May 28, 2019
Donna D. Holaday, Mayor
Thank you to Kevin Hunt, our Veterans Services Officer (VSO) for organizing a meaningful event honoring our veterans. There was a great turnout from elected officials, first responders, veterans, scouts, NHS Band and community members.
Cutter Fire Station: May 15th the kick-off meeting was held with Winter St. Architects to review scope of services for the feasibility and conceptual design of the fire station. We should have a comprehensive report by the end of August.
Lt. Gov. Polito and Sec. Kennealy initiated Regional Economic Development Planning Council Engagement Sessions: Matt Coogan, COS and I attended the first session at Salem State University with opportunities for roundtable discussions on community development, innovation, workforce development, housing, etc.- results in the Governor’s four- year economic plan for the state. http://www.mass.gov/hed for more information
Plum Island: New pumps for Air Vac system were installed on Olga Way with positive impacts. I toured the site with the Newbury Administrator and Selectmen toured the site.
FY20 Budget & 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Plan: I believe the budget workshops are going well. Matt Coogan and Ethan Manning are addressing additional documentation requests. Tonight you will be voting on the CIP per our City Charter. I ask you to remember the CIP is aspirational and a forward planning document allowing all city departments to identify needs, potential funding sources and other opportunities to address these future needs. Projects in the plan change based on needs and priority during this five year cycle with yearly updates. We believe the FY19 requests are well-supported and reflect high priority items within our overall fiscal plan.
Fire Trucks: The replacement of the ladder truck has been identified for several years in the CIP and with the newly identified frame issues in the reserve pumper, we have the opportunity to purchase a demo ladder and pumper truck for the price of typically of only a ladder truck. I encourage your support of this request. KME will not hold this price or potentially the demos through another reading and I would ask you approve the funding this evening.
IT Request for increasing recordings of City Meetings: There has been a very deliberate process in moving our technology forward. In 2010 when I took office we were in the dark ages- operating on Windows 97 platform. We had a horribly stagnate website and outdated software on every ancient computer. We were four versions behind on our financial software, and we were using a 30 year old Centrix phone system that died when it rained. Computers, phone system and website have all been upgraded as well as updated software and training for staff. We also installed new cameras in the City Council Chambers. We built a room in the basement of city hall for the equipment which was a major upgrade for the CC meeting recordings. The next phase was to connect all municipal building with fiber. This was a multi-year project and is in the final stages. We are ordering a new screen and projector for CC chambers for presentations. In conversations with NBPT HUB, they do not have the staffing to record every meeting nor are meetings routinely (except CC) held in the same rooms as we have 35 Boards and Commissions. We do not have the resources to install the technology in every potential room for recording. I see the ZBA and Planning Board as the highest priorities and have asked that NBPT HUB to also prioritize this and will continue to push for this starting July 1st.
I fully support greater transparency and will complete an evaluation of the costs of recording of additional meetings this summer including the equipment needed, costs and how and where recordings will be stored. We also need to review who will be responsible for the set up and recording of each meeting.
NHS Graduation: Sunday June 2nd at 11 am- Congratulations to all the graduates.
Red Sox Trophy: Sunday June 2nd from 3-6 pm at the Senior Community Center- Family event with photo ops, food, music and Red Sox tickets on raffle. Event is to raise funds to dedicate the Perkins ball field in honor of Sean Perkins a former Parks Commissioner.
Home Rule Petition to Dissolve the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority: S 2202 bill will be heard by the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government on June 4, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. If any City Councilors would like to testify, please let me know ASAP.
CSOs & Summit: The State Senate passed the notification and CSO Commission bills today. On June 7th from 10-12 the first CSO meeting of the elected officials and key stakeholders will be held at NECC in the Tech Center. This is an invitation event and please let me know if any City Councilors are interested in attending.