Attend meetings in Somerville from May 8-14 about municipal broadband and Foss Park trees
These are just some of the municipal meetings and civic events for the coming week. More are on the City of Somerville website.
Birds, bees, flowers and trees
Pollinator Action Plan Advisory Committee, 4 to 5:15 p.m. Monday. More work on city plans to document local pollinator species and habitats, educate staff and residents on the interdependence of pollinators, habitat and urban life, and propose ways to foster appropriate habitats. At its third public meeting, the committee lays out tasks ahead, including the process of hiring a consultant and a schedule for public engagement events. Watchable by videoconferencing.
Municipal broadband talk
City Council Public Utilities and Public Works Committee, 6 p.m. Monday. This committee chaired by councilor Jesse Clingan holds another public discussion of municipal broadband. The committee has been charged with charting a path for the city to provide universal Internet via municipal broadband based on the recommendations of the 2019 Somerville Internet Access Task Force. Clingan told the City Council at a meeting last month that municipal broadband advocates from Cambridge will speak at this meeting about their similar efforts. Watchable by videoconferencing.
Foss Park pollution
City Council Open Space, Environment and Energy Committee, 6 p.m. Monday. This committee run by councilor Willie Burnley Jr. discusses plans to “dramatically” increase the number of trees in Foss Park, the second-largest public park in Somerville. Owned and operated by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, the heavily used park features sports fields, an outdoor swimming pool and a play structure for small children. The park is bordered by Mystic Avenue, McGrath Highway, Broadway and Interstate 93, and a recent study found high concentrations of air pollutants in the area. The report recommends installation of a solid barrier or dense vegetation to mitigate pollution. Watchable by videoconferencing.
Spring ward meetings continue
Ward 6 Community Meeting, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday. Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and city councilors meet the public at the spring 2023 City Hall Community Meetings. These meetings are held twice a year in each of Somerville’s seven wards to share the latest city and neighborhood updates and to allow community members to talk with their neighbors, elected officials and city staff. A social half-hour begins at 6 p.m. with pizza, healthy snacks and informal conversation. The Ward 6 meeting takes place in the Somerville Community Baptist Church, 31 College Ave., Davis Square.
Spring meeting in Spanish
All Ward Community Meeting in Spanish, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The series of spring community meetings continues with a Spanish-language meeting focusing on all wards. The meeting takes place in the East Somerville Community School Cafeteria, 50 Cross St., and will be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube page and shared on its Spanish-language Facebook page.
Comments on the charter
Special Committee on Charter Review, 6 p.m. Wednesday. The City Council meets as a whole to discuss and hear public comments on proposed changes to the city’s charter, which serves as the city’s constitution and defines the powers of the mayor, City Council and School Committee. The review process, which began in 2021, will produce recommendations for changes to the city’s governance structure. Watchable by videoconferencing.
New rules for East Broadway
Traffic Commission, 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The commission considers changes to curb use, bus lanes and crosswalks on sections of East Broadway and several intersecting streets. Proposals include changing some metered parking spaces to loading zones, handicapped-accessible spaces or no-parking zones. These changes are part of the plan to extend dedicated bus lanes on East Broadway. Watchable by videoconferencing.