Monday, March 18, 2013

Library access

I'll do a full post, per usual, later this week on our agenda, but this piece is a bit more time sensitive.

Coming up on our agenda this Thursday is the following item:
(March 13, 2013) 
To ask that the City Council, in addressing the Downtown Master Plan, preserve the current parking lot behind the Worcester Public Library, for the benefit and well-being of the citizens – and especially of the children of Worcester – who depend on the library.
Several of us have been following with concern the theater district master planning process, including, as it does, the Worcester Public Library. Easy access to the public library is absolutely necessary for Worcester Public School students, and the question of the possible sale of the library parking lot for other use (possibly indoor ice skating rinks) is very concerning.
If you're just hearing of this now, you can do a quick catch up over on Nicole's blog, as she's been following it (and liveblogging much of it) since the beginning. When the plan came before the Council last week, the item was held by Councilor Eddy under personal privilege; it appears as item 15b on this week's agenda.
If you'd like to know why, Nick Kotsopoulos does an excellent job in yesterday's column dissecting the process and presenting alternate ways for such a process to actually include the public in a meaningful way.

If this at all concerns you, here's the deal: Councilor Eddy's hold under privilege only lasts for a week. The Council has to do something with it tomorrow night. At this point, they can do four things:

  1. They can send the report on to Economic Development (the subcommittee that will hear this).
  2. They can hold the report for another week. That would take four councilors to vote in favor of the hold, at this point, as a personal privilege hold can only be done once per item per Councilor.
  3. They can send the report back to administration (as Nicole urged them to do last week) to incorporate public comment (or redo the process so that it begins from public comment).
  4. They can file the item, which is a nice way of saying, they can toss it out.
In order for anything unusual to happen, the Council needs to hear from the public. Thus, should you have any concerns about access to the parking lot (or, indeed, any other aspects of the plan), you should get in touch with the Council

Better yet, there is a time for public testimony at the beginning of every Council meeting: attend tomorrow night's meeting at 7 pm at City Council and voice your concerns.

No comments: