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Charter and Rules Committee Meeting February 27, 2023

Feb 27 2023

6:30 pm City Hall Holyoke

536 Dwight St, Holyoke 01040

Agenda posted February 23, 2023, 12:55 PM

City Council
Holyoke Massachusetts

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, §§ 18-25,
Chapter 22 of the Acts of 2022,
notice is hereby given of a meeting of the committee on
Charter and Rules

Monday, February 27, 2023
6:30 PM

Meeting to take place at
Holyoke City Hall, 536 Dwight St
and can be accessed remotely on Zoom Meetings
Per order of the Chair: Jose Maldonado Velez

Remote access via
Meeting ID: 884 2005 8022 Meeting Passcode: 556317 or by call in at 1 (646) 558-8656 with the same Meeting ID and Passcode.


Item 1 2-7-23 MCGEE —  Ordered that the Public Service Committee be renamed the Public Service and Human Resources Committee

Item 2 2-7-23 MCGEE — Ordered that all employment related ordinance issues be sent to the Public Service Committee instead of Ordinance Committee

Item 3 2-7-23 JOURDAIN, VACON — 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  Items “deemed tabled” by virtue of their existence in the committee jacket for 45 days will not be published on the active agenda.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.

Item 4 5-3-22 RIVERA_I – Order that committee chairs limit the amount of public hearings added to an agenda, It is not fair and undemocratic to have the public wait until 10:30 – 11:00 pm so they can be heard.
*Tabled 6-14-22

Item 5 5-3-22 RIVERA_I — Order that the honorable city council add the following committee:
Communications Committee
Senior citizen quality of life Committee
*Tabled 6-14-22, 10-24-22, 1-9-23

Item 6 4-5-22 MALDONADO-VELEZ — Ordered, Order that we create a Cannabis Committee to strictly deal with Marijuana special permits and ordinance changes related to cannabis.
*Tabled 4-12-22, 10-24-22, 1-9-23

Item 7 12-6-22 — Order that we add a rule 9Bviii (Committee) to read “The Youth Services Committee shall have jurisdiction over matters relating to the youth and are the representing body for the Joint Committee of the City Council and School Committee”
*Tabled 1-9-23

Item 8 2-7-23 MCGEE — Ordered that all roads and sign issues (including ordinances) be sent to the Public Safety Committee instead of Ordinance Committee

Item 9 1-17-23 MCGEE — Ordered that City Council Rule 9H be amended and re-worded in order to make the process of changing or updating an ordinance a smoother process.

Item 10 1-18-22 MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI, JOURDAIN — Ordered that the City Council adopt a rule to establish a two-year legislative term.  Any orders pending in committee or not acted on by the end of the legislative term must be re-filed at the start of the subsequent legislative term.
*Tabled 2-23-22, 4-12-22, 6-14-22

Item 11 10-18-22 VACON, PUELLO — modify rule 6D to add. The use of profanity is prohibited and a member will no longer be permitted to speak on the question under debate when a member uses profane language.

Item 12 10-19-21 From Kathleen E. Degnan, Esq. Assistant City Solicitor, legal opinion on procedure to change charter – Council approval on Appointments.


For transparency, the orders below are in the committee but not expected to be taken up during this evening’s meeting. If you have a question or comment about one of these orders for discussion at a future meeting, please reach out to a city councilor or the administrative assistant.

10-4-22 MALDONADO-VELEZ — Ordered, that a fund be created to implement a series of studies rotating between city departments each year to study best practices and methods of implementation for improvement of processes. Our city should constantly be seeking to improve how the public is served and that requires regularly looking at internal processes.
*Tabled 10-24-22

12-20-22 From Lisa A. Ball, City Solicitor, legal opinion regarding Council access to Legal Opinions.

6-7-22 MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI — Ordered, that the City Council establish a rule that requires any resident running to fill a vacant city council seat will need to obtain 50 signatures from eligible residents in order to be considered by the full City Council for appointment.
*Tabled 1-9-23

6-7-22 MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI — Ordered that the City Council create a rule where any candidate or elected official must disclose with the City Clerk’s office any federal or state litigation that may be pending related to the individual seeking or holding office.  The candidate or official should have the opportunity to include a written explanation of the offense and any mitigating circumstances.

5-3-22 VACON, JOURDAIN — Ordered, that 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.

6-7-22 MALDONADO VELEZ — Ordered, that we add to our charter that if a councilor is absent from a full council meeting for more than 3 consecutive meetings without written notice, their seat is considered open.
*Tabled 1-9-23

10-18-22 PUELLO, VACON — Ordered, That recall provisions be established for every elected official in the city. These provisions should be fair and equitable to allow citizens a path to recall but also protect the system from nuisances.
*Tabled 1-9-23

6-7-22 MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI — Ordered that the City Council amend its rules to create a Vice President position in the City Council.
*Tabled 6-14-22, 10-24-22

4-6-21 MURPHY — Ordered that the city charter be amended so that if there is a vacancy in the mayor’s office and the president of the city council cannot assume the duties full time, the full council would then select another councilor to assume the role of acting mayor by majority vote of the council.  The acting mayor would still continue to represent their constituents as a councilor.
*Tabled 4-12-21, 2-23-22, 4-12-22, 6-14-22

5-3-22 RIVERA_I — Order that the city solicitors office begin drafting a ballot question for next election cycle around marijuana Social consumption sites such as bars and cafes for residents to vote on next election cycle similar to the language below. “The sale of marijuana products, as those terms are defined in G.L. c.94G, 1, for consumption on the premises where sold, is permitted when the sale occurs at Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, or any establishment in which food or beverages are served.”
*Tabled 10-24-22, 1-9-23

1-3-23 MALDONADO-VELEZ – Order that we create a ballot question asking if there should be a recall process for all elected officials. The question should include a recall process and the decision should be binding.
*Tabled 1-9-23

10-4-22 MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI — That the City of Holyoke, through its Honorable City Council and Honorable Mayor, hereby petitions the Massachusetts General Court to enact legislation “Establishing an Appointed Treasurer for the City of Holyoke” in the form set forth below; provided, however, that the General Court may reasonably vary the form and substance of the requested legislation within the scope of the general public objectives of this petition.
“An Act Establishing an Appointed Treasurer for the City of Holyoke” – This act proposes to change the City Treasurer from an elected position to an appointed one; the appointment will be made by the  Mayor, with approval of the City Council, for a term not to exceed five (5) years and qualifications for the position may be established by ordinance. If adopted, the Treasurer elected in the 2023 municipal election will fill the vacancy in the office for the remaining two (2) years, and a Treasurer will be appointed to the position following the expiration of that term in January 2026 or sooner if the office is vacated.


Administrative Assistant: Jeffery Anderson-Burgos

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 may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law. Also one or two items may require the committee to enter into executive session at this meeting. Agenda subject to change up to two business days (48 hours) prior to posted meeting time.

January 26, 2023
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Jeffery Anderson-Burgos
Administrative Assistant to the City Council

Holyoke City Hall
536 Dwight St, Room 10
Holyoke, MA 01040
Regular hours 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Meeting days 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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