Matt doesn’t know what the hell the mayor is capable of….
The Board of Aldermen met this Thursday, June 8 at City Hall. The agenda can be found here.
The most important item we took up was Union Square zoning, which was passed after weeks of meetings that often went to midnight and beyond. I was the only no vote on the zoning. I will explain my position in a later piece as it is quite complicated. My vote was mostly based around the decision making process and lack of faith in deals that the Board has no authority over and can be changed without our consent. I want to thank all of my colleagues for working really hard for the community. We took a bad deal and made it as palatable as possible for the betterment of the neighbors. I only wish there was more we could have done.
I placed an order that the Director of SPCD provide all cost estimates and data used to support the affordable housing waiver for the 500 unit apartment complex at Assembly Row. The planning department told us that they did analysis of costs that led to their unprecedented decision to reduce on site affordable housing from 12.5 percent to 6 percent, with a cash payout for the rest. This was despite community demands that the current 20 percent law be applied. I requested this informaiton, which the Planning Board did not look at, so we can have a transparent process that we were denied.
I placed an order that the Director of SPCD work with Partners Healthcare to create a local jobs program for available jobs onsite. Partners is now the largest employer in the city. Most of the jobs are already filled from other regions, but I would like to work with Partners as jobs turnover to give priority to Somerville residents.
I placed other orders regarding potholes, a Slow Children Playing sign, fixing greenways, traffic issues by 240 Pearl Street and other maintenance.