City Council Agenda for Aug. 23, 2011
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North Adams City Council Agenda, July 26, 2011
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Board Appointments on Council Agenda
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - the City Council has a light agenda on Tuesday night, with several postponed communications - which may be postponed again - and a handful of appointments.
Mayor Richard Alcombright is recommending two new appointments and the re-appointment of Kyle Hanlon to the Planning Board; the reappointment of Paul Marino to the Historical Commission and the appointment of Councilor Michael Boland to the Human Services Commission.
Also on the agenda:
• A request submitted to the city late last year to eliminate the industrial zoning behind the former K-K Home Mart building. The 3-acre parcel owned by Curran Highway Development LLC is split into two zones - commercial and industrial - with the commercial zoning being the predominate. The council had submitted the matter to the city solicitor before making a decision.
• A communication from the mayor on a new ordinance and fees for hawkers and peddlers. The mayor is objecting to a suggestion for a separate panel to oversee events. "Another level of bureaucracy would only add steps to an already confusing process," wrote the mayor.
• A communication from former Councilor Gailanne Cariddi on a traffic concerns.
The full agenda and minutes from the last meeting can be read below.
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City Council Tackles Heavy Agenda
We're preparing for a long meeting on Tuesday night as the City Council plans to peruse some weighty issues.
Among them are the veterans agent sharing agreement (likely to go through swiftly — both Adams and Williamstown have approved the deal and it's a cost saver for North Adams) and a lengthy ordinance change for sidewalk vendors based on a recently adopted Adams bylaw. That's likely to get referred to another board or committee before going into effect.
We're wondering what will happen with the mayor's request for a home-rule petition to keep Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morocco in the station house. He's facing mandatory retirement in the fall (he told us a few months ago he didn't want to retire); it will take a legislative action to keep him past his expiration date.
The mayor's reasoning is there are a lot of new hires in the fire and police forces and they need an experienced, steady hand; a commissioner also offers an administrative head who can focus on budgeting, prioritizing and emergency management services.
The commissioner spot was created three decades ago but some question the need with the city's reduced population and police force. There was some thought that Mayor Alcombright would use Morocco's forced retirement to reorganize public safety; apparently they were wrong.
Also on the agenda is a letter from the Department of Revenue about the city's $1.2 million out-of-whack 2011 budget. The bad news: the city better keep an eye on its minimal reserves and start some long-term planning.
There's been a fuss by a few about whether the city has to tax at its full levy capacity. Gerard Perry, state director of accounts, says: "The city has levied to the maximum levy limit allowed under Proposition 2 1/2. The city would need to tax at this levy limit in order to set the FY 2011 tax rate."
To lower the rate, it would have to start cutting or raise other revenue, both of which the administration says it's done.
There's a whole lot of other stuff Tuesday, too. Five reserve officers to be sworn in, updates on the multiple road projects, something on the Commission on Disabilities ... To find out what's happening, the entire agenda is available here.
Because of its lengthiness, I've separated out the important stuff: Commissioner of public safety home-rule petition is here and the letter from the DOR is here. The vendor ordinance is in the full agenda.
Links to these documents are also available through Tuesday on the front page. I've noticed quite a few but not a lot of hits on council documents I've uploaded to Scribd. I'd like some feedback — are they hard to find, do you subscribe, do you care?
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