In this update:
- Budget Review and Public Hearing on the Proposed FY 2015 Budget
- Lowell Street Bridge & Corridor Community Meeting June 25, 6 PM
- Coming soon: My recommendations following visits to the four finalist candidates for Union Square master developer
Budget Review and Public Hearing on the Proposed FY 2015 Budget
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone
On Thursday, June 5, the Mayor presented the Administration's FY 2015 City budget (approx. $200 million in spending) to the Board of Aldermen and a crowd of about 100 people, mostly City employees.
This past week and all next week we’re hearing presentations from City department heads and reviewing the budget . I’ve been asking lots of questions about various new positions that the Administration wants to add as well as about line items for things like professional and technical services, consultant contracts, decorative lights, flags and flowers, etc. I’ve been pleased with the challenging questions and attention to detail from many of my BOA colleagues. There isn’t a lot of fat in this budget but there are some cuts that I will push for. Unfortunately, we’re not allowed by Mass. state law to add anything to the budget, only cut. I find this frustrating since for eight years on the School Committee, I regularly proposed new programs & additional funding for key positions. But one must play the hand that one is dealt!
The final votes on cuts and approval of the budget will be on June 23 or 24. There will be a public hearing at which anyone can speak about any aspect of the budget on Thursday, June 19th at 6:30 PM at City Hall. I would appreciate any feedback you have on the budget, any suggestions for cuts in particular, or any questions or thoughts. Thanks!
Lowell Street Bridge & Corridor Community Meeting June 25, 6 PM
I want to invite all community members to an important public meeting on Wednesday, June 25, 6 PM to learn about, discuss and comment on plans for the Lowell Street corridor from Highland Avenue to Medford Street. The meeting will be held in the Visiting Nurses Association’s 3rd Floor Community Room at 259 Lowell Street.
An interdepartmental City government team has developed a plan to slow traffic and enhance safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles on the bridge and in the Lowell Street corridor around it. The plan calls for chicanes -- S-shaped curves with parking alternating on either side of the street -- to slow traffic. Feedback on the plan and suggestions for improving it -- especially from those who live in the neighborhood or are familiar with the Lowell Street corridor -- is important. Please come and share your views.
The meeting is hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, Traffic & Parking, and the Department of Public Works. For more information, contact me or Hayes Morrison, Director of Transportation and Infrastructure at 617-625-6600 ext. 2522, HMorrison@somervillema.gov.
Coming soon: My recommendations following visits to the four finalist candidates for Union Square master developer
As part of a group of 10 City leaders, I had the great opportunity in late May to go on a whirlwind four-day, four-city tour of development projects undertaken by the finalists for Union Square master developer. We looked at mixed-use development projects completed by Federal Realty Investment Trust in Bethesda MD and San Jose CA; US2 (Magellan Development and Mesirow Financial) in Chicago IL; and Gerding Edlen in Portland OR. This Wednesday, June 11th, we spent the morning in Boston looking at projects done by the Abbey Group. (You can find information about the trip at the Somerville by Design website www.SomervilleByDesign.com)
While all four development teams were impressive, I have definite preferences in terms of which I think would be best as the Master Developer of Union Square. I will be writing up my recommendations in the coming week and will post them on my website and share them with you, other leaders in the City and, of course, with the five members of the Somerville Redevelopment Authority who have the awesome responsibility of making the decision.
Ward 5 Alderman