Lowell City Council Meeting: March 8, 2016

Election of City Auditor. Bryan Perry elected by 7 to 2 vote (with Councilors Mercier and Elliott voting for John Linnehan). Council then appoints for a three year period and to set the salary in accordance with an existing salary grid for administrators (approximately $96,000 per year).

Report that gun violence dropped considerably last year. Police Chief Taylor explains that the decrease is a result of the hard work of the police and of a citywide effort by the council, by neighborhood groups, and by others. There was a 32% reduction in incidents involving guns in 2015 compared to 2014. He calls it extremely good news. Police seized 70 illegal guns last year. The Chief believes the 20 additional officers the council has added has been a big help. Also, they’ve deployed them more strategically. The revived “gang unit” has also helped.

After public hearing, Council votes to adopt Massachusetts law that exempts active duty military members from having to pay excise taxes.

After public hearing, Council votes to amend city nuisance ordinance to strengthen it, particularly for items like signs being placed on public property.

After public hearing, Council votes to amend city ordinance on minimum maintenance of properties.

Vote to except and spend $3 mil federal grant for Signature Bridge within Hamilton Canal District. Passes unanimously.

Motion by Councilor Mercier to investigate the dumping of mattresses, etc on Lawrence Street.

Motion by Councilor Samaras for the timing of traffic lights at Andover and Nesmith Streets

Motion by Councilor Samaras for a traffic plan during closing of Enel Bridges for repair.

Motion by Councilors Leahy and Rourke to explore feasibility of building a coaches/storage building at Cawley Stadium. Councilor Mercier says former Mayor Caulfield says an anonymous donor has been working on a much more elaborate facility for at least two years (implying that this motion is redundant).

Motion by Councilor Belanger for report on youth services programs and jobs for this summer

Motion by Mayor Kennedy to take steps to curtail drag racing on Pawtucket Blvd

Motion by Mayor Kennedy for report on DPD survey of downtown businesses on attitudes towards Business Improvement District

Motion by Mayor Kennedy to explore General Electric “Intelligent Cities” devices for WiFi cameras and other sensors for public safety use

Motion by Mayor Kennedy to send city representatives to The International Council of Shopping Centers in Boston this summer.

Council adjourns at 8:04 pm