Worcester City Council Preview: Scooters, Spring Street Cleaning, and Long Live Turtle Boy?

by | Apr 23, 2019 | Headlines, News, Politics

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WORCESTER – The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday, April 23 after a week off due to April vacation.

Each week, ThisWeekinWorcester.com will provide a preview of the upcoming meeting to help keep readers informed of the on-goings of the city’s governing body.

Each preview will highlight five items from the City Council agenda for that week that haven’t already been covered by TWIW.

This week’s preview consists of ways the City address chronic homelessness, what we should do about electric scooters when they inevitably invade the city, the return of a spring clean-up after a one year hiatus, bring a film festival to Worcester, and restoring the Burnside Fountain (Turtle Boy statue) to its former glory.

1. Who are Worcester’s Homeless and where are they from?

The Committee on Public Health and Human Services has three requests to the City Manager to address chronic homelessness in the City.

  1. Provide an updated report concerning what the city administration is doing to address chronic homelessness.
  2. Find out how many of the chronically homeless individuals that the city’s homeless outreach staff work with are from Worcester.
  3. Find out what the Massachusetts Department of Correction and Worcester County Sherriff’s Department are doing to ensure that former inmates aren’t ending up homeless. 


2. The scooters are coming?

City Councilor At-Large Gary Rosen has an order on this week’s agenda requesting that the City Manager research and establish rules and regulations just in case electric scooter companies invade Worcester.

Rosen references two companies, Bird and Lime. They are on-demand electric scooter rental services. These scooters are meant for city-use and go about 15 mph. Lime scooters can be found in 15 Massachusetts cities (Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Needham, Newton, Revere, Waltham, Watertown, Winthrop). Bird scooters can be found in Brookline.

If we remember what happened with our yellow Ofo bikes, the City could avoid potential disaster here.

3. Spring Clean-up Redux?

A second item from Rosen — a request of the City Manager to provide a report on the feasibility and cost of doing a leaf pickup program in the spring.

Spring leaf cleanup used to be a thing in Worcester. The City removed it this year for budget purposes. So it is feasible operationally, but the money probably isn’t there.

And for those residents with Christmas trees dumped at the curb, please move them. By all means, please drop it off here: Yard Waste Drop Off.


4. Long live Turtle Boy?

No, not that Turtle Boy. But the original.

District 2 City Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson is requesting that the City consider restoring the Burnside Fountain at the corner of Franklin and Church Streets in downtown Worcester.

Mero-Carlson is asking to see what it would take for the statue to return to full operational use, including use of the sculpture as a fountain.


5. A 48-Film Festival Right Here in Worcester

District 1 City Councilor Sean Rose is requesting the City Manager to get in touch with the 48 Hour Film Project to see if Worcester could host an event.

The 48-hour Film Project is an annual film competition – placing teams of filmmakers together to make a movie – write, shoot, and edit – in just 48 hours.

The film competition is currently in more than 50 cities across America [and more internationally], including Boston and Providence.

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Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Previous to starting TWIW, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Before that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He can be contacted at [email protected]