City council allows first-ever Mayor’s Briefing

WESTFIELD – Mayor Brian P. Sullivan, fresh from Monday’s inauguration ceremony, briefed the City Council on Thursday evening.
Sullivan delivered the first-ever Mayor’s Briefing, an allotted half-hour before the council’s 7 p.m. start time.
The briefing provides the mayor an opportunity to highlight and to clarify orders on the council’s scheduled agenda. City department heads joined the mayor during the council’s regular session. The department heads made themselves available for questions posed by the council.
“We’re going to attempt to do something different and unique and, hopefully, informative and successful here tonight,” Sullivan said. He said he will likely tweak the format over the coming sessions.
Sullivan laid out briefing parameters so that everyone could end up “on the same page,” which includes recognizing the authority of City Council President Brent B. Bean II, outlining new agenda items and mayoral communications.
“It’s really not about debating the issues, but getting to know the issues,” said Sullivan. “I’m not looking for your support or whether you’re against it.”
He introduced department heads, who sat in the gallery.
During his tenure as councilor, Sullivan noted members sometimes lacked essential information before discussing an issue or voting on an order. He promised to limit last-minute orders, a council “pet peeve.”
Sullivan said he will contact Bean immediately of any late-filed orders.
“It’s still your prerogative whether you want to send it to committee or not,” he said.
He added he will not interfere with the council’s decision to assign mayoral communications to committees or subcommittees. “It’s your house,” he said. “You can do with it want you want at that point.”
The City of Chicopee holds regular mayoral briefings, a tradition that has continued under reelected Mayor Richard J. Kos.
On the agenda, the mayor asked the council to approve the reappointment of Adam Edward Roman, of 73 Glenwood Drive, to the Gas and Electric commission; reappoint Amy M. Tosi, of 21 Honey Pot Road, to the Cultural Council; appoint Brian Hoose, 60 Arnold Street, as a member of the Off-Street Parking Commission; appoint Kathleen Deviny, 18 Noble Avenue, as a member of the Historical Commission; and appoint Demetrios I. Kanavaros, 12 S. Maple Street, to the Commission for Citizens with Disabilities.
The council approved several minor financial transfers and held two brief public hearings on granting a special permit for Brothers Custom Car Care, Inc., located at 202 Union St., and a zone change request for the former Moseley School at 25 Dartmouth St.
The body welcomed several new members, including Ward 1 Councilor Mary Ann Babinski, Ward 3 Councilor Andrew Surprise, former Mayor and now At-large Councilor Daniel Knapik, and At-large Councilor Steve Dondley. The new members are joined by Ward 2 Councilor Ralph J. Figy, Ward 4 Councilor Mary O”Connell, Ward 5 Councilor Robert A. Paul Sr., Ward 6 Councilor William Oynski, and At-large Councilors Dan Allie, Dave Flaherty, Cindy C. Harris and Matthew T. VanHeynigen.
The next council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Jan. 21. The mayor’s briefing will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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