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Charter and Rules Committee Meeting May 13, 2024

May 13 2024

6:30 pm City Hall Holyoke

536 Dwight St, Holyoke 01040

Posted May 9, 2024, 11:50 AM

City Council
Holyoke Massachusetts

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, §§ 18-25,
Chapter 2 of the Acts of 2023,
notice is hereby given of a meeting of the committee on
Charter and Rules

Monday, May 13, 2024
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: Meg Magrath-Smith
Remote access via
Meeting ID: 892 2486 7530 Meeting Passcode: 889085 or by call in at 1 (646) 558-8656 with the 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.


Item 1: Minutes of May 6, 2024 meeting.

Item 2: 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, 2-27-23

Item 3: 4-16-24 DEVINE – An order to amend rule 9, changing automatic tabling from 45 to 60 days.

Item 4: 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  Items “deemed tabled” by virtue of their existence in the committee jacket for 45 days will not be published on the active agenda.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.  *Tabled 2-27-23

Item 5: 3-6-24 Jourdain -Ordered, that the Joint City Council and School Committee have a standing order to report to the City Council on meeting topics originating from the School Committee.

Item 6: 12-5-23 VACON — Ordered, That we amend our charter and ordinances to change from an elected Mayor to a City Manager/Chief Administrative Financial Officer, appointed by the City Council.

Item 7: 2-20-24 Jourdain, Vacon, Bartley – Ordered, add a new Rule 6G that no member shall make any external statements, social media posts, or texts regarding City Council business during any meeting of the City Council or its committees in the spirit of open meeting law.

Item 8:  2-20-24 Jourdain, Vacon, Bartley- Ordered, amend Rule 6E by adding the following: that no member of the City Council shall make references to or about another member but in respectful terms whether inside or outside the City Council Chambers including on social media.

Item 9: 4-2-24 Magrath-Smith – Ordered, that City Council rule 10.D be revisited in discussion. D. Every month the City Council invite in a Holyoke School Student to lead in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Item 10: 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, 3-25-24, 5-6-24


(Discussion is not expected)

Item 11: 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.
*Tabled 2-27-23, 12-11-23

Item 12: 4-4-23 RIVERA_I, GIVNER, MALDONADO VELEZ, MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI, RIVERA_J — Ordered, that Section 34 of the Holyoke City Charter be amended to establish a Police Commission by virtue of a Special Act in Accordance with the provisions of Articles of Amendment, Article II, Section 8 of the Massachusetts Constitution.
*Tabled 4-19-23, 7-17-23, 12-11-23

Item 13: 4-4-23 From Atty Jane Mantolesky, Supplement to legal opinion on voting requirements
*Tabled 4-10-23

Item 14: 8-1-23 From City Solicitor letter re: Provisions of charter impacted by implementation of a Police Commission
*Tabled 12-11-23

Item 15: 8-1-23 From Lisa Ball, City Solicitor, Legal Opinion from KP Law, Mark R. Reich Esq. regarding Community Preservation Act Surcharge Reduction.

Item 16: 8-1-23 From City Solicitors Ballot Question language.

Item 17: 10-3-23 GIVNER, TALLMAN — With community support, order that all ordinances and charter rules reflecting city council and city council subcommittee meeting notices be updated to reflect acceptance of email as sufficient method of notice, and city website posting as sufficient method of public notice.
*Tabled 12-11-23, 2-5-24

Item 18: 10-3-23 GIVNER — With community support, order that the following section of our Codes of Ordinances and charter be updated to reflect use of email as sufficient for special meeting notice:
Sec. 12. – Special meetings of city council.
The mayor may at any time call a special meeting of the city council by public posting through the city website along with written notifications thereof, together with a statement of the subjects to be considered thereat, to be deposited in the post office, postpaid and addressed to the persons to be notified, at least forty-eight hours before the time appointed for such meeting, or to be left at the usual place of residence of each member of the council, by email at least forty-eight hours before the time appointed for such meeting.  (Acts 1965, c. 187; Acts 1992, c. 189)
*Tabled 12-11-23, 2-5-24

Item 19: 12-5-23 VACON — Ordered, That we amend our charter and ordinances to change from an elected Mayor to a City Manager/Chief Administrative Financial Officer, appointed by the City Council.

Item 20: 2-6-24 JOURDAIN, BARTLEY — Ordered, That Charter Sections 19 and 34 be amended and elsewhere as appropriate to allow for all appointments to the Fire Commission and DPW Commission to be appointed by the Mayor subject to confirmation by the City Council.

Item 21: 2-6-24 DEVINE, I. RIVERA — Ordered, Under City Council rules, please add the following: New Rule: Every 2 years after being sworn in, the City Council President shall set the seating arrangements of the City Council. Consideration shall be taken for any legitimate handicap preference.

Item 22: 4-2-24 Magrath-Smith- Ordered, that a Home Rule Petition be filed with amendments to the City Charter as required for consistency with state law, pertaining to our city’s restructuring of municipal finance.
*Tabled 5-6-24

Item 23: 4-2-24 BARTLEY, JOURDAIN, VACON — The City of Holyoke amends any charter, ordinance and any other regulations relative to its Tax Collector and combines the office with its City Treasurer so long as a charter change to appoint rather than elect Holyoke’s City Treasurer is approved by the legislature and Holyoke voters.
*Tabled 5-6-24

Item 24: 8-1-23 From Atty Kathleen Degnan, Asst City Solicitor, home rule petition for appointed treasurer.
*Tabled 5-6-24


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.

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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