Integrity. Impact. Independence.

Committee on Ways and Means -  BPD

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Among the things Councilor Edwards wanted to know about:Projections for the completion of the new East Boston police stationWith the new Casino opening soon, has BPD been working to increase the police detail in Charlestown and East BostonIn terms of traffic control, does BPD have a plan to have more officers or civilian help in intersections?Does BPD have any new surveillance technology that they wish to disclose? Can they disclose this sort of information in the future if they acquire more of these types of resources?How has the outreach been, from BPD, to the immigrant community (documented and undocumented alike)? Keeping in mind the trust that needs to be had between these communities and law enforcement.Councilor Edwards has mentioned that in Colorado, despite their legalization of marijuana, has seen an increase in arrests related to possession and selling of [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Parks and Recreation

Monday, May 13, 2019

Park Safety, Park Privatization

Councilor Edwards asks about the potential to put up signs in city parks, particularly at picnic tables, that remind people to be considerate of those with allergies (food allergies like peanut allergies) and to wipe down tables once they are done eating. Keep in mind that children with severe allergies might suffer an attack because either they sit at a table that had previously had someone eat allergy-triggering foods or, might also play with kids that ate something that others can be severely allergic to (games that involve touching like tag). This is an issue brought up to the councilor by many parents.In addition, the councilor also brought up concerns around the privatization of parks throughout the city. Keeping things like the Suffolk Downs project in mind, the Councilor wants to ensure that the public will still have the [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Suggestions for DoIT

In this hearing, the councilor had a few suggestions (Start at: 31:06) for the heads of the Department of Innovation and Technology about ways the city can make it easier for the public to access city resources. Things like: applying for permits, looking for jobs, (etc.). She suggests the creation of a portal (online site/database system), that works and connects residents to all Boston departments, that could serve this purpose. [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Boston Transportation Department

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Will BTD make more of a commitment to parking reform out in East Boston and try to map put new areas for new parking meters, angled parking, and visitor parking?With the encore Casino opening in early June, does BTD believe that the city of Boston is ready for the inevitable upsurge in traffic in the Sullivan Square/Charlestown area? There are concerns with the traffic lights out in Sullivan square not being coordinated well enoughmaking that area more walkableThere has been some discussion about the need for a plan concerning parking and pickup/dropoff areas in the North End. Does BTD have a plan for parking and adding more Pickup/dropoff areas in the North End?Concerning visitor parking and those who are homeless but still have their car, what is BTD's plan for parking permits or passes for these people? [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Department of Neighborhood Development

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

(Concerning Condo conversions) Councilor Edwards asking about the rate of condo conversations and if it's increasing. She asked about the use of luxury funds for housing preservation for 13 A buildings to buy down affordability. Hoping for budget priority and asking if DND has assessed the transfer fee.(concerning housing vouchers) Councilor Edwards is excited for the recent announcement for housing vouchers to be administered by BHA only. BHA capital bonding as a capital investment for $30 million in BHA housing. Proponent in bonding since we have a triple A rating. How can we look at bonding in scale?City-owned land and it's dispersal to developers - Councilor Edwards asked about the process of selling city owned land to private developers. (Concerning HUD Fair Housing requirement) Councilor Edwards introduced a fair housing amendment to Boston's zoning code. She's wonder if [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Public Works Department

Monday, May 6, 2019

Budget season is in full swing! In case you missed it, here is a link to yesterday's budget hearing for the Public Word Department. My questions start at the 1:17 mark and again around 2:16. I ask about issues regarding bridges throughout the district, the need for additional hokies, trash barrels, and resources for community cleanup crews. This is only the beginning of the conversation! I will continue to advocate for resources that will improve the quality of life of District One residents. [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Inspectional Services Department

Monday, May 6, 2019

- Asked Commissioner Christopher about short term rentals. Specifically on the short-term rental registry. Confirmed in late September we can cross check and enforce in our own neighborhoods.- Asked about regulation of dry ice for the North End and the steps the City of Boston can take to move forward on utilizing it for rat abatement.- Looking for a Loftel Hotel update in East Boston. checking in on the receivership or problem property task force idea. How can we enhance or get involved in the problem properties initiative?- Is there anyway to board up the building since there is vagrancy? Commissioner mentioned they are allowed to board up to 8 feet. There is no budget within ISD but will consult another company to do it and put a lien on property to cover cost.- Councilor Edwards asked about the [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - BPS Operations

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Congratulations to My Way cafe in the district. Advocated for the expansion of the program through an equity lens and questioned the timleline of Citywide rolloutChecking in on safety protocols at BPS and safety issues in schools [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - BPS | Academics

Monday, April 29, 2019

How is BPS using the $5Million dollar Title One funds?(conerning the Meta Lawsuit and havign a more robust community involvement) Part of the consent decree is that there will be an annual determination and that the school committee will colllect from each school monetary checklists. Will BPS or has BPS shared that checklist with the Boston City Council?Under order of the budget, expenditures for Chapter One funds must be determined in consultation with the council and with Meta. Have you shared those checklists with Meta and what will be the practice moving forward in sharing those checklists in the future?There has been conversation going on in the community about the East Boston Early Education Center's future and the probability of combining it with the Allen-Gary school. What is Build BPS' future plan for the East Boston Early Education Center? [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means FY20 Budget - BPS/School Budgets

Thursday, April 25, 2019

How does BPS evalutate things like homelessness, displacement, and undocumented immigrant students when weighting schools on the "opportunity index?How his a student identified as homeless?Does BPS' weights, when budgeting, take into account students that are going through displacement issues?Around what time of the year does BPS make decisions on budgeting for Boston's Schools?When was the decision made to cut $1.2 Million from East Boston High?There is a reserve of money that BPS holds for unexpected upsurges in student population in Boston Public Schools (this can be a result from immigrant students arriving in the middle of the school year or Boston resident students leaving charter schools and transfering in to Boston Public Schools).How much is in that reserve?When BPS makes a budget cut to a school, do they study the effects of that budget cut on that school?Things like [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Assessing Department

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Councilor Edwards' questions to Gayle Willet (33:33):Update on back tax (introduced in an ordinance that was passed last year)Making sure that assessing department is compliant on multi-lingual noticesHow much we have from Massport PILOTsWhy hasn't there been a priority in updating the assessing numbers for non-profit Universities' properties?Will updating those numbers be a priority in the future? [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Budget Overview

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Funding for Boston Students, Evaluating the "Opportunity Index" System, Equity in Student transportation

Overview of Councilor Edwards' Questions for the Super Intendent of BPS:5% of BPS' budget already covers costs for students that are not wihtin the Boston Public School System. This part of BPS' budget primarily goes towards charter schools within the city, which of course has students that live in Boston and neighboring cities/towns.How does BPS ensure that it is not spending too much on students that do not live in Boston?Individual Schools' fundraising and donationsWhen an individual school recieves a donation for whatever purpose it may be (example: someone donates so that the school can mantain its music department) does that school need to report said donation to BPS?Does BPS have any amount of control over how that donation is to be allocated?Does the opportunity index system (more on this below) take into account the ability of an individual [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Admin and Finance

Monday, April 22, 2019

City Departments' Workplace Culture, Affordable Housing, Parking Revenue

1. (1:50:18) The Walsh administration's Human Resources department is considering hiring a new employee that would oversee diversity trainings and investigations into any workplace hostility relatted to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, (etc.). In this part of the hearing, Councilor Edwards wanted to: get a sense of what the job description for this position would be (getting a little more into specifics, how directly this person would deal with the city departments) and also figure out if the Walsh administration has any plan to ensure accountability both on the Director of Investigations and Trainings and on the effectiveness of any trainings that they implement.2. (1:54:38) With rent prices increasing in the city of Boston, there has been a housing crisis that has mainly been effecting lower income indivduals and families. One particular group at risk are the ones that live [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - PFD / Capital Budget

Monday, April 22, 2019

PFD Project Timing, planning, and funding | BuildBPS Planning and Vision

Councilor Edwards' questions for Tricia Lyons (Director of PFD): (Start at: 30:30)Timing for the Paris Street Pool renovations. (when will renovations begin)East Eagle Street police station timing, estimated timing for prequalifications processIn regards to the Animal Shelter program: What is the investment plan? Will any investment go towards renovations of current facilities or construction of new facilities?Is PFD or will PFD look into public-private partnerships for the funding and development for Long Island project? Councilor Edwards' questions on BuildBPS (Start at: 1:26)Is there any testing for lead in the water in school facilities?Does BuildBPS include any plan for the Mel Stillman Tennis Center (Near the Charlestown Rec Center)Concerns about funding distribution for schools within District 1Timing on modular classroom project for the Warren-Prescott school, how much will it costSimilar planning for the Edwards school? [ more ]