Starting today, I plan to post a weekly update here about what we are working on in City Hall.
I started today with a visit to Melrose High School, where I encouraged the seniors to register and to vote. I want to thank MHS senior Joe Barrasso for the invitation!
What We Did This Week
We’ve had a busy week at City Hall, as departments begin preparing their FY 2021 budgets. I will be meeting with the department heads to discuss individual budgets, and the School Committee will be deliberating on their budget as well. We plan to submit the city operating budget to the City Council in early May, on the same timetable as previous years.
On Monday, I went to the Metro Mayors meeting in Boston, where we met with Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders to discuss public health and opioid-related issues. The Metro Mayors Coalition is part of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC); we meet regularly to work together on issues such as housing and transportation that cross borders and affect the region as a whole.
On Tuesday, I met with several staff members to discuss our preparedness for the Wuhan Coronavirus. After that, I met with our advisory committee on school facilities. As the Melrose community, led by the School Committee, plans for the future needs of our school district, one piece of the process will be evaluating the different options for our facilities. (You can download the School Committee’s memo about the different options here.) To accomplish this, I have appointed an advisory committee to help us plan. We had a productive kickoff meeting with input from School Committee chair Ed O’Connell, and we will reconvene in two weeks.
At the School Committee meeting we chose the members of the Superintendent Screening Committee and received the Superintendent’s FY 2021 budget statement, which you can download here.
On Wednesday, MWRA Executive Director Fred Laskey and MWRA Advisory Board Director Joe Favolaro came to Melrose to update us on MWRA activity in our area and hear our input on our local issues and future needs.
On Saturday morning, the School Committee will have a special meeting in the Cassidy Conference Room on the second floor of City Hall to get an update on our state school funding, including Chapter 70 aid (the chief source of school funding) and the new Student Opportunity Act.
While I’ve been at meetings, my staff has begun planning for two important spring events, the Healthy Melrose fair, which will take place on May 9 this year, and the Intergenerational Spring Fling. Stay tuned for more on both of these events!
What I’ll Be Doing Next Week
We have two very important events coming up next week:
Tuesday, February 4, is the primary election for state representative. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and if you’re not sure where to vote, you can check Secretary Galvin’s Voter Resources page.
Then on Thursday, February 6, I will host a Feedback Session on the Department of Public Works from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Cassidy Conference Room. As we move toward choosing a new DPW Director, I want to hear what you think the department does well, what they could do better, and what their priorities should be. If you can’t make it to the feedback session, drop me a line through the contact form on this website.