On Wednesday night your City Council did something unprecedented. It was a long and sometimes frustrating evening, rife with technological challenges and audio issues -- and a few procedural holdups. I want to thank everyone who engaged in this months-long process and I apologize for the difficulty of following this meeting for those who did so remotely.
Ultimately we did achieve our goal of coming together as a body to speak with a unified voice on our priorities for the FY 2023 budget. The City Council was able to build consensus around funding the following 10 items:
- a community center
- an affordable housing acquisition fund
- a non-police first responder program for non-criminal emergencies
- a mental health unit in HHS & more mental health services
- a fare-free bus pilot
- hiring additional ISD inspectors
- implementing a language justice & language access plan
- safe streets quick-builds and long-term improvements
- expanded Parks & Rec programming
- hiring additional OHS staff
I look forward to seeing how the Administration incorporates this input into the FY 2023 budget.
Here are some additional things I'd like to highlight:
125 Highland Avenue
I attended Monday's Somerville Historic Preservation Commission meeting. Ultimately, my personal stance on this matter will be based on the community's view of the historic nature of the building, the feasibility of restoration, and the potential use of a restored building. I listened to the comments in the public hearing, just as I also read every single email sent to me on the subject.
The next step in this process is Thursday night's Land Use Committee meeting that includes the proposed Local Historic District at 125 Highland on the agenda. (Edit: There is no public hearing as part of this meeting.)
Street Sweeping Returns
April means the resumption of street sweeping for the rest of the calendar year. So beginning today, don't forget to observe the posted parking regulations. The penalty for non-compliance is a $50 fine.
Curbside Mattress & Box Spring Recycling
Next week sees the start of a new program to ensure our old mattresses and box springs don't end up in landfills. Beginning April 4, residents with City-managed trash collection can schedule a pickup via 311, then place mattresses and box springs out on the curb on the appropriate day to be picked up and recycled.
Mayor's Summer Jobs Program
Somerville residents at least 14 years of age and enrolled in high school can apply by April 28 for the Mayor's Summer Jobs Program. These jobs require approximately 20 hours of work per week for six weeks, beginning in June. Apply here beginning April 4 or contact Javier Torres Trinidad with questions at [email protected] or 617.625.6600 x2406
Volunteers are needed to help with the Patriots’ Day Colonial Fair on Monday, April 18, at Foss Park from 9 to 11:30 AM in Foss Park.
Volunteer docents are needed to lead free public tours at historic Somerville sites this May through October on selected weekends and Thursday evenings at the Milk Row Cemetery, the Prospect Hill Tower, and the Old Powder House. All sites are ADA accessible. Period clothing is expected and can be provided, if needed.
To volunteer or for more information on either of these, contact Brandon Wilson at [email protected] or 617-776-3938.
Did You Know....
Somerville's Community Choice Electricity (CCE) electricity supply program is delivering greener electricity to our city at rates currently below the Eversource basic residential service rate.
You can enroll in CCE or upgrade to a higher percentage of green electricity for your home or business here.
Board & Commission Applicants Wanted
If you'd like to get more involved in our city, serving on a board or commission is great way to do that. Here's an updated list of vacancies the Administration currently is looking to fill:
- Somerville Commission for Persons with Disabilities
- Somerville Housing Authority Board of Commissioners
- Somerville Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change
- Council on Aging Board of Directors
- Somerville Public Library Board of Trustees
- Somerville Municipal Scholarship Committee
Make your voice heard with these current city surveys:
We continue to have a lot of job openings in our city. If you or someone you know is looking for the next step in their career, both the City of Somerville and Somerville Public Schools are hiring.
I'll be holding my weekly group office hours on Sunday from 10 AM to noon. We're still virtual for now, but eventually I'll look to make these in person, outdoors at rotating locations throughout the city.
And I'm continuing to offer on-demand office hours convenient for your schedule to meet outside of group office hours. If you'd like to book a time on my calendar to meet in person or virtually, you can do that directly on my Calendly.
The Week Ahead
Here's what I’ll be attending this coming week:
Monday, April 4 (5:00 PM) - Board of Assessors meeting
Monday, April 4 (6:00 PM) - Spring Hill Sewer Separation construction community meeting
Tuesday, April 5 (6:00 PM) - 100 Broadway neighborhood meeting
Wednesday, April 6 (6:00 PM) - Confirmation of Appointments and Personnel Matters Committee meeting
Thursday, April 7 (5:30 PM) - Confirmation of Appointments and Personnel Matters Committee meeting
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