Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Boston City Council Looks At Arts, Pay, Tobacco & More

Councillor-At-Large Michelle Wu provides notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the items below and more at their September 2, 2015 meeting.

Appointments & Confirmations: The Council voted to confirm Carol Downs and Priscilla Rojas as BRA/EDIC Board members. Mayor Walsh appointed Katherine Hammer as the new Budget Director and Christine Pulgini as the Director of the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs & Licensing (she will also keep her role as head of the Boston Licensing Board, but will not receive any additional salary for doing both).

Appetite for Arts: Councilor Wu called for a hearing to propose a platform to connect local artists with neighborhood restaurants looking to display artwork. Many restaurants are looking to showcase local artists with the opportunity for patrons to purchase the work. The City could provide an expanded platform for making these connections. The matter was sent to the Arts & Culture Committee for a hearing.

City Council Pay Raise: The two proposals on Council pay raise were sent to the Government Operations Committee for further action. Mayor Walsh filed an amendment that would set the salary at $99,500, a slight increase above his Compensation Advisory Board's $97,000 recommendation. Councilor Linehan filed an amendment for a $107,500 salary. The Committee will likely issue a report with a recommendation to be voted on at the next Council meeting.

Smokeless TobaccoThe Council voted to pass Mayor Walsh's proposed ban on smokeless tobacco at sporting events in Boston, including Fenway park. The ban applies to event sites for professional, collegiate, high school, or organized amateur sporting events, requiring conspicuous signs in dugouts, bullpens, training rooms, locker rooms, press boxes, television & radio broadcast booths, and bathrooms. The ordinance cites the high rate of youth who use smokeless tobacco and resulting oral, pancreatic, and esophageal cancer, with a strong association from athletes who use it. The fine would be $250/offense.

Robert J. Butts, III: The Council voted to suspend and pass Councilor Baker's home rule petition to waive the maximum age requirement for police officers for Robert J. Butts, III.  Boston Police recruits must be younger than age 32 if not a veteran, and under age 40 if a veteran. Robert Butts was recently informed that BPD realized he was 29 days too old for the next phase of the recruitment process, but the civil service exam he took two years ago had been delayed one month several years ago due to the Boston Marathon bombings.

For complete minutes of September 2nd meeting and prior Boston City Council meetings, visit or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email at

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