FRAMINGHAM – District 4 City Councilor Michael Cannon was re-elected as chair of the City Council’s economic development subcommittee last night, February 7.
The subcommittee’s mission was recently expanded to also include housing.
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.
District 1 City Councilor Christine Long was voted vice chair of the 3-member subcommittee.
The other member of the subcommittee is at-large City Councilor george P.King Jr., who convened the meeting as the member with the longest tenure and the oldest member.
Councilor Cannon was chair of the subcommittee in 2020-2021, which met eight times last legislative session.
Subcommittee Chair Cannon said the committee will meet as often as it needs to, but not on a regular schedule.
Councilor Cannon said the subcommittee during the last session crafted a wage theft law and helped to revamp the EDIC.
The subcommittee also worked on sign bylaw changes, outdoor dining regulations, liquor license regulations, and ways to preserve the Lincoln medical building, said the chair.
Councilor Long said a priority is for the administration revamping the economic development and planning department and hiring a “cheerleader” to lead the marketing of Framingham and bringing business into the City of Framingham.
In Spring of 2021, the City Council voted 8-3 to eliminate the salary of the City’s economic development & planning director, as the former Spicer administration had yet to submit a plan to reconfigure that department, that the legislative branch was willing to approve.
Former mayor Yvonne Spicer never submitted a plan to the City’s legislative branch for approval after that 8-3 vote, so when Mayor Charlie Sisitsky was sworn in on January 1, the Mayor had an interim director – Erika Jerram, who is the assistant director of the City’s economic development, community, & planning department.
Mayor Sisitsky has told the City Council he is working on a plan and intends to submit it to the 11-member City Council soon.