Aldermen Notes: More DIF Plan Hearings Scheduled

by Tom Nash on September 23, 2010

The following are some the items of interest brought up during the Sept. 23 Board of Aldermen meeting. The full video is available here.

Fire department study results

Travis Miller, Senior Vice President of the Matrix Consulting Group, gave a presentation on the results of their study of the Somerville Fire Department.

Miller said the group determined there should be an Assistant Chief, and that the department is lacking “a number of key management systems.”

The overall level of service, Miller added, is acceptable for now.

“We looked at whether or not there were major gaps in service in the community and found none,” Miller said, but noted a station would be needed in the Assembly Square area by the time the proposed development there is finished.

DREAM Act support debated

As a group of student advocates looked on, Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz asked the Board to support the DREAM Act that came before the U.S. Congress again on Wednesday.

The bill would give the children of undocumented immigrants the ability to gain permanent U.S. residency, it was most recently rolled into the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act.

“I do believe in the spirit and intent,” Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston said before cautioning that the motion should go into committee first. “Things that do have the potential to impact the people in this city is something the board should take up.”

Ward 3 Alderman Tom Taylor and Alderman-at-Large Dennis Sullivan also expressed support, but joined Heuston in asking the resolution be sent to committee.

Connolly also chastised Gewirtz for saying the School Board is in support of the act even though they have not weighed in – she later clarified they were in favor of “the spirit of the law.”

The resolution was sent to the Legislative Matters Committee.

Heuston schedules additional DIF hearings

Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston said the recently announced DIF plan needs more public input before the Board votes on it.

“This is a major financial undertaking for this city,” Heuston said. “There is a lot to be considered in this proposal. While I’m not saying that I don’t think it’s a good idea, but I am saying it’s a complicated idea that warrants us taking our time to understand this.”

Heuston said an Oct. 6 Finance Committee Meeting of the Whole will serve as a second public hearing on the issue, with the possibility of the committee’s Oct. 19 meeting serving as a public hearing if necessary.

Alderman-at-Large Bill White asked that a second round of notices be sent to property owners affected by the plan.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Fathmina September 27, 2010 at 1:52 PM

it’s too bad more firemen couldn’t be there this time!! make sure to cover the next firemen induction ceremony!!

Courtney O'Keefe of Ward5ONline.Com September 28, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Thankfully, there are more DIF meetings scheduled! This is a huge undertaking for OSPCD and I’m glad there will be opportunities for more public input.

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