The Board of Aldermen met Oct. 28. The full video is available here. In addition to approving a resolution supporting the DREAM Act, the board debated how to handle the non-response to questions regarding the reserve firefighter list.
Firefighter questions go unanswered
Alderman-at-Large Bill White and Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz had expected to find out at Thursday’s meeting why the city’s legal department did not share a communication from the state’s Civil Service Commission ordering two firefighter candidates to positions No.1 and No. 4 on the city’s official list before the board voted on a version that excluded both.
No one from the Fire Department or Mayor Joseph Curtatone’s staff appeared to answer questions. The items related to the issue had not appeared on the meeting agenda, despite being approved at the last meeting.
Not all the aldermen were anxious to take up the matter. Ward 7 Alderman Bob Trane cautioned against discussing what he called a “personnel matter” in public.
“You have to be very careful how we tread here,” Trane said. “It seems to be a he said, she said situation.”
“I’ve made clear, I thought, the point about why information was withheld from us,” White responded. “At this point in time the sole issue is why we were not told of an e-mail that was sent prior to a committee meeting that said a certain person should be No.1 and another person should be No.4.”
The items related to the issue will be taken up again at the Nov. 9 board meeting.
Heuston asks for flood forum committee
The board will be looking into the creation of a flood forum committee following what Ward 2 Aldermen said were successful meetings held in the wake of the July 10 “100-year storm.”
“There should be a continued forum for them to be able to talk about their concerns,” Heuston said.
Ward 2 residents Tom Ryan and Ed Hardy described the constant flooding in their neighborhood, and the infrastructure issues that contribute to it.
“We’re asking for your help,” Ryan said.
City adds two hours to street sweeping
New street sweeping machines that will be causing street sweeping hours to be extended until 2 p.m. – a change revealed after Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz asked why residents were being ticketed after the current hours have ended.
Ward 1 Alderman Bill Roche said residents are being ticketed after 12 p.m., but that the city is planning on replacing all signs in the city and communicating the time extension.
“The vendor that now sweeps the streets is using state-of-the-art machines, and they go a lot slower,” Roche said.
Roche said tickets won’t be written after 12 p.m. for 30 days after the signs are in place.
Package stores selling Four Loko put on notice
The board voted to ask the city’s legal department to look into banning the caffeinated alcohol drink Four Loko from stores, which has been making headlines for its dangerous side effects and its popularity with teens.
“It’s marketed with citrus flavors,” Alderman-at-Large Bruce Desmond said. “So it’s marketed towards teens, with cans the same way, with bright colors marketed towards teens.”
The city’s health department was also asked to work with Somerville Cares About Prevention to see that store owners remove the drink voluntarily.