Holyoke City Council Meeting March 21, 2023
7:00pm Holyoke City Hall
536 Dwight St, Holyoke, MA 01040
Pursuant to the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, §§ 18-25,
and Chapter 22 of the Acts of 2022
notice is hereby given that there will be regular meeting of the
Holyoke City Council
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Meeting will take place at Holyoke City Hall, 536 Dwight St
and can also be accessed remotely via www.zoom.us
Meeting ID: 836 7528 4572 Meeting Passcode: 845022 or by call in at 1 (646) 558-8656 with same Meeting ID and Passcode.
Live Spanish interpretation will be available on local access channel 15 using the television’s SAP option, through the live stream on the city website, as well as on the Zoom feed by clicking the interpretation option and choosing Spanish.
AGENDA FOR THE CITY COUNCIL
1. Petition for pole and wire locations, The gas & Electric Department requests permission to locate a line of wires, cables, poles and fixtures, including the necessary sustaining and protecting fixtures, along and across the following public way or ways:
One (1) 45′ pole between property line of 175 Lincoln St. & Holyoke Park on corner of Northampton and Lincoln St. Holyoke, Mass.
LAID ON THE TABLE
2. From City Solicitor Lisa Ball: Update on outside legal fees from period of 11/4/22 to 2/3/23.
3. From Kathleen Degnan, legal for Vacation Leave
4. From Kathleen Degnan, legal form for Additional Staff
5. From Kathleen Degnan, legal form for Personal Day
6. Petition of Steven P. Glaude for a zone change application from BG to BH for 2203 Northampton St.
7. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order From Mayor Joshua A. Garcia list of Historic Preservation related repairs needed on city buildings as requested by Councilor Jourdain, Councilor Bartley, Councilor I. Rivera and Councilor Vacon on order filed April 5, 2022 Recommended that the order has been complied with
8. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that our City Solicitor draft a ballot question for the next eligible election for voters to decide if the CPA tax should be reduced from 1.5% to 0.5% in light of the current financial hardship of our taxpayers.
Taxes will increase by over $200.00 per year for a house valued at $236,262 due to repeated inability to achieve 7 votes of the City Council for lower taxes for homeowners. This increase is taking place along with significant increases in sewer, gas, electricity, food & heating prices. Voters should have the right to decide the rate. City Council initiated the CPA tax here originally, so needs to vote to place it on the ballot again for voters to decide. Recommended that the order be adopted, as amended to 1%.
9. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that we invite in the CPA board members to give an update on the program. Recommended that the order has been complied with
10. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that following the adoption of a resolution in support of the district, that the Ordinance Committee work with the mayor and the appropriate city and state departments to adopt an ordinance creating a Puerto Rican Cultural District within the City of Holyoke.
11. From Mayor Joshua A. Garcia, letter reappointing Mr. Jeffrey A. Trask, 28 Central Park Dr. to serve as the Emergency Management Director for the City of Holyoke: Mr. Trask will Serve a one year term; said term will expire on May 2024.
12. From Mayor Joshua A. Garcia, letter for legal opinion on Voting Requirements.
13. Memorandum of Agreement by and Between the City of Holyoke and NAGE R1-180, Clerical Union.
14. From Brenna Murphy McGee, MMC & Jeffery Anderson Burgos, Admin. to City Council minutes of Mach 7, 2023.
15. 2023 CDBG Allocation Spreadsheet- DGR Recommendations
16. FY23 Community Preservation Act Committee Recommendations
17. Proposal to Erect a Plaque at Edward Holyoke’s Grave.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES
18. Ordinance Committee Reports (if any)
19. Finance Committee Reports (if any)
19A. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that the amount of TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED TWENTY THREE AND 40/100 Dollars ($2,523.40) be authorized from the PURCHASING Department’s TELEPHONE USAGE CHARGES (11382-53410) appropriation in fiscal year 2023 for services rendered in fiscal year 2022 which were unencumbered at the 2022 fiscal year end. Recommended that the order be adopted.
19B. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2023, FIVE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY ONE AND 00/100 Dollars ($5,481.00) as follows:
12201-51105 FIREFIGHTERS $5,481.00
12201-51101 FIRE CHIEF $5,481.00
TOTAL: $5,481.00 Recommended that the order be adopted.
19C. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2023, SIXTEEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND 00/100 Dollars ($16,500) as follows:
8812-10400 SEWER STABILIZATION $16,500
60402-53011 SEWER – PROFESSIONAL SERVICES $16,500
TOTAL: $16,500 Recommended that the order be adopted.
19D. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2023, THIRTY SEVEN THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED FIFTY NINE AND 87 /100 Dollars ($37,359.87) as follows:
11512-53010 SOLICITOR-SPECIAL COUNSEL $37,359.87
12202-53011 (Fire Dept) INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES $19,359.87
12402-53008 WEIGHTS & MEASURES SERVICES 18,000.00
TOTAL: $37,359.87 Recommended that the order be adopted.
19E. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order From Rory Casey, City Treasurer, Moody’s Credit rating for Holyoke. Recommended that the order has been complied with
19F. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order 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. Recommended that the order has been complied with
19G. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order The DPW Superintendent and the BPW chair come before the City council Finance Committee for a friendly discussion regarding the city’s current waste management including recycling fees, dumping fees, amount of trash dumped, amount of recycling (paper and plastic) diverted from the landfill. Are there strategies Holyoke needs to implement to improve this aspect of government? Please include any contracts so that we can review them in advance of the meeting. Recommended that the order has been complied with.
19H. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred The Auditor provide an update on PILOT agreements. Please provide the names of the parties with whom the City has a PILOT agreement, the amounts to be paid and the status of payments for the past one-year period (re: whether payments are current.). Please submit to City Council by the second meeting in January 2023 Recommended that the order has been complied with
20. Public Safety Committee Reports (if any)
21. Public Service Committee Reports (if any)
21A. The Committee on Public Service to whom was referred an order From Mayor Joshua A. Garcia letter appointing Ms. Jean Jonker, 198 Locust St. to serve as an Alternate of the Historical Commission for the City of Holyoke: Ms. Jonker will serve a three-year term; said term will expire on January 30, 2026. Recommended that the appointment be confirmed.
21B. The Committee on Public Service to whom was referred an order That the honorable city council pledge to support and protect the democratic rights of ex-felons and or the formerly incarcerated to vote, run for office and hold a seat that they were duly elected for.
In recent weeks the formerly incarcerated population has been under attack, specifically in Florida where they are being hunted down fined and jailed for voter fraud (meaning they are not suppose to vote due to their ex=felon status). This type of disenfranchisement should not be tolerated and we here in Holyoke do not approve and stand with any citizen that is deserving of a second chance. Recommended that the order has been complied with, with a request that the City Clerk provide information on the city website outlining voting rights and rights to run for office for the formerly incarcerated.
22. Development and Governmental Relations Committee Reports (if any)
22A. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order From Alicia M. Zoeller, Administrator, Office of Community Development, FFY2023 CDBG Proposal Book Recommended that the allocation recommendations and the resolution accepting the home funds be adopted.
23. Charter and Rules Committee Reports (if any)
24. Joint City Council and School Committee Reports (if any)
MOTIONS, ORDERS AND RESOLUTIONS
25. VACON — that Veolia/Suez repairs 3 collapsing catch basins on Ernest Lane at #14, #11 and #2. These have been reported for 2-3 years. This should be completed before road surface work is done.
26. JOURDAIN — 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.
27. JOURDAIN — 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.
28. JOURDAIN — 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.
29. MCGIVERIN — that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2023, NINETY SEVEN THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED FORTY AND 20/100 Dollars ($97,640.20) as follows:
8811-10400 CAPITAL STABILIZATION $97,640.20
12102-55860 PERSONNEL EQUIPMENT $97,640.20
30. MCGIVERIN — that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2023, TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED NINETY THREE AND 90/100 Dollars ($2,293.90) as follows:
12201-51105 FIREFIGHTER $2,293.90
12201-51180 INJURED ON DUTY $2,293.90
31. MCGIVERIN — that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2023, FOURTEEN THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE AND 29/100 Dollars ($14,925.29) as follows:
12101-51105 SERGEANT $5,177.33
12101-51107 PATROLMEN 9,747.96
12101-51180 INJURED ON DUTY $14,925.29
32. MCGIVERIN — that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2023, SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED NINETY AND 00/100 Dollars ($7,590) as follows:
15101-51109 SANITARIAN I $7,590
15101-51103 SANITARIAN II $5,060
15101-51107 SANITARIAN III 2,530
33. MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI — Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 94 Newton Street (Assessors Map 011, Block 03, Parcel 010) as surplus property available for disposition. The property was acquired via a corrective judgement in a tax lien case in 2007. It is approximately 4,620 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business and has an assessed value of $22,900.
34. MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI — Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare Newton Street Parcel 011-03-009 (Assessors Map 011, Block 03, Parcel 009) as surplus property available for disposition. The property was granted to the City in 1969 by the Holyoke Community Development Corporation. It is approximately 9,680 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business and has an assessed value of $25,900.
35. PUELLO — That a handicap sign be placed in front of 400 Maple St. for Elliot Sierra, Placard #2290051.
36. PUELLO — That the following entry be added to the City Ordinances Sec. 86-325. – Schedule IV: Stop streets, this will be directed to the Ordinance Committee to be heard.
Street Stopped/ Vernon St
Direction of Travel/ Southerly
Intersection/ Main St
37. PUELLO — That the side walk at 62 Clemente street please be repaired. Multiple requests.
38. RIVERA_J — At the request of the Lyman Terrace, the Resident Association requested that Front Street be made into a one-way street.
39. RIVERA_J — A sign stating slow down Autistic child or a slow down sign be put on East Dwight Street close to 166 East Dwight Street.
The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the chair which may be discussed at the meeting.
Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law