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Orders Filed by Kevin to the City Council

  • Orders Filed for the March 15, 2022 meeting
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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]
      • 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.
      • 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.

  • 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