Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Boston City Council Appoints FPDLC Commissioner, Reviews Parking Fines Pilot & More

City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered these items and more at their March 16th meeting:

Appointments & Confirmations

The Council voted to confirm the following appointments:
• Back Bay West/Bay State Road Architectural Conservation District Commission: Pamela Beale (member) and Terri North (alternate) until April 2017
• Bay Village Historic District Commission: Stephen Dunwell and Ruth Knopf as members until June 2018
• Boston Landmarks Commission: John Amodeo (alternate) and John Freeman (member) until June 2018; Thomas Hotaling (member) and Bradford Walker (member) until June 2017
• South End Landmark District Commission: Catherine Hunt as member until June 2017
• St. Botolph Area Architectural Conservation District Commission: Francoise Elise as alternate until June 2017
Fort Point District Commission: Thomas Rodde as alternate until May 2018

The Mayor also appointed Will Morales as the new Commissioner of the Boston Center for Youth and Families and nominated Craig Galvin for the Zoning Board of Appeals for a term until March 2019, pending Council confirmation.

Parking Fines & Towing: Mayor Walsh filed an ordinance to extend the parking pilot that increased fines but eliminated towing in Charlestown. The ordinance gives authority to the Transportation Commissioner to designate zones where fines for not moving a car during posted street cleaning times increases from $40 to $90 but towing is eliminated.  The pilot program ended with a sunset clause on November 30, 2015, and Councilors Flaherty and LaMattina noted that there was strong support for continuing the program in Charlestown.  Councilor Zakim objected to suspension and passage, asking for a hearing or working session to make sure BTD would not expand the program to neighborhoods that want to keep towing in place for street cleaning. The matter was assigned to the Government Operations Committee.

Urban Renewal: No action on Urban Renewal this week at the Council. The BRA filed for an extension with the State for 60 days until June 29, 2016, while the Council’s vote for a longer term extension is still pending.

Just Cause Eviction: Councilors Zakim & Baker reported back on Monday’s hearing on Just Cause Eviction, which lasted 5 hours and saw people filling up the Council Chamber and both overflow rooms. Both Councilors stated that there was a window of opportunity for the Council to work with tenant advocates and landlords to pass legislation that would help stabilize neighborhoods and protect good tenants and good landlords. The matter will remain in the Committee on Housing & Community Development for further action.

Homelessness: Councilor Essaibi-George reported back on her hearing to examine the impacts of homelessness on children, young adults, and families yesterday. She had convened representatives from BPS, DND, and the State to discuss the current programming for kids and families struggling with homelessness and challenges ahead. The matter will remain in the Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health & Recovery for further action.

For complete notes on this meeting and prior Boston City Council meeting notes, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email. 

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