On the agenda: Sept 10, 2013 council meeting

The following is a list of motions on the agenda for this week’s Lowell City Council meeting. The number that precedes the motion is the item number on the agenda (as is evident, there is much on the agenda before council motions are even reached which is a fairly recent phenomenon). After the number is the name of the councilor making the motion. In some cases, I add my own comments to provide context or opinion, but these are in italics and preceded by the words “Ed. Note” for “editor’s note.”

Motions for September 10, 2013 CC meeting

21. Marty Lorrey – Request City Manager (hereafter “RCM”) have Law Dept issue an opinion of the policy of the combined City Council and School committee selecting a board member for an open Greater Lowell Vocational School Committee seat. (Ed. Note: Now, when a Lowell representative on the Vocational School Committee leaves before the end of his term, the 15 members of the Lowell City Council and School Committee jointly vote to elect a replacement. While this happened in 2012 when Mike Lenzi resigned, it is very rare).

22. Marty Lorrey – RCM have Police Dept and Health Dept develop a policy regarding so called “club drugs” (such as “molly”).

23. Marty Lorrey – Request City Council adopt a policy of a moment of silence for all Lowell residents who have passed away the prior week.

24. Rita Mercier – RCM provide a report from proper department on when it is permissible to call 911 and provide a review of the 911 recording of Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 11:45 PM. (Ed. Note: Motions that are both very specific and very cryptic are often intended to embarrass a political opponent. It will be interesting to see if that’s the case here).

25. Patrick Murphy – RCM in addition to implementing Adopt-a-lot program, mark properties as city-owned with signage, information, links to website with plans, and space for input from local residents.

26. Patrick Murphy – RCM report on the status of city-owned stone building on the Stoklosa School campus and abandoned block building on the Butler and Shaughnessy School campus.

27. Patrick Murphy – RCM develop work plan with the Flats neighborhood to clear Cat’s Alley and reclaim stretch of city-owned land along wet bank of Hale’s Brook on Chambers Street for construction of residential bike and pedestrian path, and eventual Lawrence Street crossing to Concord River Greenway.

28. Patrick Murphy – RCM develop outreach plan with Lowell Community Health Center and other relevant partners to help residents become aware and take advantage of upcoming Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace.

29. Patrick Murphy – RCM report on implementation of rental inspection ordinance to date.

EXECUTIVE SESSION – Executive session regarding pending litigation relative to the ZBA’s decision in the Habit Opco application (methadone clinic), public discussion of which could have a detrimental effect on the City’s position. (Ed. Note: This involves the proposed methadone clinic on Stedman Street that was defeated last month in the face of strong opposition from neighbors. Several lawyers who are familiar with this area of municipal law have told me that it’s likely the No vote by the Board of Appeals will be overturned in court and that the methadone clinic will ultimately be allowed to open on that site).

Also, Mark Briere resigned from the Election Commission, Kenmontee Parrish resigned from the Conservation Commission, and the City Manager appointed Colleen Brady, J. Haley, and Carolyn Delehanty to the Cultural Council.