My Outline for a Greater Somerville by William Tauro

My outline for a greater Somerville is to begin with restoring the dignity and integrity of the mayor’s office as well as to restore the faith of the people and to let them know that I will always hear them and that I’m here to work for them.

As I have made public in a previous announcement, I first plan on entertaining an open door policy. My belief is that right now, it is vital for communication between city Hall and the citizens of our city to be as transparent as possible. There are far too many problems that have gone unattended for many years. My team and I will be active on the ground prior to starting from day one!  Continue reading My Outline for a Greater Somerville by William Tauro

COVID SPENDING WEBSITE

By Bob Katzen

The House 31-126, Senate 4-35, rejected Gov. Baker’s amendment to a bill requiring the state to create a searchable website that will show how the state spends the federal funds it receives to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Baker’s amendment made several changes including deleting a section that requires the site to be updated on a weekly basis and replacing it with a requirement it be updated on a “regular” basis. Continue reading COVID SPENDING WEBSITE

POLICE CHANGES

By Bob Katzen

The House 107-50, Senate 31-9, approved and sent to Governor Charlie Baker a new version of a bill making major changes in the state’s policing system. The House and Senate adopted some of Governor Baker’s amendments including scaling back a moratorium on the use of facial recognition software by law enforcement and limiting the influence of a civilian-led commission over police training.

Continue reading POLICE CHANGES

BAN TOXIC FLAME RETARDANTS

By Bob Katzen

The House and Senate approved and sent to Gov. Baker a bill that would ban 11 toxic flame retardants from children’s products, bedding, carpeting and residential upholstered furniture sold or manufactured in Massachusetts, except for inventory already manufactured prior to December 1, 2021. Another provision requires the Department of Environmental Protection to review, at least every three years, chemical flame retardants used in these type of products and include them on the list of prohibited chemical flame retardants that are documented to pose a health risk. Violators would be fined up to $5,000 for a first offense, $25,000 for a second offense and up to $50,000 for a third and subsequent offense. Continue reading BAN TOXIC FLAME RETARDANTS

BAKER UNVEILS $668 MILLION SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF PACKAGE

By Bob Katzen

Governor Baker announced a $668 million program to provide financial assistance to Massachusetts small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is counting on federal funds the state will receive from the federal COVID-19 relief bill recently passed by Congress. But the Baker administration says it will soon start releasing millions in new funding to restaurants, retailers and other small businesses across the state regardless of the fate of the federal funding. Continue reading BAKER UNVEILS $668 MILLION SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF PACKAGE

MINIMUM WAGE HIKE AND PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE PROGRAM EFFECTIVE JANUARY

By Bob Katzen

Effective January 1, the state’s minimum wage rises from $12.75 per hour to $13.50 per hour and the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers will rise from $4.95 per hour to $5.55 per hour. This hike is the third of five annual increases mandated by a law passed in 2018 that will eventually bring the minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2023. Continue reading MINIMUM WAGE HIKE AND PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE PROGRAM EFFECTIVE JANUARY

Somerville Speakup Line:Somerville Doctor Calling on Mayor and City Council to Remove Inspectional Services Director Mr. Antanavica from His Position Immediately

Dear Billy T and Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line,

Please publish this letter from Somerville Inspectional Services:

Mr. Antanavica (cc City Council, Mayor, Attorneys, Journalists)

I don’t deserve this email. No human does.

Your remarkable message below states that you will not vacate the first 12 days of Certificate of Occupancy Violations even after the Building Code Appeals Board determined I did not need a CO.
That means you are no longer enforcing the building code. You are actually violating it. Continue reading Somerville Speakup Line:Somerville Doctor Calling on Mayor and City Council to Remove Inspectional Services Director Mr. Antanavica from His Position Immediately