Wednesday, July 24, 2024

These are just some of the municipal meetings and civic events for the coming week. More are on the City of Somerville website.


Come to City Hall

Somerville City Hall. (Photo: Kate Wheatley)

Civic Day, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The city’s first-ever Civic Day offers an opportunity to learn about local government and use its programs and services (with translation offered by multilingual staff from the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs). Visitors can tour City Hall and meet Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, city councilors and administrative staff and vote in the city’s first Participatory Budgeting process to direct money to citizen-suggested projects, and kids can enjoy the Public Works Department’s touch-a-truck program as well as face painting, games, music and other activities. The event takes place at City Hall, 93 Highland Ave., Central Hill; the concourse outside will be closed to vehicular traffic. In case of rain, outdoor activities will move inside the neighboring Somerville High School.

Highland and other failures

City Council Public Utilities and Public Works Committee, 6 p.m. Monday. This committee led by councilor Jesse Clingan grills engineering staff regarding the condition of Highland Avenue. Councilors endorsed a resolution unanimously this month calling on the Engineering Department to repave Highland Avenue from Central Street to Walnut Street this year rather than waiting until 2024 as planned. The committee also hears from the director of infrastructure and asset management regarding recent system failures in municipal buildings and plans to improve ongoing maintenance, and calls on the commissioner of public works to report on potholes, dangling wires and other obstructions around the city. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

City Hall comes to you

Community meetings, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. City officials launch semi-annual City Hall Community Meetings for the fall. Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, councilors and staff host a series of neighborhood get-togethers throughout the month to update community members on citywide initiatives, local projects and neighborhood crime statistics, then take questions from the public. Ward meetings will be held in person. One all-ward meeting will be presented in Spanish, one in Portuguese and one all-ward meeting will be by Zoom videoconferencing. All will be recorded. Refreshments and meet-and-greets start at 6 p.m. Ward 7 is first – Tuesday in the West Somerville Neighborhood School Cafeteria, 177 Powder House Blvd. – followed by Ward 6 on Thursday at Somerville Community Baptist Church, 31 College Ave. Look up your ward at

Knocking down the Y

Historic Preservation Commission, 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. The commission hears a request from the Somerville Young Men’s Christian Association to demolish its community center at 101 Highland Ave. Built in 1904, the four-story brick building is assessed at $3.5 million. The Y also owns a neighboring house at 97 Highland Ave. assessed at $1.6 million. The organization proposes to replace them with a state-of-the-art facility serving the community with health and wellness programs, educational opportunities, recreational activities and other services. The Y and its partners also seek to build affordable housing on the site, the details of which have not been announced. The organization says its proposed development project would ensure the continuance of its mission. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Immigration information

Pathway for Immigrant Workers Information Session, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday. In collaboration with Pathways for Immigrant Workers, a Cambridge-based nonprofit legal organization, the city hosts a free information session for small employers and lower-wage workers to learn how employers can sponsor workers for employment-based permanent residency. Employers and workers will be able to schedule individual assessments to determine eligibility for pro bono legal representation. Registration is not required to attend at the East Somerville Community School, 50 Cross St.