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Monday, April 28, 2014

Committee on Legislative Matters to Meet, Discuss 19 Item Agenda

The Committee on Legislative Matters will meet on Tuesday April 29th at 6:30pm to discuss a 19-item agenda that includes such interesting topics such as the requested ordinances surrounding "Pay to Play" campaign contributions, "Formula Businesses," and "Globe Direct" deliveries among others.

The twin "Pay to Play" ordinances have hit some roadblocks while in committee with some Aldermen wondering how contributing to political campaigns could, potentially, prevent someone from seeking a job or contract with the City.

According to research by the City Solicitor's Office, an ordinance regulating "Formula Businesses" have led to, at least, one lawsuit in another community. More discussion will be needed to properly define formula businesses to prevent the City from being vulnerable to lawsuits.

"Globe Direct" deliveries have been the subject of  Davis Square LiveJournal posts, so it will be interesting to see what the City Solicitor can do about this annoying practice.

The full agenda is as follows:
· 193206: Discuss in Committee That the City Solicitor review Boston's and other municipalities' ordinances to eliminate public nuisances caused by problem properties, and appear before the Committee on Legislative Matters to discuss adopting it here.
· 193587: Recommend Requesting approval of a Complete Streets Ordinance to insure equal access for all users of the public ways.
· 194062: Discuss in Committee That the City Solicitor examine the proposed ordinances of Quincy, Boston and Woburn regarding absentee landlords and appear before this Board’s Committee on Legislative Matters to discuss the implementation of a similar ordinance.
· 194075: Discuss That the City Solicitor review the proposed ordinance, referred to as Chapter 12, Article VII, Complete Streets Ordinance, to limit city liability.
· 194076: Discuss That the City Solicitor review the proposed ordinance, referred to as Chapter 12, Article VII, Complete Streets Ordinance, to determine what happens in Section (6) when state guidelines change; and to determine if the cost in Section (7) is proportional to the project and how the difference would impact the city.
· 194968: Recommend Requesting approval of the attached Ordinance Regulating Campaign Contributions from Those Seeking Contracts, Zoning Relief, the Purchase of City Property, or Financial Assistance from the City.
· 195024: Recommend Requesting, with the sponsorship of Ald. Desmond, Bastardi, Sullivan, O'Keefe and Trane, approval of an Ordinance regulating "pay-to-play" public contracting and campaign contributions for municipal elected office.
· 195725: Discuss That the City Solicitor provide this Board’s Committee on Legislative Matters with input on restricting formula businesses in Somerville by requiring specific review and oversight before they may enter central business districts.
· 195825: Discuss in Committee That the City Solicitor and the Director of SPCD (ISD) update this Board on measures requiring property owners to maintain their property so it doesn't negatively impact their neighbors.
· 196357: Recommend That the city's Human Rights Policy at Ordinance 2-237 be amended by adding the words "gender identity and expression," to protect transgender individuals from discrimination.
· 196362: Discuss That the City Solicitor appear before this Board to describe the process for responding to requests for public records, including fees and redactions, and how this comports with the requirements of state law, the Secretary of State's Public Records Division, and the practices of other communities.
· 196385: Discuss That the City Solicitor determine whether the U.S. Postal Service complied with federal law and applicable guidelines regarding the closing and selling of the Union Square Post Office facility.
· 196644: Discuss That the City Solicitor provide the Committee on Legislative Matters with an analysis of the Law Department’s support to charge for review and redaction of requested information.
· 196645: Discuss That the City Solicitor provide the Committee on Legislative Matters with the good faith estimate of number of hours and the hourly rates charged for every information request this year, to date.
· 196646: Discuss That the City Solicitor report to the Committee on Legislative Matters on the Board's ability to create guidelines for public information requests.
· 196730: Recommend Requesting approval to amend the Ordinances at Chapter 15 with respect to undue influence.
· 196780: Discuss That the City Solicitor advise this Board of the city's ability to control the dissemination of advertisements from "Globe Direct", and inquire why individual requests to stop unsolicited deliveries are not followed.
· 196781: Discuss That the Licensing Commission reconsider the regulation for liquor establishments to leave doors open between 8 AM and 9 PM, Monday through Friday, in areas that aren't central business districts, and convey to this Board how this regulation may be altered.
· 196856: Discuss Assistant City Solicitor responding to #195725 re: restricting formula businesses.

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