Riverfest: My sincerest thanks to city staff who expended many honors in preparation for the concert and throughout the day of the event- Chief LeClair, Marshall Murray, Tony Furnari, Wayne Amaral, Rich Jones, Frank Giacalone, Molly Ettenborough and all the staff who worked to make this a safe and successful event for our city. We held a debriefing on 9/4 and overall the city was well prepared and can make adjustments for future large events; the satellite parking was essential and kept the streets opened and cars from overwhelming neighborhoods.
Anecdotal reports from the Chamber indicate it was a successful day for both retailers and restaurants.
Traffic Safety Advisory Committee: Met with residents on High St. on 9/6 to discuss speeding and accidents in light of the most recent incident that involved a car hitting a house. This area is a good candidate for Complete Streets. We anticipate TEC engineering to begin work on this new grant program within the next several weeks. Recall, they are also the engineering firm working with MADOT on our Safe Routes to School project. As an interim step, speed feedback markers will be ordered and installed in this section of High St.
Marijuana Cultivation: Riverrun has lost their cultivation space in the business park and is actively working on securing a new site. We will need to update Host Community Agreement at a later date.
Intermodal Facility: the precast structures began arriving last week and so far the transport is going fine. This process will continue for the next 4-5 weeks.
School District: Overall the opening of the school year has gone very well with students and band members greeting teachers on their first day back. NHS Principal Wulf held a full school student-led rally and he presented his entry plan to the School Committee on 9/4 and Superintendent Gallagher continues to develop his entry plan. We have been notified by DESE that Newburyport has been selected for a Coordinated Review and leadership is completing the required self-assessment in finance, leadership, curriculum, assessment, professional development, special education, ELL and civil rights.
The Assistant Principal vacancy at Nock has narrowed down to finalists interviews; Tim Mahon, Master English teacher decided to return to the classroom from administration creating the opening.
Clipper Rail Trail: some progress has been made on the punch list and we are hopeful that we can close this project out within the next several weeks (with the exception of area behind the Wastewater Treatment Facility). I extend my thanks to the residents for their patience with the condition of the trail but the responsibility lies with the contractor and we are holding them to the required contract work before we accept the project. We are beginning efforts to seek release of the $750K earmark in the Environmental Bond Bill for the cleanup of the site.
Wastewater Treatment Facility and MVP grant: We are finalizing a contract with the Boston firm Dewberry, selected by Coastal Zone Management to upgrade the resilience of the facility. We hope to coordinate the rail trail clean up and mitigation during the same time.
Property Tax Relief for Seniors: As I mentioned las month, Gov. Baker has signed off on our Home Rule Petition for a special election to adopt c. 41C ½. (see attached) I would like to initiate an ad hoc group with members of the City Council and City staff to begin organizing this effort over the next several weeks.
Gayden Morrill Charitable Foundation: The annual meeting of the foundation was held on 9/7 where the Parks Commission’s recommendations for funding were presented. The main project to be advanced is Morrill Ridge: An Outdoor Learning Space Commemorating Mayor Gayden Wells Morrill. Mayor Morrill was instrumental in securing the funding to build NHS and laid the cornerstone on his last day in office. On Saturday, 9/8 we unveiled the granite marker that will be installed upon completion.
Congressman Seth Moulton: presented the finalists and winner of the Gomes award on Sunday 9/9. The award is given to an individual in the Sixth Congressional District of Massachusetts who best epitomizes the qualities of integrity, compassion, and commitment to community that were the foundation of the late Reverend Peter Gomes. Attendees headed to do volunteer cleanup activities on Plum Island.
Exchange Club’s Field of Honor: Ceremonies were held yesterday, 9/9 to honor veterans, active men and women in our armed services and first responders. Julia Collins-Linder provided a moving reflection of the events that led to the loss of her husband, Tom in the World Trade Center.
Global Climate Action Summit: As a member of the Climate Change Mayors, I was able to apply for acceptance to attend this year’s international conference on climate change. The invitation to attend was received by Gov. Jerry Brown who is co-hosting the summit with Michael Bloomberg. Molly Ettenborough, our outstanding Sustainability Coordinator was also accepted. We leave tomorrow for the summit in San Francisco. There are numerous events and workshops being held throughout San Francisco and we look forward to enhancing our skill sets and bringing back new ideas to continue to advance our city.