Mayor Walsh's office announced tonight that Boston has signed a "Surrounding Community Agreement" that includes $68 million worth of payments to the city over the next 15 years and an effort to spend at least $20 million a year with Boston businesses over the same period.
The agreement marks the end of the city's increasingly futile court challenges to the Wynn casino on a parcel in neighboring Everett. Read more.
A task force assembled by the mayor says Boston nightlife would be improved by letting downtown restaurants and bars keep serving alcohol past the current state-mandated limit of 2 a.m. - and by letting people on outdoor patios order drinks without having to get food to go with them. Read more.
Mayor Walsh's office today announced a plan to bathe the exterior of City Hall with a new generation of light fixtures that will supposedly make it look more attractive even as they save on energy costs. Read more.
Once again, the Boston Globe writes about the BRA's impending unlawful mayor-assisted heist of the City's Winthrop Square garage, blaming the whistle-blower for holding up the works.
I posted the following comment: Read more.
In his annual State of the City address, Mayor Walsh declared that "the city of Boston is as strong as it's ever been," but he laid out several proposals to make it even better and to keep Boston at the forefront of cities in which residents look out for each other and help each other out.
Walsh emphasized schools and assured those listening that "the Boston Public Schools ARE my priority." But in remarks that seemed aimed at pro-BPS parents who protested outside Symphony Hall before his speech, he added that he is equally committed to students at the city's non-BPS charter schools. And enough, already, with pitting schools against each other, he said. Read more.
With Boston booming, there's no real reason Boston schools are being ordered to make cuts that could mean teacher and program cuts, is there? There is if you look at it as one of the first steps in Mayor Walsh's long-term plan to completely reorganizes BPS and build a system with fewer, but bigger schools, Mike Freedberg writes:
Complete reorganization of Bostonâ€™s schools system is certainly Walshâ€™s goals, as it is the goal of the cityâ€™s employers and of many of the cityâ€™s school-kid parents. This cannot possibly be accomplished all at once. You can only reform an entrenched vested interest by chipping away at it, a little at a time. Walshâ€™s $ 50 million FY 2017 schools short-sheet looks like the first chip in his long term plan.
The Dorchester Reporter has details on Mayor Walsh's changes to affordable-housing requirements for new development in Boston.
Developers in Boston Proper and the South Boston waterfront who would rather pay into a city fund than include affordable units in their buildings will have to pay more than they would now. The idea is to try to spur development in the city's more torpid regions from Dorchester down to Readville.
But along with this comes a move that some say could make new affordable units less affordable, by increasing maximum income allowed for tenants from 70% of the area median income to 100%.
The Globe reports a Suffolk Superior Court judge rejected the city's "spurious" claims and that the city, which has already spent some $1 million on the suit, is looking at a possible appeal.
Mayor Walsh's office announced today that Bob Gallery,president of Bank of America Massachusetts is the Boston Public Library's new trustees chairman.
The case of the missing prints also forced the resignation of BPL President Amy Ryan; BPL is in the midst of preparing a search for a new library president.
Along with Gallery's appointment, the mayor's office also announced the appointment of Cheryl Cronin, a partner at Cronin & Leonard LLP, to the BPL board of trustees.
Adam Reilly makes the case:
If Walsh enters the crucible of a presidential election and makes a tangible difference - helping, in the process, to elect the first female president of the United States - heâ€™ll achieve something his predecessor couldn't. The missteps of the first half of his first term wonâ€™t be forgotten, but theyâ€™ll suddenly seem a lot less relevant. And those of us who like to daydream about a competitive mayoral race in 2017 will have to find another political parlor game to play.
Boston officials gathered in front of a giant pile of sand and one of the city's two new mega snow blowers today to vow they're ready for what winter might bring.
Mayor Walsh said the new snow movers will help Boston begin to emulate what Montreal does, rather than what Boston has traditionally done: Remove snow as it falls, rather than just piling it up along curbs and on street corners. Read more.
That includes the new vaping stuff, Walsh said today:
We know the consequences of tobacco use are real and can be devastating. These proposed changes send a strong message that Boston takes the issue of preventing tobacco addiction seriously, and I hope that message is heard throughout Boston and across the entire country.
The Boston Public Health Commission will hold a public hearing on Dec. 3 and then vote on Dec. 17.
The Globe reports.
Mayor Walsh issued a statement:
As a city and as a country it is not our custom to turn our backs on people who are in need and who are innocent. We have yet to receive guidelines from the federal or state government on how they will move forward, however should we be told that Boston is accepting refugees, we will work with our partners at the federal, state and local levels to ensure the safety of Boston residents.
UPDATE: Walsh says Pierce should shut his misinformed yap. More below.
Charles Pierce (yes, that Charles Pierce) levies a j'accuse at Mayor Walsh, charging he wants to shut 36 public schools to make way for more charter and parochial schools.
He's cut a deal with some of the most odious practitioners of the school "reform" grift, including the Walton Family of Wingnuts, and he did so under the radar.
Pierce bases his assertion on FOIA'ed documents, as discussed by Mary Lewis Pierce, who has a kid in BPS.
Mayor Walsh's office issued the following statement:
The Mayor has never said, nor does he have a plan to close 36 schools. Mayor Walsh has proven his dedication to Boston Public Schools by, in the past year alone, providing unprecedented budgetary support, extending learning time for students, adding 200 pre-kindergarten seats to the district, and hiring a first-class Superintendent. The Mayor also launched a multi-year Educational and Facilities Master Plan this fall to guide smart investments in Boston's schools with the goal of providing all students with a high-quality, 21st-century education.
The Esquire article is untrue and unsourced, and references meetings that the Mayor has never had. We are extremely disappointed at the spread of misinformation.
The City Council today approved Mayor Walsh's proposal to increase members' pay almost 14%, to $99,500, starting Jan. 1.
Councilors Ayanna Pressley (at large) Michelle Wu (at large), Charles Yancey (Dorchester) and Josh Zakim (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Mission Hill, Fenway) voted against. Read more.