WESTFIELD – Members of the Legislative & Ordinance Committee voted Tuesday night give a positive recommendation to the full City Council tonight for three pending issues and to keep two others in committee.
The L&O will recommend passage of an amendment to the Public Works Ordinance approved at the April 2 session to remove a redundancy from the city’s Code of Ordinance related to the Park & Recreation Department.
Shanna Reed of the Law Department said the Park & Recreation Department was in the Community Services Ordinance which was approved nearly a decade ago combining the Parks & Recreation, Veteran Services and Council on Aging under one director.
The Council on Aging and Veteran Services have both been removed from that ordinance, while the April 2 vote to adopt the Public Works ordinance which consolidates the Water, Public Works, Park & Recreation and Wastewater Treatment into one department.
“Now a deputy superintendent will be taking over the duties of the Park & Recreation Director, “Reed said. “This amendment is so that you don’t have two directors of Parks & Recreation.”
The L&O also gave a positive recommendation to changing the ordinance regulating the composition of the Flood Control Commission. The original ordinance, adopted in 1961 established the commission as a seven member broad.
Ward 4 Councilor Mary O’Connell and Ward 2 Councilor Ralph Figy, chairman of the L&O, sponsored a motion to reduce the number of commissioners to five. There are currently four members on that commission meaning that all four are required to be present to constitute a quorum.
If the ordinance is amended, the five-member board can convene with only three members present to fulfill the quorum requirement.
“A seven-member board is cumbersome,” O’Connell said.
Figy said part of the problem is finding seven citizens willing to serve on that board.
“We need this change because of the inability of the commission to get up to seven members and problems getting a quorum.”
The L&O will also give a positive recommendation to amending the CORE District ordinance to allow transit facilities, which are not specifically allowed or prohibited in the current zoning language.
The issue came to light during the Planning Board’s preliminary discussion of the Pioneer Valley Transportation Authority (PVTA) plan to construct a transit facility on Arnold Street. The city wants to allow the transit facility, but ensure that the facility does not become an overnight garaging location for the PVTA.
The committee voted to keep a proposal to install a stop sign at the intersection of Dickinson Place and Mt, View St., in committee until the Western Avenue upgrade design is finalized at the request of the Traffic Commission and to keep the Ponders Hollow playground issue in committee until the City Council’s May session.
Figy said the council should not act on the playground proposal until the land has been transferred from the Fire Department to the Parks & Recreation Department.
“We don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” Figy said, adding that there is an issue on the agenda tonight under the Reports of City Officers segment of the council agenda. Fire Chairman Albert Masciadrelli is submitting a letter from the Fire Commission declaring that property surplus which will allow the land to be transferred to the Park & Recreation Commission.