Ward 3 Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen announced the City Council's 2024 committee assignments in early January, in his capacity as council president. My assignments are relatively unchanged from last year, with the exception of no longer serving on the Confirmation of Appointments and Personnel Matters Committee and instead joining the Police Chief Selection Committee as the City Council represenative.
The full list of 2024 committee assignments can be found by scrolling down on the City Council page on the City's website.
My committee assignments for this year are:
- Charter Review Committee (vice-chair)
- Finance Committee (chair)
- Land Use Committee
- Open Space, Environment and Energy Committee
- Police Chief Selection Committee
- Rodent Issues Special Committee (vice-chair)
- Traffic and Parking Committee
- Winter Hill Civic Advisory Committee
90 Washington Street Civic Advisory Committee
I'm always happy to discuss any local issue, regardless of whether I serve on the relevant committee.
And now, here are some key things from this week:
Highland Ave resurfacing & redesign
One of the things I hear about the most is the condition of Highland Avenue. Anyone who has driven on it in recent years can tell you how terrible the roadway conditions are, between potholes and a wavy, uneven surface due to having been dug up for utility work below. Highland Ave become an evergreen joke on social media, and has attracted regional media attention -- including an NECN segment and a Boston Globe article this week. Fortunately, the City confirmed this week that the eastern portion of the street is scheduled for a badly-needed partial repaving in "early summer 2024," once the utility work underneath it is done. More
Feb. 6 Finance Committee rundown
The City Council's Finance Committee met Tuesday night to tackle a 12-item agenda. I had received some questions from constituents about the two requests for grant acceptances for the Police Department's police storage structure. However, those two items were withdrawn by the Administration, with the Legislative Liaison saying they weren't submitted correctly. More
Feb. 8 regular meeting recap
It was a return to normal for the City Council at our first February regular meeting tonight, following the tension and emotion of the previous meeting. I had submitted three items for Thursday night meeting. More
Poll workers needed for Mar. 5 primary elections
Want to help democracy function while making $200? The City of Somerville's Elections Department needs more poll workers for next month's primaries. Click here for more information.
ADA book reading & discussion
Somerville resident Laura Beretsky will be reading from her new book, Seizing Control, followed by a discussion focused on employment protections offered by the Americans with Disabilities Act for people with invisible and perceptible disabilities. The event will take place on Monday, February 12, at 7 PM at the West Branch Library (40 College Ave). RSVP for a spot here.
Multi-member body opportunities
The City of Somerville's multiple-member bodies (boards, committees, and commissions) are a great way to be an active part of our city and contribute to the community. The Administration currently is seeking members for the following multi-member bodies:
- Pedestrian & Transit Advisory Committee (apply by Feb. 9)
- Bicycle Advisory Committee (apply by Feb. 9)
- Job Creation and Retention Trust Committee (apply by Feb. 26)
- Fair Housing Commission
- Conservation Commission
- Anti-Displacement Task Force
- Cultural Capacity Planning (Somerville Arts Council)
Did You Know...
Mass General Law re-classified Class 1 and 2 e-bikes as "electric bicycles" in 2022, while declining to specifically address Class 3 e-bikes. This leaves Class 3 e-bikes classified as "motorized bicycles" -- the same category as scooters and mopeds. Consequently, Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are permitted on the Community Path, but Class 3 e-bikes technically are not.
Donate to fund this work
Join me for February office hours from noon to 2 PM on Sunday, February 25, at Winter Hill Brewing Company (328 Broadway).
And you're always encouraged to find a different time to meet with me that works for you via my Calendly.
The week ahead
Here's what I'll be attending this week, if you're interested in joining me:
- Monday, Feb. 12: Green New Deal for Somerville Public Schools community meeting @ 6 PM (Somerville Public Library auditorium - 79 Highland Ave)
- Monday, Feb. 12: Art Stays Here community meeting @ 7 PM (Warehouse XI - 11 Sanborn Ct)
- Wednesday, Feb. 14: 90 Washington Street Redevelopment Civic Advisory Committee meeting @ 5:30 PM (Zoom)
- Thursday, Feb. 15: Land Use Committee joint meeting with Planning Board @ 6:30 PM (Zoom)
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