City Council Preview: April 1, 2019

This week City Council agenda contains another Executive Session to discuss the on-going legal case regarding the municipal voting structure; “Regarding Matter of Litigation, Namely Huot et al. V. City of Lowell, public discussion of which could have a detrimental effect on the City’s position. It has been well over a year since the suit was filed.  Perhaps the need for an executive meeting after a few weeks of none signals some movement in the case.

The formation of a Census Complete Count Committee is being announced under the Mayor’s agenda items. I preparation for next year’s national and decennial population census, the Mayor’s office, the Election Commission, and the Department of Planning and Development have partnered to create a Complete Count Committee (CCC). The kick-off event will be pubic and be held on April 25th at the Lowell Senior Center from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

MOTION RESPONSES from Mayor William Samaras

Councilor V. Nuon (11/20/018) “Request the mayor introduce a motion before the School Committee requesting the LHS Social Studies Department write a more fitting testimonial to display with the portrait of Benjamin Butler in Lowell City Hall. Councilor E. Kennedy: Request that it be sent back to the City Council for final approval.”

In his response Mayor Samaras states that he submitted the motion during the January 16, 2019 School Committee meeting.  The written response includes a cover letter from the School Department as well as the “fitting testimonial.”

Councilor R. Mercier (1/22/2019) “Request that State Senator and State Representatives revisit the State’s Bullying Policy, Chapter 71, Section 370, to amend the section which does not allow the perpetrators fate to be disclosed to the victims’ parents.”

Mayor’s response includes the copies of the letters that were sent to the four members of the State’s House Lowell delegation.

MOTION RESPONSES from Administration

Councilor V. Nuon (3/19/2019) “Request City Manager have the Economic Development Department report on their most recent outreach efforts to neighborhood business districts; if no recent efforts request implementing more outreach efforts.

In the response of the Diane N. Tradd, Assistant City Manager/DPD Director, she writes: “DPD’s Economic Development Office makes regular efforts to maintain contact with businesses throughout the City and to address neighborhood groups comprised of business owners, property owners, and residents.

The Economic Development Office had a presence at the most recent meeting of the Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association (LDNA), on March 25. It provided updates to the group on economic development initiatives and facilitated the introduction of the owner of a new business (Panela Restaurant) to the group. Other recent outreach efforts include attendance and participation in the following meetings: February 2019, Action-ACRE Meeting; November 2018, Branch and Middlesex Street Business Group Meeting; August 2018, Branch and Middlesex Street Business Group Meeting;  March 2018: Downtown Business Stakeholder Summit;  February 2018, Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association (LDNA) Meeting and January 2018, JAMBRA Meeting.”

 MANAGER’S VOTES

RFP for Community-Wide Internet: “Authorizing the City Manager to negotiate and enter into a contract for a period of thirty (30) years, relative to a Request for Proposals to build and operate a community-wide high speed, robust and well-designed fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network over an open access fiber network for residents, businesses, government and community anchor institutions located with the City of Lowell. Sifi Networks America LLC submitted a proposal to build and operate a community –wide high speed fiber-to-the-premises network (FTTP).”

This vote is the result of the extensive discussion that took place last week regarding building a competitive high-speed fiber network for Lowell’s internet users.

PETITIONS

The Lowell City Council will be discussing the traffic pattern on Perry Street once again. A petition has been filed to revert to the original traffic pattern.  There has been a number of presentations made by the Traffic Department;  Residents of that street as well as the adjoining streets have presented their views; and the Council has tried to do what is best for the majority, taking safety into consideration.

MOTIONS

  1. Councilor R. Mercier “Request City Manager have proper department install a sign at the First Street side of hill area under surveillance and install cameras to identify and fine people who are dumping trash there.”
  2. Councilor K. Cirillo “Request City Manager have proper department give the City Council An update on the Tour de Lowell Race.”
  3. Councilor V. Nuon “Request City Manager direct the City Engineer make it explicit to contractors hired for paving and fixing our streets that the work must be guaranteed and that they will fix any of their work that needs repair within a reasonable period of time.”
  4. Councilor V. Nuon “Request City Manager direct the Parking Department instruct their staff to check pay stations during daily routes and report any malfunctioning meters each day.”
  5. Councilor V. Nuon “Request City Manager have the DPD give updated status on the lighting at the Roberto Clemente Baseball Field.”
  6. Councilor V. Nuon “Request City Manager reach out to the City Of Cambridge to see if someone can come speak to the Council about the Participatory Budgeting Process that Cambridge has undertaken during the last five years.”
  7. Councilor J. Leahy “Request City Manager provide a report regarding permitting fees issued by the Board of Parks.”
  8. Mayor B. Samaras “Request City Manager instruct Proper Department to check the status of Little League Fields in the City in preparation for the upcoming season.”
  9. Mayor B. Samaras “Request City Manager instruct Proper Department to study the intersection of Bowers St. and Fletcher St. by St. George Church to assess traffic and consider the installation of a four way stop or traffic lights or other measures to ensure safety for pedestrians and vehicles.
  10. 10. Mayor B. Samaras “Request City Manager instruct Proper Department work with the Mayor’s Office in establishing a volunteer commission to help prepare for Lowell’s Upcoming Bicentennial including representatives of the Lowell Historic Board, Lowell Historical Society, Lowell Heritage Partnership, and other appropriate organizations and individuals.”

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