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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What’s facing the Board of Aldermen in 2013?

Please note that Alderman Bill Roche resigned.
A new picture has not been taken as of yet.

After a productive 2012 that included ordinances regulating Food Trucks and Psychics, as well as, approving the Redevelopment Plan for Union Square, what is facing the Board of Aldermen for 2013? Here is a quick guide to what you can expect to see in the coming months.

Food Truck owners will have to petition the city for approval on placement and hours-a decision that will be made by the Board of Aldermen according to the ordinance. Should the new ordinance encourage more food trucks, these requests will be included in the bi-weekly meeting agendas.

One can expect to see some decisions moving the Union Square Redevelopment Plan forward and recent meetings have placed zoning changes around proposed Green Line Stations at the forefront, as well. Expect to see big movement in the Inner Belt and Brickbottom areas as the Curtatone Administration pushes to have McGrath Highway grounded and continue breaking down the barriers that have long divided sections of Somerville from one another. The waste transfer station is slated to be torn down and removed this summer bringing more attention to this under-utilized part of the city.

Convened commissions discussing Traffic and Parking should bring forth some ideas and new systems to ease the parking crunch around business districts. Speaking of commissions, Mayor Curtatone has been diligently filling up the numerous boards and commissions in the city, ensuring they have a quorum. Recent events at the Holiday Inn, as well as, a request from Alderman At Large Bill White and Ward 4 Alderman Tony LaFuente regarding a housing issue are making stronger connections between commissions and elected officials. Two spill-overs from events at the Holiday Inn requiring Police attention have brought the Licensing Commission in close conjunction with the Board of Aldermen as they aim to keep the peace in this section of the city. The Holiday Inn ‘Night Games’ Lounge has since been shut down by ISD. Aldermen White and LaFuente recently requested that the Human Rights Commission and the Commission on Persons with DisAbilities review the conduct of the owner of 100 Fellsway West in denying a unit to the winner of the lottery for an affordable unit (Legislative Item number 194061). This meeting will take place soon as the Board of Aldermen kick off their 2013 regular meeting season on January 10th. Anticipate seeing more work between elected officials and city commissions in the upcoming year.

Constituent concerns over the Broadway streetscape improvement plan could add some items to meeting agendas as major renovations are on the horizon for the eastern part of the city. Navigating businesses and residents through this process will be important for involved elected officials. East Somerville will receive the most amount of attention come 2013 as construction continues on Assembly Square with the Orange Line Station slated for a 2014 opening.

Budget season tends to be fun, but then again it should be interesting to see what gets discussed during the spring and summer seasons as this is the height of campaign time for our elected officials. Will they be clamoring for as much agenda mention as they can or will they take it easy, giving opportunity for those facing challengers to gain as much face time with constituents as they can while the weather is good? Can’t wait to find out!

Did I miss anything?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Closing at Holiday Inn was a long time coming. I'm glad it's finally over.