Council: Briefs

March 25, 2015
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Housing Production Plan approved

The Everett City Council voted unanimously Monday night to endorse the findings and recommendations of the city’s recently completed Everett Housing Production Plan, clearing the path for the plan to be reviewed by the state and implemented by the Department of Housing and Community Development.

According to Planning and Development Director Jamie Errickson, the next step for Everett’s plan is for Everett and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the co-authors of the plan, to submit the plan to the state for review. If it is accepted, the plan will give the community a chance to pursue development of new housing units across all income ranges, with an eye toward increasing affordable housing in Everett without subjecting the city to a Chapter 40B development. 

New Office of Gaming Accountability delayed

Despite a favorable recommendation from its Ways and Means subcommittee, the Everett Council Monday night chose to table a recommendation that would have established the funding for the proposed Office of Gaming Accountability. The new office will be charged with looking after the city’s interests in Casino development and operations in Everett. However, according to Council President Fred Capone, questions arose about staffing of the department and the process followed to create the office, following the Ways and Means hearing on the funding.

Thus, the Council chose to take no action at Monday night to give Mayor Carlo DeMaria “the opportunity to make revisions to the administrative code and create the position.”

The Council also voted to take the issue up again at the next meeting on April 13 and ask that mayor DeMaria be on hand to answer any additional questions the remainder of the council may have.

Pair of resolutions fail

Though unable to attend Monday night’s Council meeting, City Councilor Michael Marchese had several new resolutions offered for consideration on Monday night and most of them were passed or referred to committee without note.

However, two motions that were brought forward were voted down by the council and referred back to their sponsor.

First, Marchese’s apparent attempt to create a fund from taxpayer dollars to help residents with legal challenges to city billing – water and sewer bills, inspectional services fines, etc. – was squashed by a majority of councilors, after Councilor Rosa DiFlorio opined that it seemed like Marchese’s resolution would use taxpayer dollars to help some resident avoid paying their bills.

The second resolution to be voted down and sent back, sought to encourage candidates for school committee, council or other city elective offices from taking campaign contributions “from all employed people in the City and Schools, all licensed businesses, and all service companies that have to go out to bid.”

Councilors opposing the measure pointed out that all city candidates are required to follow the state laws with regard to raising and accepting campaign contributions, and the resolution seemed to limit donations from almost anyone in the city.

Though well intentioned, the body seemed to feel it would be tough to achieve and enforce.

$16.5 million Water and Sewer Budget accepted for public hearing

The Council also accepted its own report, as a Committee of the Whole, on the Mayor’s proposed FY ’16 Water and Sewer budget and referred the budget to the Clerk of the Council for the scheduling of a public hearing on the budget to be announced.