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Orders Filed by Kevin to the City Council

  • Orders Filed for the June 20, 2023 meeting
    1. Ordered, that the DPW fix the raised sidewalk on West Franklin Street near Sycamore Street. Going in both directions the raised sidewalk needs to be more effectively repaved and highlighted for drivers so they slow down but does not cause excessive banging especially by heavy trucks going over them that are causing very disturbing sounds for the surrounding neighbors. After installation, the road had to be dug out for water or sewer and that has contributed to the problem.

    2. DPW install a crosswalk on Cabot Street at South Summer Street on the Westerly corner in front of Capri Pizza so people can safely walk across the street in this heavy traffic area. There are no nearby crosswalks. Ideally this would be a raised sidewalk with appropriate signage but at a minimum a crosswalk with appropriate signage including in the median. [Co-filed with Councilor Puello]

    3. DPW repaint the crosswalk at Clemente Street and Cabot Street. [Co-filed with Councilor Puello]

    4. DPW Parks Division replace the 3 park tables/chairs that were removed from Valley Arena Park. That they also remove the large tree branch resting on the basketball court. [Co-filed with Councilor Puello]

    5. DPW Forestry Division trim the following trees in South Holyoke that are out of control or dangerous or touching peoples' homes: 1) tree between 21-23 Hamilton Street; 2) tree between 531-533 South Summer Street; 3) tree next to 527 South Summer Street; 4) trees near 6 and 7 Adams Street. [Co-filed with Councilor Puello]

    6. Building and Codes & Board of Health send notice to the owner of record of large lot (PARCEL ID 029-08-006) located at 569 South Bridge Street to properly mow their grass which is many feet high, remove all trash and debris (as large as a car bumper) all the way out to the sidewalk and street. In the absence of an immediate clean-up and bringing this to code, owner should be immediately fined and/or city should clean up and lien the property owner. It is in outrageous condition and there are no excuses for this. Please note City of Holyoke owns the lot next door at Parcel ID 029-08-007 and it is equally as bad a condition and city should immediately go over there and clean that up and mow. [Co-filed with Councilor Puello]

    7. DPW Parks Division please place signage in parks in South Holyoke that people need to pick up after their animals or making them aware of our fines for failing to do so. [Co-filed with Councilor Puello]

    8. DPW repair with patching the sidewalks in front of 582 and 586 South Summer Street for safety of residents. [Co-filed with Councilor Puello]

    9. Mayor and Building Dept/Board of Health/Law Dept please provide the City Council with a status report on the demolition and resolution of the dangerous abandoned building at 27-29 Cabot Street and 510 South Bridge Street (Parcel ID 031-01-014 owned by Next Realty Inc. with Corporate President of Shakeel Ahmed Butt of 10 Patriot Parkway in Weymouth, MA). Fencing is no longer safely enclosing the property and it has a dangerous debris field and is an attractive nuisance for children. According to my records, there was a fire there in September 2021 and another fire in April 2022. It has been vacant from even before these fires. Please report if the owner is paying the vacant building fee and when this building is going to be demolished since it seems inconceivable that it will be restored. This has gone on for too long and is a danger to residents. [Co-filed with Councilor Puello]

    10. That the Auditor and if needed relevant dept heads and Mayor please review the Free Cash certification with the Finance Committee and City Council. [co-filed with Councilor Vacon]

  • Orders Filed for the June 6, 2023 meeting
    Ordered, that Holyoke City Council adopt a resolution of support to Sen Velis and Reps Puppolo & Ashe's bills allowing small stakes gambling at senior centers in the Commonwealth. Our seniors enjoy playing card games, dominos, bingo et cetera and should be allowed to play with the reasonable small wagers they enjoy to make the games more fun. That this resolution be sent to our delegation, these 2 Representatives, State Senator James Eldridge and the governor's office with a copy to our Holyoke COA Director.
    Disposition - TBA

  • Orders Filed for the May 16, 2023 meeting
    1. ORDER: An ordinance be created that requires a department head to report (with an incident report explaining the cause) any loss in their department over $500 in value to the City Council and Mayor within 30 days. [co-filed with Councilor Vacon]
    Disposition - sent to Ordinance Committee. This is a re-file of prior ordinance that was vetoed.

    2. Ordered, That the Police Chief provide the City Council with a performance report on how Shot Spotter is performing and what we are learning about gun activity in the city so far. Please email the City Council all reports available asap for our review so we can be prepared for this discussion.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to Mayor and Police Chief

  • Orders Filed for the May 2, 2023 meeting
    Ordered, that the DPW/Alarm Division please replace the traffic light at Main and Vernon Streets that was previously damaged. The residents are requesting the traffic light be replaced not eliminated. It is getting very dangerous to also exit Vernon Street because of the poor line of sights due to parked cars on Main Street coupled with no traffic light to stop the traffic. It is also shifting traffic from Vernon Street to other Springdale streets due to this intersection now becoming more dangerous. [co-filed with Councilor Puello]
    Disposition - Order adopted with copy to the Mayor and DPW. Copy also sent to Public Safety committee

  • Orders Filed for the April 4, 2023 meeting
    1. Ordered, That the Board of Public Works, DPW Director, City Engineer, City Auditor, and Treasurer update the City Council Finance Committee regarding recent sewer breaks and the sewer enterprise account.
    Disposition - Referred to the Finance Committee for discussion

    2. Ordered, that the John Mackenzie monument at Mackenzie stadium be considered for re-location by the Parks Dept and DPW to a more prominent location at the Stadium in light of all the entrance changes that have been made there. This is his stadium and we want everyone to see his monument and know about this great man and hero. If money is required to restore or re-beautify the original monument please let us know.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to the Parks Dept and DPW

  • Orders Filed for the March 21, 2023 meeting
    1. Ordered, That Division 2 of our Ordinances be amended to require the Mayor and Personnel Dept. create and implement a job evaluation system for city employees so that all employees receive goals, standards of performance and a thoughtful annual evaluation against those standards. Ordinance 2-312 currently requires the Personnel Administrator to maintain the job evaluation system. Problem is no such system actually exists to be maintained. The new ordinance should be designed to require the existence of the system but management will be allowed the flexibility to draft it according to their needs and professional opinion. It is unacceptable that for too long such a system that is so necessary for all workplaces our size still does not exist in our city government. Absent the City Council requiring such a system it is almost certain that no such system will come into existence independent of us or it would have by now. There is no current objective measurement of employee performance that rewards high quality employees and holds poor quality employees accountable. Management in this city needs to take action as soon as possible.
    Disposition - Referred to Ordinance committee

    2. Ordered, That the Law department and City Council meet to discuss the recent Supreme Judicial Court decision in the matter Barron v Kolenda (SJC-13284) and the impact of that decision as it relates to and/or may modify our council rules.
    Disposition - Referred to Law Department and Charter & Rules committee

    3. Ordered, The City of Holyoke develop a personnel policy for the handling of administrative leave and codifying the rules into Ordinance as recommended by the Personnel Dept including but not limited to when employees should or should not be placed on paid leave or unpaid leave. The current process appears lacking objective standards. Taxpayers should also be protected to ensure people who should not be out on paid administrative leave are placed on unpaid administrative leave.
    Disposition - Referred to Ordinance committee

  • Orders Filed for the March 7, 2023 meeting
    1. Ordered, that the City Council work with the Treasurer to review and codify the city's investment policy by ordinance
    Disposition - Referred to Finance Committee

    2. Ordered, that the City Council establish a OPEB Liability Trust Fund pursuant to Chapter 32B, Section 20 including voting on approval of local option and then forming the Board of Trustees Holyoke has a projected liability of $224 Million (June 2019) and is 1 of handful of cities not to have begun starting to fund their Trust Fund.
    Disposition - referred to Finance Committee with a copy to Mayor and City Auditor

    3. Ordered, beginning in Fiscal Year 2024, funding for the city's OPEB Trust Fund will become a part of the operating budget and the long term goal will be to fully fund the outstanding OPEB liability by 2040.
    Disposition - referred to Finance Committee with a copy to Mayor and City Auditor

    4. Ordered, that the City Council invite in the Retirement Board Director Mr Dulude to discuss if the City should stay with 2035 schedule or move to a 2040 schedule for fully funding the unfunded retirement fund liability. The Director also please give us an update on status of the unfunded liability and the city's plan to address it.
    Disposition - referred to Finance Committee

  • Orders Filed for the February 21, 2023 meeting
    Ordered, that the Ordinance relative to the payment of city lifeguards be revised so as to make sure we are being competitive to other communities in the highly competitive employment of Summer lifeguards. Moreover, that the Aquatics Director and/or other reps from the Recreation dept be invited to the Ordinance Committee to help us review and change as appropriate.
    Disposition - Referred to the Ordinance Committee

  • Orders Filed for the February 7, 2023 meeting
    1. Ordered, that City Council Rule 9P be modified to add: Only those items that are reasonably expected to be taken up at the meeting (per open meeting law) will be published on the meeting agenda. Items "deemed tabled" by virtue of their existence in the committee jacket for 45 days will not be published on the active agenda. Listing every item in the entire committee jacket on every agenda will create confusing agendas for Councilors and the general public when the vast majority of items will never be considered at that meeting and create the false impression that they will be. This will create an absurd result that appears to be a violation of the Open Meeting Law. [Co-filed with Councilor Vacon]
    Disposition - Referred to the Charter and Rules Committee

    2. Ordered, that Ordinance 2-421 be amended to include all public hearings so that the public has an opportunity to truly participate in their government and to advance transparency.
    Disposition - Referred to Ordinance Committee

    3. Ordered, that Administrative Assistant of the City Council please remind all Boards and Commissions to publish their minutes on the city website, as well as, video if the meeting had a remote option.
    Disposition - Adopted and Referred to Admin Asst to the City Council for enforcement

  • Orders Filed for the January 3, 2023 meeting
    The City install solar powered pedestrian crossing signals at Hitchcock St where it intersects with Martin St. This is a constituent request with ample neighborhood support. The intersection is notorious for accidents and Hitchcock St. has become a speedway. This is an area with numerous schoolchildren and dog walkers crossing here daily. Receive and Adopt. Refer to Mayor and City Engineer. [Co-filed with Councilor Bartley]
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to Mayor and City Engineer

  • Orders Filed for the December 20, 2022 meeting
    1. That Representative Duffy, Senator Velis, Governor Baker, and Governor Elect Healey provide the City of Holyoke with an additional $4 million in annual local aid starting with the current fiscal year 2023 so we can avoid massive tax increases on the state's poorest residents who already have among the very highest residential tax burden in the state. The property tax system no longer works for a city such as Holyoke that needs to serve everyone; including, the state's neediest constituents. Holyoke residents are being squeezed by a growing city budget to meet city needs, growing property tax exemptions that are shifting more burden on to residents, a collapsing commercial and industrial tax base (see Holyoke Mall tax (largest commercial payer cut in half) and see Mt Tom Power plant (formerly largest industrial payer)), massive water and sewer increases (with more planned to meet unfunded federal mandates), and inflationary cost of living costs that disproportionately affect Holyoke's residents versus than other communities. Holyoke's average property tax bills have now surged past other gateway cities such as Chicopee and Springfield. This situation is only going to get worse without state investments to place local aid funds where in fact they are needed most. Current generic funding formulas are inadequate. The state cannot turn a blind eye to this situation any longer and just allow Holyoke to fail. Intervention and investment need to be made now. Holyoke has a long history of supporting those most in need in our state and Holyoke cannot be expected to shoulder this burden without sufficient support. Meanwhile the state has record cash reserves in the many billions while Holyoke struggles financially. Holyoke will do its part but our state government must too.
    Disposition - Referred to DGR and Finance Committees. Meeting held with elected delegation, Letter of Support sent to State delegation. Order has been complied with.

    2. That the City Engineer review the opportunity to put a raised sidewalk(s) in front of Blessed Sacrament School on Westfield Rd and report back to the City Council on our ability to do that. These were placed in front of Mayer Field on this street and should also be considered here as well for child safety.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to DPW and City Engineer for implementation.

    Ordered, That emergency calls and important announcement calls from the city be properly addressed to our residents at the beginning of the calls saying "This is an important message from the City of Holyoke" not "This is an important message from your organization." That the Mayor's office please look into this and get this corrected asap.
    Disposition - Adopted, referred to Mayor

    3. That the Assessors' office retain expert independent appraisal services to review the Holyoke Mall's assessment and abatement and that the Mayor provide the City Council with an appropriation to fund these important services to protect city residents to make sure everyone is being treated fairly and there is no cost shifting of their taxes onto other residents and businesses. It is vital that we can verify that the Holyoke Mall's assessment is commercially reasonable and fair to all involved. The "Go it alone" strategy relative to the Mall has caused Holyoke significant losses in the past (please see Macy's abatement case as example).
    Disposition - Adopted, referred to Mayor and City Assessor

    4. That Governor Healey return local control of our schools in 2023. We believe local control can produce improved results and with new leadership in the Governor's office, we request consideration for the issuance of an order to return local control by July 1, 2023. We do further recommend that with this local control, Holyoke be held accountable by DESE to achieve established benchmarks to produce excellent results for our children. [co-filed with Councilor Vacon]
    Disposition - Adopted and letter sent to Gov Healy

    5. Mayor and Wistariahurst Director please give the City Council an update and repair plan on specifically when will the Walls of the grounds be repaired and how it will be funded. This needs to be a priority and fixed as soon as possible.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to Wistariahurst Director with copy to Finance Committee

    6. That Marijuana impact funds be used to fund access to a program for marijuana addiction and problem use for Holyoke residents who need it. Also, that a marketing campaign be funded with the use of these dollars to advertise the availability of this program. That OPED and the Board of Health coordinate these activities and track annual statistics and report out to the Mayor and City Council annually.
    Disposition - Referred to Finance. Adopted by City and $100,000 allocated for this purpose.

  • Orders Filed for the November 15, 2022 meeting
    That our State Legislative Delegation & Governor's office please use some of the excess state reserves to install sound barriers along Rt. 91 as needed to protect Holyoke neighborhoods from excessive highway sound. The state in the past cited the lack of funding as the reason for not installing these - now is the time and it would be most appreciated. If they would like to come in to City Council to discuss the logistics of this request, they are also most welcome to do that too.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to State delegation and Governor's office

    Ordered, DPW/Suez please unclog and fix the street sewer drain in front of 166 Lincoln St. It is beginning to cave in and is also not draining properly if at all.
    Disposition - Adopted referred to DPW and Suez for implementation

  • Orders Filed for the November 1, 2022 meeting
    The Holyoke City Council hereby issues a proclamation to state Rep. Jack Lewis of Framingham for his leadership in honoring Holyoke, its citizens, its history and its natural beauty by having the Commonwealth's state dinosaur come from Holyoke, Mass. [co-filed with Councilor Bartley]
    Disposition - Adopted.

    Ordered, that the Forestry dept please remove the diseased and dying tree in tree belt in front of 166 Lincoln St. Pieces of it have been continuing to fall off it and is causing property damage.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to Forestry dept

  • Orders Filed for the October 18, 2022 meeting
    Ordered, that the DPW please provide the City Council a copy of our current agreement for the receipt of our recycling materials with the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF)? Please also provide the City Council with the statistical data on our recycling program. How much recycling plastics/glass/metal vs paper in CY 2018, CY 2019, CY 2020, and CY 2021 has the city received in and recycled with the MRF during these time periods. Please also provide these statistics for any of our recycling that has been brought to places other than the MRF such as another vendor, straight into the landfill as trash, or other possibilities if any? Please provide us the statistics of regular trash we have collected during these time periods by way of comparison to see what percentage recycle is vs the total volume of all collections. Please provide these reports the City Council and come in to City Council and discuss the current state of the city's recycling program.
    Disposition - Adopted and Referred to DPW with copy to Public Safety committee

  • Orders Filed for the October 4, 2022 meeting
    Ordered, that the Treasurer and Flynn Financial please appear before the Finance Committee to discuss how our Stabilization Funds are being invested. The City Council would also like to receive quarterly financial statements on these investments going forward. In advance of the meeting, please provide us the financial statements for the period July 1, 2019-June 30, 2022 so we can be prepared for the meeting and our discussion. Please also provide us any applicable regulations or rules from the state related to how Stabilization funds may be invested. [co-filed with Councilor McGiverin]
    Disposition - Referred to Finance Committee. Committee Hearing with Flynn Financial and Treasurer. Complied with.

    Ordered, that the City Council adopt a Resolution of strong support of the Holyoke Police Department. As Councilors, we appreciate the difficult and often dangerous job they have to serve and protect the people and property of Holyoke. We believe this Resolution of strong support and solidarity also reflects the strong support and appreciation shared by the vast majority of our residents.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to Police Chief

  • Orders Filed for the September 1, 2022 Special meeting
    Ordered, that pursuant to the January 4, 2022 order, which was unanimously approved by the City Council, the HG&E appear before the Finance Committee to give an update on their progress.
    The January 4, 2022 Order adopted by the City Council read as follows: "The Holyoke Gas and Electric be requested to take all necessary steps to end the gas moratorium. That they report back to the City Council by April 1, 2022 on their recommended plan of action including potential time table to bring the moratorium to an end. " [co-filed with McGiverin]
    Disposition Referred to Finance Committee. Ordered complied with. G&E have developed a plan at our request to end the gas moratorium.

  • Orders Filed for the June 21, 2022 meeting
    1. That the Fire Chief and Fire Commission please provide the following information to the City Council within 30 days: Do any fire personnel of all ranks work second jobs that exceed 30 hours per week? If yes, how many? How does the department manage those second full-time obligations when Ordinance 2-35 states that fire class of the public safety group are supposed to be working a 48 hour schedule? After the report is received, please invite in the Chief and Commission to discuss if appropriate.
    Disposition - Referred to Public Safety Committee. Complied with.

    2. That the City Council create an ordinance that creates food truck zones in the city with the goals of eliminating food deserts, managing the locations, and promoting various neighborhoods.
    Disposition - Referred to Ordinance Committee.

    3. Law dept please provide a legal opinion if a department can charge a fee for use of city facilities and property without authorization of the City Council. Please note the adoption of ordinance 2-349 on licenses (attached) that was adopted by the City Council on 2/16/16 by overriding the Mayor's veto but does not appear on Municode. Law dept please specifically comment on the Parks & Rec "pool pass" program which provides pool users a license for a fee to use city pools for the Summer (greater than 30 days) and if that falls under the jurisdiction of 2-349. If yes, then please ask them to cease and desist charging a fee until they get approval from the City Council.
    Disposition - Referred to Law Dept.

    4. Acting DPW Superintendent please provide the City Council & Parking committee the following report: for the prior 5 years (need to consider pre/post pandemic usage changes), amount of meter revenue and amount of parking garage revenue. Please provide total usage % (used spaces divided total spaces) at both parking garages annually. Please also provide any analysis of cost to get all meters fully operational. Please provide the expected life cycle of the new meters if purchased. Please also provide us the current amortization schedule for the Mayor Taupier Suffolk Street Parking Garage.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to DPW and Parking committee

    5. The an ordinance be created to allow for a Fire Chief contract and that this ordinance also establish a salary range for the position (Min/Mid/Max) [co-filed with Councilor Vacon]
    Disposition - Referred to Ordinance committee. Ordinance adopted.

    6. That the PVTA be requested to replace their bus shelter on South Street at the South Street shopping plaza. Bus riders have gone some time without the prior shelter.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to PVTA and City Engineer. Shelter was completely fixed by city and PVTA.

    7. The City Clerk please work with law department to double check that all ordinance/charter changes made over prior 8 years actually made it on to Municode. Municode is viewed as the source of truth and it absolutely needs to be accurate. (i.e. Charter Sec 9 still says 15 Councilors, Sec 25 Mayoral 4 year term not mentioned, Subpart B Special Acts has not been updated since 2016 is that right?, Ordinance 2-349 not included, etc.)
    Disposition - Adopted& referred to City Clerk and Law dept.

    8. That the Police enforce the no parking regulations along Cherry Street near Beaudoin Village.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to Police Chief.

    9. Under certain special circumstances with supermajority approval of the city council, the starting pay for a position with a salary set by ordinance can exceed the mid-range, but not exceed the maximum. Such a special circumstance shall have no effect on any other salary range or pay rate for any city employee. [Co-filed with Vacon and Bartley]
    Disposition - Referred to Ordinance Committee. Ordinance adopted.

  • Orders Filed for the June 7, 2022 meeting
    1. That City Council create an ordinance that states that no department establishes user fees until those have been established by ordinance (unless governed under some other law). Additionally, that a pool pass system be established which allows all Holyoke residents to receive a free pool pass for city pool administered by the Parks & Recreation dept. A fee shall be established for non-Holyoke residents only at a rate to be determined by ordinance. [co-filed with Councilor Israel Rivera]
    Disposition - Referred to Ordinance committee.

    2. That the City Clerk enforce Ordinance 30-1(g) relative to broker of record semi-annual disclosure reports and please post them on the City Clerk's website for the period 1/15/2013 to current. Please notify the City Council when this has been complied with.
    Disposition - Adopted, Referred to City Clerk for enforcement. City Clerk handled this matter and got all reports up to date.

    3. That the Purchasing Director and/or City Auditor please provide the City Council with the current police car leasing agreement for our review. Please also provide us a financial summary on how many vehicles we have received for prior 3 years and total payments made under the agreement.
    Disposition - Referred to Finance Committee. Reviewed by Committee with meeting. Complied with.

    4. That Auditor please provide the City Council with a financial summary of how much revenue is generated by each department (not counting tax revenue) in FY 20 and FY 21 broken down by grant revenue and all other revenue. Please also exclude Sewer dept, Water dept, and G&E user fees. Goal is to understand how much revenue by dept is being generated excluding tax revenue.
    Disposition - Referred to City Auditor with copy to Finance Committee. Complied with.
    5. That an ordinance be created that requires a department head to report (with an incident report explaining the cause) of any loss in their department over $250 in value to the City Council and Mayor within 30 days.
    Disposition - Referred to Ordinance. Ordinance adopted with modification to set threshold to $500. Mayor vetoed it. Currently in Ordinance Committee.

    6. That an ordinance be created that requires that when notices need to be sent to abutters for public notices involving lots without buildings that the address closest to the subject property be listed as a reference point plus a plot plan/lot lines of the subject property be included so abutters can determine the exact location of the subject property they are being notified about.
    Disposition - Referred to Ordinance. Ordinance drafted and sent to Full Council for Adoption.

  • Orders Filed for the May 3, 2022 meeting
    ORDER: Establish a City Council rule to allow one City Councilor to call for an end to debate on a spending/bonding issue with referral to the auditor to review the matter and report back to the City Council. This rule is in effect when debate continues for more than 30 minutes, each City Councilor who wishes to be recognized has spoken and the matter has not yet been voted to approve or deny the motion. [Co-filed with Councilor Vacon]
    Disposition - Referred to Charter & Rules committee.

  • Orders Filed for the April 5, 2022 meeting
    1. That the Mayor and Parks and Recreation department please fund the Spanish Festival with $5,000 for their staging and sound equipment. This money was allocated for them in the FY 22 budget but was transferred apparently. This has been a very important program the city has supported for many years and we need to continue it now that the pandemic is over with and the event has returned. If there are insufficient funds for some reason in the Recreation dept (originally funded with $33,000 in staging and events lines) budget then please make a transfer request from another other area up to and including stabilization if need be. The organizers were counting on these funds. This is a small amount of money for an event that brings so much joy to so many thousands of people. Thank you in advance for your support. [co-filed with Councilor Puello]
    Disposition - Adopted and Referred to Mayor who denied the request.

  • Orders Filed for the March 15, 2022 meeting
    1. That the DPW repair the fountain at Laurel Park on Laurel Street. The fountain head was damaged recently and needs to be fixed for Memorial Day opening.
    Disposition - Adopted and referred to DPW who made the repair as requested.

    2. That the HG&E repair the lightening in Laurel Park on Laurel Street. The light in the park needs to be fixed asap and HG&E has fixed it in past and their help is needed once again.
    Disposition - Adopted and Referred to HG&E who made the repair as requested.

    3. That Columbus Day holiday ordinance be changed so the holiday be known as both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day so everyone may celebrate both, one or the other, or neither if they choose according to their own conscience. This will allow the maximum amount of sensitivity to the issue. [co-filed with Councilor Vacon]
    Disposition - Referred to Ordinance Committee

    4. That Representative Duffy and Senator Velis (or their representatives) be invited to City Council to discuss specific legislative bills they will file on our behalf to increase our local aid and various funding formulas affecting the city. They are requested to provide us a summary list of all state financial formulas affecting Holyoke, how our current aid is calculated (i.e. strictly by population size, number of students, miles of public roads, etc) so we can understand fully what is really driving our current local aid and what we need to change to get more aid. The current local aid model is unsustainable and Massachusetts needs to help Holyoke far more than it is currently. Councilors will also provide them with a number of suggestions for specific changes when we discuss.
    Disposition - Referred to Development and Government Relations committee. Meeting held with state delegation and order complied with.

    5. That all City Councilors receive their traditional gold-plated Councilor badge as another traditional sign of their office. This tradition began in 1938 and we as institution should keep it. That the Administrative Assistant facilitate the order and they should be presented by the President when they arrive.
    Disposition - Adopted and Referred to Administrative Assistant to City Council for follow through.

  • Orders Filed for the March 1, 2022 meeting
      • That the Finance Committee review the status of (reportedly tabled currently) the second hand license of Mimi Mai at 324 Appleton Street in light of her recent indictment on numerous federal criminal charges in connection with this business named EZ Exchange.
      • The City Council should review this license and all other licenses this individual may hold with the city.
        Action taken: Order has been complied with. License holder had license revoked and business has been closed.
      • That the Police Chief, Fire Chief and a representative of the Holyoke Medical Center be invited to appear at the Public Safety Committee to discuss and review the Baby Safe Haven law as it relates to the City of Holyoke.
      • Please provide any statistics on how many infants have been received since the law took effect if available.
        Action taken: Order referred to public safety committee with a copy to Holyoke Medical Center and all named department heads.
      • That the Police Chief and Fire Chief have Baby Safe Haven signage at all manned police and fire stations and ensure effective procedures are in place to comply with Chapter 227 of the Acts of 2004.
        Action taken: Order referred to Police Chief and Fire Chief with copy to public safety committee. Fire Chief has fully complied, awaiting response from Police Chief.
      • The Mayor's office please provide the City Council with a list of all current host community agreements from marijuana companies in our city.
      • Please also provide us a list of how much revenue we are generating annually from each of these agreements.
        Action taken: Order adopted unanimously and referred to Mayor to provide City Council with requested report.
      • That the Finance Committee review the FY 22 budget impact, as well as, school building financial analysis impact of the Assessors' decision to lower the Holyoke Mall's assessment by an additional $36 million (for a $1.46 million annual revenue drop) the day after the Council's February 15 vote to approve spending $475,000 on a feasibility study for a new middle school.
        Action taken: Order referred to Finance Committee for meeting

  • Orders Filed for the February 15, 2022 meeting
      • That the School Receiver Anthony Soto please provide the City Council with the specific plan and goals the City of Holyoke Public Schools needs to achieve in order to regain local control.
      • Please provide a checklist.
      • Please also provide which items on the plan were accomplished and which remain undone.
      • Need this action plan back to us asap.
        Action taken: Order unanimously adopted and referred to School Receiver Soto to report back with specific report as requested. Copy of this order was also sent to the Joint Committee of the City Council and School Committee.
      • That the City Council adopt an ordinance that requires all department heads and employees to electronically track (i.e. Munis or other such system as determined by the Personnel Department) all time off accrued and used on a monthly basis.
      • They are also required to report all time off requests, approvals, denials and usage tracking centrally to the Personnel department on a monthly basis.
      • The personnel department shall ensure compliance with city time off policies.
      • Any employee or department head who knowingly provides false information on the reporting of time shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
      • They shall also be subject to restitution and/or other civil fine as may be established by ordinance.
        Action taken: Order referred to Ordinance Ccommittee for meeting and adoption of an ordinance
      • That the Council on Aging Director provide the City Council with a report for the period FY 2017 - FY 2022 (the current year) on the senior tax work off program established in Ordinance 82-4.
      • Specifically, I would like to know:
        • how many seniors have signed up each year for the lottery?
        • how many were selected each yr?
        • what date annually is the lottery held and where and how conducted?
        • what departments did they work?
        • is a report made of their work?
        • how much in taxes were worked off in total?
        • is the program properly advertised?
        • is it functioning as intended?
        • should there be any modifications to the program, such as:
          • means testing the applicants
          • changing the $750 annual limit
          • increasing/decreasing number of slots
          • etc.?
        Action taken: Order adopted unanimously and referred to Council on Aging Director to produce report back to the City Council.
      • The Board of Assessors are reminded that:
        • they are required to comply with Ordinance 2-421 along with all other boards and commissions.
        • Board meetings of the Board of Assessors should comply with the open meeting law and be held after 5pm.
        • Any questions, please see the maker of this order.
        Action taken: Order adopted and sent to Assessors for compliance with the ordinance.

  • Orders Filed for the January 4, 2022 meeting
      • That the DPW and Sewer Commission do a study and seriously consider adopting a sewer maintenance insurance program for homeowners that is modeled off the Water Department's water maintenance insurance program.
      • The Water Department program has been a great accomplishment and has been very warmly received by residents who appreciate this very low cost protection.
      • That the DPW report back to the City Council on their findings by April 1, 2022.
        Unanimously adopted
      • The Holyoke Gas and Electric be requested to take all necessary steps to end the gas moratorium.
      • That they report back to the City Council by April 1, 2022 on their recommended plan of action including potential time table to bring the moratorium to an end.
        Unanimously adopted
      • That the Mayor be requested to hire a Full-Time Marketing and Public Relations Director for the City of Holyoke with the goal of improving the image of the City of Holyoke and aggressively seeking outside private investment to Holyoke.
      • A position of this nature should have a high Return on Investment (ROI) which should also be tracked.
        Unanimously adopted
      • That the School Receiver Mr Soto and his team be requested to develop a formal financial literacy curriculum for the schools as a measure to increase financial literacy of students and to end the cycle of poverty in the city.
        Unanimously adopted
        Action taken: School Receiver reported back that a Financial Literacy program has been adopted in the schools and it has been very successful. It is targeted for Juniors and Seniors in High School and over 100 students per year participate under an approved curriculum.
      • That our state delegation and Mayor be invited before the finance committee to have a dialogue on how we can improve our local aid funding formulas with the state and together develop a plan of action.
      • Then collectively discuss our strategy on how to act upon that plan to ensure Holyoke is actually receiving the money it needs to operate effectively and is getting its "fair share."
        Unanimously adopted
      • That the Assessors appear before the City Council to discuss the current property tax exemption amounts and qualifying criteria to see if any adjustments can and should be made to ensure all deserving residents who should qualify for assistance get that assistance.
      • We also want to make sure we are strategically taking advantage of all state subsidized exemptions for the financial support of our needy residents especially as the city has continued to increase property taxes to record levels.
      • This is hitting many people hard and they need our help.
        Unanimously adopted