Congratulations to the Council’s Television & Technology Director Kerry Jordan on being named a 2017 Shattuck Public Service Award winner! We’re so thankful for all you do to support the Council and keep the public informed through open, accessible communications. And on behalf of Councilor Andrea Campbell and myself, thank you to all our colleagues for a lovely surprise baby shower yesterday! As always, please reach out with any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-635-3115. Anyone can sign up to receive these notes by email at www.michelleforboston.com/sendmenotes or see the whole list of notes at www.michelleforboston.com/notes.
Transportation Infrastructure Grant: The Mayor filed an order asking for authorization for the Public Works Department to accept and expend a $6M MassDOT grant for pedestrian, bicycle and traffic improvements to be used in the reconstruction of Summer Street in the Waterfront. The matter was sent to the Parks, Recreation & Transportation Committee for a hearing.
Constables: We voted to approve the constable’s bonds of 4 individuals under the usual terms and conditions as approved by the Collector-Treasurer.
FY18 Operating Budget: By City Charter, the Council must act on the budget each year by the 2nd Wednesday of June but our fiscal year ends June 30th, so it is customary that we reject the budget without prejudice, allowing the Administration to resubmit a revised version with changes reflecting feedback from our many Ways & Means Committee hearings (27 to date). We did that today by voting down the General operating budget, BPS operating budget, and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liability trust fund. The Administration will most likely resubmit the budget at next week’s Council meeting, with a hearing on the changes tentatively scheduled for June 27th at 10AM. If the Council does not approve the budget by the start of FY2018 (meaning a vote at our June 28th meeting), departments will continue on a month-to-month basis with 1/12 of the funding that was allocated in this current fiscal year.
Sanctuary School Act: Councilors Flaherty and Jackson reported back on yesterday’s hearing on Councilor Jackson’s proposed Sanctuary School Act, which would codify practices regarding federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Boston Public Schools. Under the ordinance, ICE agents would not be allowed to enter BPS sites without a signed warrant from a judge and explicit written permission from the Superintendent and District Attorney; BPS will refuse all voluntary information sharing with ICE; and BPS may not ask for or require proof of legal immigration status upon enrollment. The matter remains in the Government Operations Committee for further work given testimony from Administration officials that some revisions would be needed. Several Councilors urged the city’s law department to act quickly on suggesting those revisions, because students are going into summer school and teachers had testified at the hearing about confusion due to lack of policy at the moment.
Medical Marijuana Dispensary: Councilor Zakim called for a hearing regarding a medical marijuana dispensary at 331 Newbury Street. Compassionate Organics, a non-profit medical marijuana company, is seeking approval to open a dispensary at 331 Newbury Street in the Back Bay. In order to advance in the state’s application process, any petitioner must obtain a letter of support or non-opposition from Mayor Walsh or the City Council. This particular applicant had appeared before the Council in August 2016 when applying for a location on Harvard Ave in Allston, and the Council voted to decline offering a letter of non-opposition for that location. Councilor Zakim stated that he does not have a position on this particular applicant at this location, but wanted to give them a fair and open hearing before the Council to hear from neighbors. The matter was assigned to the Planning & Development Committee for a hearing.
Closed Captioning Transcripts: The Council has now started posting the text transcripts of closed captioning after each live-streamed meeting and hearing, so anyone can go back and read through what is close to a transcript of the discussions. The files are unedited closed captioning transcripts, so they’re not perfect, but I’m thrilled that we’ve finally codified this practice of making a text summary available. You can find them shortly after each meeting/hearing concludes attached to the archived public notice for the event: https://www.boston.gov/public-notic….
Upcoming Hearings (Watch at https://www.boston.gov/departments/city-council/watch-boston-city-council-tv)
- Monday, 6/19 at 2:00PM, Medically Supervised Injection Facilities (Homelessness, Mental Health & Recovery)
- Tuesday, 6/27 at 10:00AM, [Tentative] FY18 Budget Resubmittal (Ways & Means)