City Council Preview Sept. 6, 2018

At-Large City Councilor and City Council President John J. Beltrandi, III.

WESTFIELD – City Council President John J. Beltrandi, III noted that of four grants coming to the council from Mayor Brian P. Sullivan at Thursday’s meeting, three have no matching money from the city.
Immediate consideration is being requested for the acceptance of a federal grant of $2.7 million from the Department of Transportation for Westfield Barnes Airport to improve airfield drainage. The grant was announced on Aug. 27. It is funded by the Federal Aviation Agency airport improvement program.
Also for immediate consideration is a grant of $50,000 to the Department of Public Works from the Mass CBC, for the Wastewater Treatment Plant $25,000 (city expense is $5,000), for a total project of $75,000. Although requests for immediate consideration have been a topic of discussion at recent council meetings, often those attached to grants are due to acceptance deadlines.
Two other grants requesting acceptance by the council include one for $13,670 from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to the Westfield Emergency Management Agency for supplies, equipment and training; and one for $65,170 federal share from the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters grant to the Westfield Fire Department to train for Active Shooter Hostile Event (ASHE) incidents. This grant is asking for a 10% city match of $6,516.
Also requested for immediate consideration by the Mayor is the transfer of $77,548 from the Off Street Parking, Full time Hourly Account to the City Clerk Department Full time Hourly Account. Beltrandi said the License/Off Street Parking is being moved from under Community Development to the City Clerk’s office.
Several personnel appointments and GL disclosures are on the agenda, among them the reappointment of Bryan Forrette as the Director of Facilities Management, for a term to expire in February of 2021.
A public hearing will be held for a special permit application submitted by D.F. Chase, Inc. for a Business B truck terminal to be located at Medeiros Way.
Later in the agenda, the Ad-Hoc Business committee will be submitting a request that City zoning ordinances for special permit granting authority be reviewed. At a recent meeting, the committee discussed zoning amendment language prepared by the Law Department, and approved by the Planning Department that would replace City Council with Planning Board as the special permit granting authority. The committee will refer the request to Legislative & Ordinance sub-committee on Thursday.
Also from the Ad-hoc Business committee will be a request originally from the Chamber of Commerce to increase no cost downtown on-street parking to two hours, and off-street parking to three hours.
The second reading and final passage of an ordinance for outdoor dining/sidewalk cafes is expected to be voted on Thursday.
Two new motions by city councilors have been added to the eleven by Ward 3 Councilor Andrew K. Surprise that have been on the agenda since June. Surprise’s motions involve changes to the City Charter, many involving the budget process.
The new motions include one from Beltrandi, along with Councilors Robert A. Paul, Sr. and Dave Flaherty to review the mayor’s compensation, to be referred to the Long-Range Finance sub-committee. Beltrandi said they are trying to get compensation for the mayor of Westfield on par with other comparable communities. “It’s on the low end. Population-wise, it doesn’t make sense,” Beltrandi said.
The other new motion is a request from Flaherty for an update on the status of the All-Abilities playground by the next City Council meeting, to be referred to the Mayor, Parks and Recreation Commission, and Commission for Citizens with Disabilities.

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