City Council

By - 2/24/15 - 12:10 pm
South Boston waterfront snow farm

All quiet today at the South Boston snow farm. Photo by Conventures.

City Councilors Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) and Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton) say the past month suggests the city needs better equipment for clearing city streets in the winter.

The two say that despite valiant efforts of city DPW workers, all the snow led to "gridlock and dangerous conditions" across the city and that residents continue to struggle just to get up and down their own streets.

By - 2/12/15 - 8:46 am

City Councilors Ayanna Pressley (at large) and Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) both say they love the idea of increasing the number of restaurants that can serve alcohol in Boston, but both are saying they have major concerns about a proposal by Councilors Michelle Wu and Steve Murphy to let smaller eateries offer BYOB service.

By - 2/10/15 - 10:37 am

At-large City Councilors Michelle Wu and Steve Murphy are proposing a change in city ordinances to let smaller restaurants offer BYOB service.

In a proposal to go before the council tomorrow - assuming the council meets - the councilors will propose ending the city's current BYOB ban for restaurants that cannot afford one of the city's pricey liquor licenses or which are not located in the areas for which the state legislature gave the city new licenses. State law prohibits BYOB for restaurants with liquor licenses, but leaves the issue up to local authorities for restaurants without them.

By - 2/4/15 - 2:40 pm

City Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) is calling for regulations to require stores that buy second-hand cell phones to take steps to help cut down on the trade in stolen phones and give police access to their sales records.

At today's council meeting, Jackson said the theft of fancier phones - and headphones - is no laughing matter: "It's not only electronics, not only petty theft, but people are actually getting hurt." He said BPD statistics show a 207% increase in iPhone thefts between 2010 and 2013.

By - 2/4/15 - 2:01 pm

With parking-lot fees around Fenway Park continuing to rise, out-of-towners increasingly see a $40 fine for parking in resident-only spots in the Fenway as a bargain.

City Councilor Josh Zakim (Fenway, Mission Hill, Back Bay, Beacon Hill) wants to put a stop to that - by increasing the fine for parking in a resident-only space on the streets around the ballpark to $100.

Zakim said it's unfair that Fenway residents with parking permits have to compete for spaces with out of towners in for a game.

The council agreed today to send Zakim's idea to a committee for a hearing.

By - 2/4/15 - 1:52 pm

Several city councilors say new flight paths out of Logan Airport have shifted early morning flights over neighborhoods not used to being awoken at 5:15 a.m. by low-flying jets - and they want the FAA and Massport to explain what they're going to do about that.

"It's really impacting heavily the quality of life of constituents in my area, who are not as familiar with low flying airplanes as they are now," City Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) said, adding he has also heard complaints from neighboring West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

By - 2/2/15 - 11:13 pm

City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) says a world-class city needs a municipal font it can call its own.

On Wednesday, O'Malley will formally introduce the idea of developing a common font that could be used in "signage networks on our transit systems, on emergency and police vehicles and on city materials such as trash receptacles."

He notes that Chatanooga, TN has its own font.

In his request for a hearing on the idea, O'Malley continues:

By - 2/2/15 - 10:42 pm

City Councilor Josh Zakim (Mission Hill, Fenway, Back Bay, Beacon Hill) thinks Boston voters should get a voice on the proposed 2024 Boston Olympics, especially since they could require the city to make "significant financial and operational commitments" to the games.

At Wednesday's City Council meeting, Zakim will propose four specific - and non-binding - ballot questions for this November's ballot:

1. Should Boston host the 2024 Summer Olympic & Paralympic Games (the "Games")? YES/NO

2. If Boston were to host the 2024 Olympics, should the City commit any public money to support the games? YES/NO

By - 1/18/15 - 1:21 pm

City Councilors Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) and Steve Murphy (at large) will try once again to persuade the state legislature to let Boston residents over 55 who meet certain income requirements defer parts of their property tax until they sell their homes.

Linehan says the matter is even more urgent now that the city has come out with revised property assessments, which he said are really hitting long-time residents of his district hard - he said he himself has seen his quarterly tax bill rise $200 due to the latest assessments.

By - 1/16/15 - 2:09 pm

City Councilor Michelle Wu (at large) today called for creation of "an Olympic review commission with specialists in land use policy, municipal finance, and transportation planning to help vet the bid as it is being developed." She adds:

Boston 2024 should condition its bid on receiving affirmative approvals from each venue city or town by City Council vote.

By - 1/14/15 - 5:51 pm

A City Council committee on Friday considers setting up another committee to let councilors examine the implications of the 2024 Olympics bid.

New special committees need the consideration of Councilor Steve Murphy's Rules Committee before creation. Council President Bill Linehan proposed creation of the Olympics special committee.

By - 1/14/15 - 8:24 am

City Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester) today will propose ordinances to require all BPS school buses that can carry 35 or more students to be equipped with passenger seat belts and to carry a monitor to keep them from getting out of line.

The council will take up the proposals at its regular meeting, which starts at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.

By - 1/7/15 - 7:17 pm
Bill Linehan of the Boston City Council

City Council President Bill Linehan presided over today's council meeting with the help of his very own Bill Linehan bobblehead.

By - 12/19/14 - 9:51 am

The Jamaica Plain Gazette interviews Boston 2024 President Dan O’Connell, who says that the committee has already IDed a North Shore site (hmm, so maybe they're not so short-sighted?) in case the local city councilor comes out against shutting down Franklin Park for use by the horsey set:

If, for example, “[City Councilor] Matt O’Malley came to me and said there is no support [in his district] for using Franklin Park as a venue, we would look elsewhere” for another option, he said.

By - 12/10/14 - 12:17 pm

Councilor Michelle Wu (at large) last night gave birth to her and husband Conor's first child, Blaise Francis Pewarski, 7 lbs., 13 oz. and 20 inches long. Mom, father and son are doing fine.

By - 12/9/14 - 9:51 am

Mayor Walsh wants to eliminate a restriction that limits voters to signing nominating petitions for just one district councilor and mayoral candidate and four at-large councilors in an election year.

By - 12/2/14 - 7:26 am

The Daily Free Press reports BU President Robert Brown and the City Council have reached an agreement under which Brown will discuss the diversity of his school's workforce at a hearing on Dec. 19.

By - 11/28/14 - 6:14 pm

The Globe reports Boston University has gone to court to try to block a City Council subpoena requiring President Robert Brown to show up at a council committee hearing on Tuesday.

The council demanded Brown's presence after Councilor Tito Jackson reported he had been disrespected by Brown when Brown sent him a note the afternoon before an earlier council hearing that Brown could not make it.

By - 11/19/14 - 3:15 pm

For the second straight meeting, the City Council agreed to delay a vote on Councilor Charles Yancey's proposal for a $120 million high school in Mattapan.

The council approved borrowing for the high school last month, but the measure needs two positive votes before it can go to the mayor for his consideration.

By - 11/19/14 - 2:26 pm

The City Council today ordered the president of Boston University to appear before one of its committees on 4 p.m. on Dec. 2 to discuss the university's workforce diversity.

The council unanimously approved the formal summons after Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury), who is studying diversity in post-secondary education in Boston, said Brown stood him up for a hearing on the issue after having agreed to appear.

Jackson acknowledged Brown did send a letter begging off the 10 a.m. hearing - to which his office had earlier agreed. But, he added, "it is unacceptable to send a letter at 4:45 the day before."