Friday, March 26, 2010

NEW Recycling Program coming soon

The City has already switched to Single Stream (un-sorted recyclables) recycling City-wide.  However, the plan approved in the Fall by the BOA to partner with Recycle Bank is NOT going to happen as planned (financial difficulties for Recycle Bank).  The City's "plan B" is in the works and was outlined before the BOA's City Services & Environmental Policy Committee last night (I'm Vice-Chair of the CSEP Committee).

The City has already moved to Single Stream recycling.  It is not necessary to separate the accepted recyclables, and you will see DPW mixing all recyclables put out in the small, blue bins as they're put in the trucks.

This flyer will be updated soon, but it does list the acceptable recyclables.

And please, NO recyclables in plastic bags!

Stay tuned for more details in this post...  for now, click here for an NHI story

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pothole Season

Last week I drove Howard Weissberg around the neighborhood.  Howard is the Deputy Director of Public Works.  We talked about the condition of our neighborhood streets.  As we emerge from winter and enter "pothole season," Howard made notes of many potholes in need of attention.  DPW has indeed responded to our concerns and the concerns throughout the city for pothole repair.  Currently DPW is limited to "cold" & "warm" patch material which is temporary.  "Hot mix" becomes available after April 1st, and they'll work on patching for the next several weeks.  Then, DPW and Engineering will prioritize and schedule street repair work in our neighborhood and throughout the city.

If you have street issues to report...

The City continues to increase their partnership with (read my previous Blog).  This online service provides yet another tool to help communicate your concerns to elected officials, City Departments, and with neighbors.  I've set up a Watch Area - Ward 25-Alderman Dildine Watch Area - for our neighborhood.  Click "Issues Map" to see current issues in our neighborhood.  ANY issue added within this area will generate an email notification which I'll receive immediately.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BOA Meeting Report - 3/15/10

Business at this regular meeting included several annual appointments and re-appointments of people to many City Commissions - click here for the Commissions webpage.  Also, the full Board approved two sign requests which had already received favorable recommendation from the City Services & Environmental Policy Committee (I'm vice-chair of this committee).  Donated "Welcome to City Point Historic District" signs were approved as was the designation of a section of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail the "William Lanson Section" to honor his contribution to the original engineering and construction work on the Farmington Canal and Canal Dock.  Approval of items favorably recommended by the Finance Committee included allowing the Whalley Ave. Special Services District to change they way they tax their members, and the approval of the audited FY09 financial statements and monthly financials thru Dec. '09.  You can (should) find the agenda and minutes for this meeting and others on the City's BOA Schedules/Calendar webpage.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Google Fiber Project

Several neighbors have asked me about the City's efforts to "win" Google's latest challenge to tell Google why they should pick New Haven as a test community for Google to install ultra-high-speed internet connectivity. 
The City together with partners from the community are indeed working on this effort and will submit the required Request for Information (RFI).  If you are interested, please visit the City's Google Fiber Project Partner page.

Visit Google's page for more background on this project.

Budget Presentation and Q&A

Wednesday evening (3/10), the Mayor and a dozen City staff and department heads came to Edgewood School to present the Mayor's FY11 Proposed Budget Briefing and to answer questions from neighbors.  About twenty neighbors and several other city residents came to listen and ask questions.  For those that couldn't attend, the next Community Budget Briefing will be at Nathan Hale School, March 10th @ 6:30.

Now available on the City's website are answers to questions raised by residents and many FAQs regarding the budget, decisions, taxes, the process, contact info for related city departments and info, etc.  Also, you can submit questions.  I recommend you visit the City's Budget Q&A page.  The Mayor's FY11 Proposed Budget document is also available here.  I recommend you at least read the Mayor's message and also find the Calendar of public hearings on page 2-22.

Also, please contact me directly with any budget related questions, comments, or issues.  Scrutinizing, changing as necessary, and finalizing the City's annual Budget is one of the most import roles of the BOA.

see click fix

The City continues to increase their partnership with SeeClickFix.  This online service provides yet another tool to help communicate your concerns to elected officials, City Departments, and with neighbors.  I've set up a Watch Area - Ward 25-Alderman Dildine Watch Area - for our neighborhood.  Click "Issues Map" to see current issues in our neighborhood.  All issues (not just based on Keywords) added within this area will generate an email notification which I'll receive immediately.

Also, at least 53 other "Watchers" including several City Departments will get notifications based on Keywords in the issue's subject and text.  While not all the City Departments are monitoring SeeClickFix, the NHPD, Transportation, Traffic & Parking (TT&P) and most recently the Department of Public Works (DPW) are now using this tool fairly effectively.  TT&P will even acknowledge receipt.  Several City Departments may look to be monitoring, but may not be as responsive or integrated to this alert system.  I believe the City is working to improve the utilization of this tool, and I will forward requests to the proper department if I don't think certain departments are totally on board yet.

So, I encourage you to check this out and give it a try.  Please sign up to "follow" my Watch Area; then you'll be assured that I have been notified of your issue; or, you can create your own area.

TT&P is monitoring these Keyword ("minus" indicates they're ignoring those words because they're are usually for other folks):  "graffiti on sign" traffic ped crosswalk intersection "traffic signal" "stop light" bike sign -mugging -blight -pothole "-storm drain" -drain -trash -speeding -drug -stealing -manhole "-manhole cover" -graffiti -bricks -atv 
DPW is monitoring: pothole "pot hole" uneven broken damaged sweep glass debris -atv -illegal -drug

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mayor's FY10-11 Budget available - Community Presentation 3/10

This week the Mayor presented his Proposed FY10-11 Budget to the BOA. Today, Wed., March 3rd, I attended the Mayor's briefing to the BOA on his proposed budget.

The Mayor's Proposed Budget is available as a PDF on the City's website here.  (I may be able to get some hard copies for those that want one.)   The BOA's review process is underway, and there is a calendar on page 2-29 which includes dates for several public hearings.  My colleagues and I look forward to close scrutiny of this proposal ahead of the approval of the BOA's version set for May 24th.  That gives us all time to analyze, discuss, and debate.

NEXT Wednesday, March 10th, 6:30pm @ Edgewood School
The Mayor invites you to his first

Community Budget Presentation

I urge you to attend this presentation. 

BOA Meeting Report - 3/1/10

There is now a lot more before the BOA since the eight minute meeting 2/16.   Alderman Antunes (Ward 12) opened the meeting with his version of Divine Guidance which he said was mostly just guidance.   His guidance then came in the form of a very brief City history lesson, and from this historical perspective, understanding, and learning from history, he hoped would lead to future historians looking back on the 2010 BOA to see a "progressive, effective, and unified body." 

The next hour was mostly discussion, background, urging of support, and a bit of debate for the two significant Zoning changes before the full board to be put to a vote.  Those being: Yale's petition for a Planned Development District (PDD) allowing for a new School of Management campus to be built on Whitney Ave., and a new zoning district in Fair Haven along Grand Avenue.  The Grand Ave. zoning text and map amendments, facilitating what will be a new Neighborhood Center Mixed Use zoning district along Grand Ave. between James to Perkins St., passed unanimously.  The Yale PDD  was also approved by all Alders present except Alderman Goldson (Ward 30) who voted against the PDD out of concerns for the PDD zoning designation and process and not Yale's project specifically.  Please read more about these zoning changes in previous Blogs.

Three Orders were passed unanimously: permission to Koji restaurant to install awnings over the city sidewalk, Labyrinth Books given permission to install a sign over the city sidewalk, and tax refunds due.  One Resolution was also unanimously approved expressing the full support for the "Safe Routes to School Program" project which will include infrastructure improvements around Fair Haven Shcool using Federal grant money.

13 new items were Communicated - including the Mayor's Proposed FY10-11 Budget - which will all most likely be distributed to Committees by BOA President Goldfield.

Also moving along in the process, seven items moving out of Committees were given their First Readings and thus will most likely come up for a vote at the next regular meeting.  These items include Mayoral appointments and re-appointments to several commissions which were favorably moved from the Aldermanic Affairs Committee.  Items favorably moved out of the City Services and Environmental Policy Committee (I'm a member; read this Blog).  And, items favorably moved from the Finance Committee including: recommending to approve a change to the way the Whalley Ave. Special Services District (WSSD) taxes its members, acceptance of the Audit for FY 09, transfering some bond $ internally to Parks, and acceptance of the required monthly budget statements.

As always this is but a brief summary.  The minutes/journal should be available here.  And, please contact me for more details...

Monday, March 1, 2010

BOA Meeting 3/1/10 - agenda

BOA regular meeting TONIGHT, Monday, March 1st, 7pm @ City Hall.

Agenda includes the Second Readings for the two significant Zoning changes now before the full board for continued discussion and they will most likely (I say most likely because just because items are eligible to be voted on, there are several options which could always delay a vote) be put to a vote.  These are Yale's petition for a Zoning Ordinance Map Amendment designating a Planned Development District for the proposed new Yale School of Management Campus at 155-181 Whitney Ave., and Zoning ordinance text amendments to establish a Neighborhood Center mixed use zoning district (BA-1) and map amendments to change the zoning along Grand Ave. from James St. to Perkins St. from General Business (BA) to the new BA-1 zone.

The Legislation Committee has unanimously recommended these items "favorably with amendments," and you can read more about the Yale PPD here and the Grand Ave. re-zoning here in previous blogs.

Three other items will be also most likely be voted on tonight including these under Unanimous Consent (a "fast-tracking" option):  A sign and awning approval for two businesses where the BOA has the control over stuff that will "encroach [hang over] on the public right-of-way" (read this previous blog entry), tax refunds due per the City Tax Collector, and Alderwoman Bauer's (Ward 14) resolution to support the acceptance of Federal funds and the implementation of the "Safe Routes to School Program" in the vicinity of Fair Haven School.

New business will be Communicated including the renewal of the agreement with the current management company to run the City's Alling Memorial Golf course.  Communicated items will usually be assigned to committee by BOA President Carl Goldfield (Ward 29).

Several First Readings will be given to items coming from committees to the Board as they continue through the process.  These include Mayoral appointments to various commissions which have been evaluated by the Aldermanic Affairs committee, "Welcome to Historic City Point" sign approval, and Farmington Canal section to be named after William Lanson, both evaluated by the City Services and Environmental Policy committee (I'm a member and here's more info in a previous blog entry).

As usual this is just a summary and not the full agenda.  Everyone is always welcome to attend BOA meetings, the agendas and minutes/journals are supposed to be here on the City's website, and please call or email me if you'd like more info and/or details.