Here are the big items on the city meeting calendar this week…
Downtown Parking Study
Monday, June 12 at 6PM
Last night was the presentation of the results of the Downtown Parking Study at the John Zon Center. I as hoping it would also be streamed on GCTV, but couldn’t find it. Now I guess I wait for it to be posted on YouTube. (Update: The recording is now available and I recommend watching it. I will get around to posting a summary in the next day or two, but in the meantime, you can find my watch-along notes over on the Mastodon feed.)
I will admit to some degree of skepticism regarding these sorts of studies. While I get that we don’t want to make big investments without gathering data first and having external professional recommendations, there is the risk that these affairs are mostly an opportunity for some consultants to charge the city $25k for a slide presentation.
Even if they do have a bunch of great ideas, implementation will requiring spending a ton of money and is dependent upon a consistency of local government that I am not sure we can assume. A new administration in the mayor’s office or a different make-up of the City Council (or even just a change of staffing in the Planning office) likely means it all gets shoved into the bin, never to be spoken of again.
I am thinking of the similar study 5 or 6 years ago (maybe longer?) when Maureen Pollock was still Planning Director. “Safe Streets”1 or some such, maybe? There was a big study and I remember going to some presentation at the Olver Transportation Center. Then Pollock moved on and as far as I know, that was the last we ever heard of any of that. Maybe the new crosswalk at Olive St. and Bank Row came out of that project.
I will also admit to some degree of morbid curiosity here, given that downtown parking tends to be the third rail of Greenfield politics and a topic about which a lot of people seem to have inexplicably strong feelings.
Economic Development Council
Tuesday, June 13 at 6PM
The Economic Development Committee of the Greenfield City Council is meeting this evening at 6p. The meeting is taking place at City Hall, or can be joined via Zoom.
The full meeting notice and detailed agenda is here.
There are three motions on the agenda:
- The zoning changes (General Commercial to Planned Industry) to 5 parcels along the French King Highway
- A liquor license for the Greenfield Garden Cinema
- Termination of the tax incentive for the Ford & Toyota dealership
Assuming they get to everything on the agenda and nothing is tabled, the EDC will discuss I and takes votes on each of these motions. From there, they will head to the full City Council for final discussion and voting, which will be informed by whatever happens at EDC this evening.
I don’t know the background of the TIF2 termination for Ford/Toyota, i.e., whether it is simply part of the built-in process now that their expansion and new construction is done, or if there is more to it than that.
Appointments & Ordinances Committee
Looks like tomorrow night’s schedule meeting of the Appointments & Ordinances Committee has been cancelled.
Wednesday, June 14 at 6PM
So I think that leaves us with Wednesday evening’s School Committee meeting as this week’s Main Event.
There are a smattering of other small board and commission meetings as well, but School Committee is likely to be the biggest, longest, and most eventful session of the week. Their meetings tend to run long—often up to and past the three-hour mark—and their agenda this week has some pretty weighty topics, as well as an executive session.
The big items on the School Committee’s agenda this week are:
- Final discussion and vote on the FY24 budget for the Greenfield Public Schools
- A vote on whether or not censure Mayor Wedegartner for the Recorder op-ed she wrote in which she revealed her votes during an executive session
- Discussion of and voting on the GPS 3-year strategic plan
There is also an executive session on the agenda for this week’s meeting.
The full agenda for this meeting can be found here. The meeting will be taking place at the John Zon Community Center. I have not been able to locate a Zoom link for this meeting, either on the city website or the School Committee’s section of the GPS website.
It was “Complete Streets”. ↩︎
Tax Increment Financing, a part of the Massachusetts Economic Development Incentive Program that allows municipalities to set up agreements with businesses whereby the business pays a lower taxes for a set period of time while it does some sort new development, on the theory that the increased economic growth that the development will generate will offset the loss in tax revenue ↩︎