FRAMINGHAM – City Council Chair Phil Ottaviani Jr. made subcommittee appointments on Monday, January 24.
Ottaviani, who was elected chair in a 9-1-1 vote, sent the list of 28 appointments to the 11 Councilors for the 8 subcommittees on Monday night.
Five of the City Councilors were appointed to two subcommittees and six of the City Councilors were appointed to three subcomittees.
“These appointments are more challenging as Chair then they appear to be as a member. We have a new day and an opportunity to work together to move Framingham forward over the next year. As I often say we need to be in the solution business,” wrote Ottaviani to his fellow Councilors.
During the first session of the City Council between 2018-2019, the chair (then former District 5 City Councilor Dennis Giombetti) named chairs for each of the subcommittees.
But during the second session of the City Council 2020-2021, a majority of the members voted to not have the chair (then at-large City Councilor George P. King Jr.) name a chair for each subcommittee when announcing the subcommittee members.
Ottaviani, like in session 2 of the legislative body, will not name chairs for each of the subcommittees.
Instead the members of the subcommittee during their first meeting will elect a chair and a vice chair for the subcommittee for the next two years.
A couple of the subcommittees have five members, but a majority of the subcommittees have just three members each.
One of the subcommittees that will meet the most is the finance subcommittee.
It has 5 members. They are King, District 3 City Councilor Adam Steiner, District 4 City Councilor Michael Cannon, District 5 City Councilor Noval Alexander, and District 8 City Councilor John Stefanini.
Steiner served as chair of the last session, with Cannon vice chair. The finance subcommittee met 32 times in 2020 and met 30 times in 2021.
This session, the subcommittee will have no women members.
The finance subcommittee is responsible overseeing the budget including the creation of new positions to the payroll, changes to the employee classification plan or any matters pertaining to increasing City of Framingham employee head count.
The appointments subcommittee, under a proposal will shrink from five members to three members, in session three, which started January 1, 2022.
On the appointments subcommittee is Steiner, Ottaviani, and City Council Vice Chair Janet Leombruno.
The subcommittee is responsible for reviewing appointments by the Mayor that are subject to Council oversight. Ottaviani served as the chair during the last session.
The subcommittee on planning & zoning will increase from 3 members to five members, under a proposed rule change.
The members appointed to the planning & zoning subcommittee by Ottaviani include District 1 Councilor Christine Long, District 2 Councilor Cesar Stewart-Morales, Cannon, District 9 Councilor Tracey Bryant and at-large Councilor Leombruno.
Long, a former Planning Board chair, served as chair of the subcommittee during the last session. The subcommittee met 19 times in 2020 and 18 times in 2021.
The 3-member economic development subcommittee will be comprised of at-large Councilor King, District 4 Councilor Cannon, & District 1 Councilor Long.
There are no members of the south side on the subcommittee.
Cannon chaired the economic development subcommittee during the last session. It met eight times between 2020-2021.
The goals and mission of the subcommittee are to further and foster all forms of economic development as well as initiatives that will lead to better conditions for businesses and residents in the City of Framingham. These initiatives can pertain to recommendations regarding general business climate in the City, processes and procedures, permit fees, land use, commercial development and redevelopment, and the promotion of Framingham as a great place to do business.
The 3-member environmental & sustainability subcommittee will be comprised of District 7 City Councilor Leora Mallach, Alexander, and Leombruno.
Stewart-Morales served as the subcommittee’s chair last session. It met five times in 2020 and four times in 2021.
The subcommittee failed to address environmental justice issues on the south side, including cleaning up the General Chemical, Mary Dennision, and Cedar Swap sites. General Chemical last appeared on a subcommittee agenda in March 2020, and the Dennison park cleanup and the contamination the Cedar Swamp never were on an agenda.
The 3-member public health & safety subcommittee includes Ottaviani, Mallach, & Bryant.
Created in 2020, the subcommittee may consider and report on all matters relating to the Police Department, Fire Department, the Police and Fire Auxiliary, the Emergency Management Department, the local Emergency Planning Committee, Public Health Department, and Licensing Commission.
The first chair was Leombruno. The subcommittee met just a half dozen times between 2020-21.
The 3-member education, library, arts & culture subcommittee will include King, a former superintendent of schools, Alexander, a former District 5 School Committee member, and Stewart-Morales.
The subcommittee met just once in January 2020 and only once in February 2021. The chair was former District 5 Councilor Robert Case with Stewart-Morales as vice chair.
Finally, the 3-member ordinance & rules subcommittee is comprised of the exact members from the last City Council session – Ottaviani, Stefanini, and Bryant.
The subcommittee, chaired by Stefanini, met 15 times in 2020, and 15 times in 2021.
The ordinance & rules subcommittee is scheduled to meet today, January 25 at 6 p.m. virtually.
“I have made 3 appointments to the Appointment Sub Committee and 5 appointments to the Planning and Zoning Sub Committee per our proposed rules. If these committees are not changed to a 3 and a 5 member sub committee(as noted in the above appointments) I reserve the right to reevaluate these 2 committees and adjust the above appointments to conform to our rules,” wrote the chair to the 11 members of the City Council on Monday night.