On the Move and On the Agenda for 3/18/13…
UPDATED 3/18/13 5:55PM: For additional details of special permit hearing.
The below segment is a preview of key items on the upcoming Springfield City Council agenda. Full report in “Take My Council, Please” after the meeting.
The March 18, 2013 agenda of the Springfield City Council appears fairly light as planned for this week. A great deal of its items appear to be leftovers from that last meeting as several critical financial orders were delayed.
Other matters before the Council appear fairly routine. However, the Council is also expected to take further action on several ordinances, including revisions to the foreclosure ordinance. That revision, which backers of the original ordinance pleaded be tabled pending more discussion, was ultimately delayed by Ward 8 Councilor John Lysak’s invocation of Council Rule 20.
Ward 5 Councilor Clodo Concepcion requested a bonding order for Central High School and deficit spending for snow and ice removal go to the Finance Committee, which he chairs. At the last Council meeting, Concepcion appeared to threaten to fight Central’s bond, which would pay for a new roof and science labs, unless a new senior center was constructed soon.
Concepcion held a Finance Committee meeting, but in both that meeting’s minutes and subsequent report, he backed off that threat and agreed to allow the measure to proceed. The snow and ice spending also received his blessing.
At-large Councilor Bud Williams, chair of the Planning and Economic Development Committee, is expected to release a report on a city vacant lot program. He may also try to pull out special permit for Lamar Advertising’s bid to erect digital billboards. He appeared poised to do it at the last meeting, but ultimately chose not to. At a committee hearing today, Clerk of Courts Laura Gentile surprisingly gave her support to Lamar’s bid as The Republican‘s Peter Goonan ties her and the project to disgraced former City Council Frank Keough.
Final step is scheduled for a municipal lien ordinance. The Council will receive City Comptroller Pat Burns’ report on the foreclosure ordinance in order to consider that item, pursuant to Lysak’s invocation of Rule 20. Allegedly, support for the revisions, which would settle the city’s lawsuit with local banks, has dropped among councilors. This is, however, only a rumor from outside City Hall at this time. Ward 1 Councilor Zaida Luna, chair of General Government, is also likely to submit the report of a meeting held on the ordinance last week.
Zoning changes recommended by the Planning Board and equipment leases will also be before the Council. The Council will also be asked to accept chapter 32, section 28k of the General Laws, which ostensibly relates to employees of the city who are also representatives of employee unions.