you ask any city official, public safety is always paramount on their list of priorities. District 2 City Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson is taking a long-time issue in her district and working towards a solution.
At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Mero-Carlson has filed a petition asking for the city to install blinking crossing lights at the entrance of Quinsigamond State Park on Lake Avenue.
The intersection is extremely dangerous not just to pedestrians, but to cars as well. Cars from Hamilton Street turning left onto Lake Ave must cross three lanes of traffic and deal with any pedestrians crossing the road.
“I support the idea of a crosswalk flashing light on Lake Ave near the park,” District 3 City Councilor George Russell, whose district borders the park.
We have the opportunity to do something down there” Mero-Carlson said in a phone interview on Monday, Oct. 30.
Mero-Carlson said that there was recently a traffic study done by the City Manager’s office at that intersection with regards to CSX trucks on the road.
“I’m curious to know what that study revealed,” Mero-Carlson said. “They have the numbers from the trucks. They should have for the cars, too.”
Russell supports the idea of a traffic study being done to deal with the multitude of accidents that occur at the intersection.
“I would support any effort to promote safety in the District,” Russell added.
City Exemption for City Employees snow plowing
City Manager Edward M Augustus Jr. will present the the opinion of City Solicitor David M. Moore in regards to the exemption of the Conflict of Interest Law when it pertains to snow plow contracts.
This topic garnered much discussion at the City Council meeting on October 17.
“This administration has no greater priority than compliance with the Conflict of Interest law,” Augustus said in his letter to the City Council.
The opinion states that that the Conflict of Interest Law prohibits city employees from having any financial interest in city contracts beyond the scope of their employment.
It is pointed out in several instances in the opinion that violation of this provision is criminal and could be punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fine.
In summary, the law prohibits employees from the Department of Public Works & Parks, the Office of the City Manager and the Executive Office of Administration and Finance from having a snow plowing contract with the city. That also includes equipment being placed in a family member’s name or a corporate entity where the employee of the family member held a financial interest.
World War I Memorial
Commissioner of Public Works and Parks Paul J. Moosey will update the City Council and the public on the planned renovations and improvements to the World War I Memorial Grove in Green Hill Park.
The first three phases of the six phase project are scheduled to be completed by the Veterans Day 2018, which would be the Centennial of the end of World War I.
The first three phases will include the entrance, the pathway and the Memorial itself. The final three phases will be completed in November of 2019.
The project encumbers four objectives
- Guide the public to participate in the memorial landscape, both physically and spiritually, this is essential to the visitor’s experience of a memorial.
- Provide a vital, quiet, beautiful public space for the surrounding residents.
- Integrate the surrounding memorial landscapes to create a memorial landscape cluster.
- Respect site characteristics, and create a sustainable, low maintenance memorial site.
State of the City
“The State of the City is Strong and Optimistic,” Augustus said in his letter to the City Council when giving his update on the development and announcement of the City of Worcester Strategic and Master Plan, and Lean Management.
“It is hard not to see all the progress our administration and this council have made in recent years to bring us to this point,” Augustus added.
Tonight’s meeting will start at 7:00 PM and will be held in the Esther Howland Chamber in Worcester’s City Hall.