More on Parking

T-Traveler notes that this topic was discussed “quite extensively” a year ago in Nick K’s column

Here is the link to the proposal the City Manager made at that City Council meeting.  (And my opportunity to say how annoying the document search interface is on the city’s website.) 

On page two of his proposal, he says, “My recommendation is to prepare a request for proposal to retain the services of a specialized firm that has expertise to research, assess, and craft such public asset transactions thoroughly and to seek out these potential, qualified investors in the marketplace… I have met with at least three qualified firms that have this specific expertise so I would expect very competitive bidding even at this stage.”

I’ve looked and cannot find the RFP for a firm that would research these transactions.  Does someone know if it went out and who was retained?

(I did find a note about an RFP for the airport parking in the FY10 budget, but this whole “leasing out municipal parking” idea was not mentioned in the Off-Street parking section of the FY10 budget.)

It seems to be that we still need to see whatever the firm’s recommendations would be and that the Council would make a decision after that about whether outsourcing the parking would work. 

Unless we have a firm, and unless their recommendations have been approved, we shouldn’t start talking about privatizing parking.

BMI Reporting in Schools

In April, the State Public Health Council announced that nurses in public schools would perform BMI screening for all children during the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th grades and that the results would be sent to parents.

There were supposed to be 80 school districts in a pilot program for the BMI screening, but I have seen no updates in the news in the past six months.

Was Worcester one of those districts?  If not, does anyone know when Worcester will have to start this?

If we’re already losing money for school nurses, will this new requirement be taken into account in future budget years?

Holy Cross Student Interview: Any Questions?

I’m going to be interviewing a student at Holy Cross (perhaps a member of the student government, it’s unclear who at this point) next week, after Thanksgiving, for a student perspective on the neighborhood issues.

I have some questions I know I’d like to ask, but I wanted to open it up to my readers — is there anything you’d like me to discuss with the student?  Any questions you have?

Also, if someone would like me to interview a resident of the College Hill neighborhood (preferably one I am not related to, because that would be awkward), let me know.

Town/Gown

I wish there had been a liveblog of the Holy Cross/neighbor noise discussion.

Of course, half the people who discuss this on the Telegram website bring up PILOT and taxing the college.  If Holy Cross paid as much PILOT as WPI ($270,000ish a year), why would the city need to listen to the neighbors at all?  The revenue it would be getting from the residents of the College Hill neighborhood (or at least the vocal ones) wouldn’t be a match for what the college would contribute.

I haven’t been a fan of PILOT in the past, but maybe the College should consider paying it.  Then they could just wave money at the city to ignore the problems, and they wouldn’t need to have press conferences filled with empty promises and the same complaints ever again.