The Boston City Council this week considers a proposal from Councilor Lydia Edwards (East Boston, North End, Charlestown) to ask Boston hotels to clean and sanitize rooms daily, even for guests who have stays longer than a night. Read more.
The City Council today voted unanimously to bar police and other city agencies from using facial-surveillance software except for specific criminal investigations - and even then only if the data is not generated by city-owned cameras. Read more.
East Boston restaurant owner Phil Frattaroli talks licenses at hearing.
Warning of "vulture capitalists" snapping up the liquor licenses of locally owned restaurants at depressed prices as the restaurants permanently shut because of the pandemic, Boston city councilors today began looking at ways they could pay restaurant owners for their expensive liquor licenses as a way to give them enough capital to get back on their feet. Read more
Several city councilors and an aide to Mayor Walsh put delivery companies on notice today: Do more to help out restaurants and consumers by curbing fees during the pandemic or the city will impose fee caps as is being done in other cities. Read more.
Boston elections officials told a City Council committee today that while voting by mail would be ideal in the age of pandemic, they're not currently set up to handle it - and that without proper planning it could mean having hundreds of volunteers counting ballots in close proximity at City Hall, which would defeat the whole point of trying to keep people away from each other. Read more.
Councilor Kenzie Bok checked into meeting from normally busy intersection at Charles and Beacon.
Workers at the Boston Transportation Department have begun inventorying city-owned traffic cones and barrels as they ready for a coronavirus-related effort to claim parts of some city roads for expanded sidewalks to allow for greater social distancing among pedestrians - including patrons at restaurants that would be forced to reduce their indoor seating once the governor gives them the OK to re-open their dining areas - a BTD official told city councilors today. Read more.
Wu gets swabbed for infection; was negative on that test.
At-large City Councilor Michelle Wu, who lives in Roslindale, reports she was one of the 1,000 people randomly selected for testing for both coronavirus infection and for antibodies, which would indicate she'd been exposed to the virus - and that while she tested negative for a current infection, she tested positive for antibodies. Read more.
City Councilors Michelle Wu (at large) and Liz Breadon (Allston/Brighton) want the Boston Transportation Department to begin looking at carving out some asphalt for pedestrians, bicyclists and people in wheelchairs so that they can better socially distance themselves as they go out for some air or a trip to the local market. Read more.
The middle of a pandemic, when students and teachers are still getting used to doing things online, is no time to talk about what could be a fundamental restructuring of BPS, several city councilors say. The Dorchester Reporter has more.
At yesterday's Zoomed-in City Council meeting, Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester), delayed action on a resolution calling on the city and state to freeze rents, mortgages, evictions and foreclosures during the Covid-19 state of emergency. Read more.
The Boston City Council agreed today to see if there's anything in the city's taxi regulations they can change that would put the shrinking number of medallion owners on a more equal footing with Uber and Lyft drivers and let them continue driving the streets. Read more.
The Boston City Council agreed today to consider ways to help poor residents who find tickets on their car windshields.
But several councilors said that while they appreciate at-large Councilor Julia Mejia's proposal to let residents get a reduction on ticket fees by showing they meet certain income levels, they added they might prefer other ways to help out such residents instead of tinkering with ticket fees. Read more.
City Councilor Ed Flynn (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, Downtown) wants to look at automatic recounts of close municipal elections, following last year's at-large race, in which Julia Mejia won the fourth at-large seat by just one vote. Read more.
Boston now pays more to have its recyclables hauled away than its trash, so its time to look at getting more creative with how it encourages residents to recycle, City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) said today. Read more.
The Boston City Council today agreed with a request from Councilor Lydia Edwards (East Boston, Charlestown, North End) to look at an ordinance under which local employers would be mandated to let their employees buy monthly MBTA passes as a pre-tax benefit, which would save workers some money and increase T use at a time when local roads are increasingly choked with people driving in from their suburban homes now that they've been priced out of the city.