GLOUCESTER CITY COUNCIL MEETING Tuesday, March 12, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Kyrouz Auditorium City Hall -MINUTES-
Present: Chair, Councilor Paul Lundberg; Vice Chair, Councilor Steven LeBlanc, Jr.; Councilor Melissa Cox; Councilor Valerie Gilman; Councilor
Kenneth Hecht; Councilor Jennifer Holmgren; Councilor Scott Memhard; Councilor Sean Nolan; Councilor James O Hara Absent: None. Also Present: Joanne Senos; Jim Destino; Melissa Teixeira-Prince; Jill Cahill; Vanessa Krawczyk
The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m. The Council President announced that this meeting is recorded by video and audio in accordance with
Presentations/Commendations: 1 of 2: Heidi Riccio, Superintendent-Director, and Marie Znamierowski, School Business Manager re: Essex North Shore
Agricultural Technical School Councilor Gilman, the city s appointed member to the North Shore Agricultural Technical School (NSA TS) Board, introduced Ms. Riccio, Superintendent -Director of the school; Ms. Znamierowski, the school s Business Manager, and Mark Strout, NSA TS School Committee Chair. Ms. Riccio made a presentation (documentation filed in advance of meeting) for the Council, reviewing the following topics: Overview of Gloucester s Student Population at NSA TS:
Thanks were offered to Sen. Tarr, Rep. Ferrante, Dr. Richard Safier (Gloucester Superintendent of Schools) and the Burns family for allowing NSA TS
to partner with the construction and craft labors program, through Local 22 in Malden. There is a pilot program now underway with a small group of upperclassmen training in the labors program. Many Gloucester fishermen are laborers during off-peak seasons and work for Local 22, it was noted.
Assessments to the city - In order to reduce the assessment to sending communities NSA TS pursues revenues or competitive grant funding to help
offset fiscal needs of the school. The competitive grant funding was noted as extremely important to the school particularly in career and technical education, being mindful to the higher costs versus traditional education;
Adult Education Programs and Workforce Training were touched on. NSA TS works closely with MassHire, and funding was received through the CAP program
(Workforce Capital Grant Program) which is educating 20 future machinists at no cost to the participating individuals. Highlighted was the average cost of the CAP program -- 4,500 per student for a 300 hour course. This was proffered as another way to partner with Gloucester residents. An upcoming program starts in early summer, and Gloucester residents are encouraged to attend if under-employed or unemployed at no cost to them;
COUNCILOR QUESTIONS: Councilor O Hara asked about the school s student attrition rate. Ms. Riccio noted to quantify student attrition rate is
difficult as students move in and out of the district because this is a regional school district. She advised the school is able to keep those students in the district provided they re not out-of-district students that are only eligible for the agricultural programs. She noted this year the school accepted 380 grade 9 students. There are now at 376 -- only about four students fell off the roster which is considered a low attrition rate. She touched on briefly typical transitional reasons why students fall off of the school s roster. Any available seats that open up, the expectation is that the school is filling them, she added. Advising that Governor Baker has committed to increasing access to career and technical education she pointed out that NSA TS is one of the largest technical schools that have a wait list. Councilor Cox asked what the overall school budget increase is from last year. Ms. Riccio conveyed NSA TS is showing a 4.64 increase for FY20, and last year it was a 4.23 increase, saying that it wasn t a significant amount. Councilor Cox pointing out the 4.64 increase, she communicated that when the local school district comes to the City Council and asks for 4 , the city just can t do that; it will be something much less. She asked how they can justify the substantive NSA TS increase. Ms. Riccio noted that an increased enrollment increases costs, highlighting that in FY15 there were 1,130 students, and in FY19 there are 1,412 -- next year it is anticipated there will be 40 more students. The average class size is 25 -- more than 1.5 students per core subject matter. She assured that any program that is under-enrolled there is staff attrition. Councilor Cox asked for a copy of the NSA TS FY20 budget book. Ms. Riccio noted it is available on the school s website and will provide the Councilor with a hard copy. Councilor Nolan expressed his support for vocational schools, noting he is a former vocational student. He pointed out that Gloucester High School has a good shop set-up although some of it is under-utilized by students. He asked if the NSA TS could partner with the Gloucester school district to encourage students to come to
Gloucester to utilize the GHS programs while they wait to get into the NSA TS shop programs. Ms. Riccio advised there is legislation in the works;
they have met extensively with the School District as to how they can partner. She conveyed she understood resources are particularly tight in a K-12 district. They have offered their services to update some of the program areas at GHS and assured NSA TS is more than willing to have their students work alongside the GHS students no matter the type of shop program. She explained that the construction and craft labors program students go to NSA TS Monday through Thursday from noon to 4:00 p.m. but on Fridays they stay in Gloucester and this could be the first step. Councilor Hecht asked what percent of student applicants are turned away each year. Ms. Riccio advised there are over 1,400 applications for 400 spots for the incoming class in 2019. Over time applications have increased. She pointed out that as college becomes more expensive and out of reach for many families it was important to note that the living wage of an electrician is comparable to a Master s degree holder s income. Ms. Riccio reminded the Council that if there are projects that the school can do for the city to let them know. Mr. Strout expressed his thanks to Melissa Teixeira-Prince for her work as the city s representative to the NSA TS Board noting her many accomplishments during her tenure as a member of the school s board. Council President Lundberg also offered the Council s thanks to Ms. Teixeira-Prince on behalf of the Council. Ms. Teixeira Prince, noting her resignation from the NSA TS in late 2018, lauded the work of Ms. Riccio.
2 of 2: Ken Whittaker, former Conservation Agent re: Plover Protection Plan Jim Destino, CAO, introduced the city s new Conservation Agent, Adrienne
Lennon, and expressed his confidence Ms. Lennon would do a good job, mentioning her great credentials. He offered his thanks to former Conservation Agent, Ken Whittaker, lauding his work during his tenure with the city. He expressed he would personally miss Mr. Whittaker. Mr. Whittaker reviewed the Plover Protection Plan ( Plan ) drafted in December 2018 noted as having been reviewed by federal, state and local wildlife officials, and further refined, highlighting points as follows:
There will be a public website for volunteers to sign up; outreach to high school students will be done. Mr. Whittaker conveyed the city has a good
plan, although it will take a lot of volunteer effort with 1.5 hour shifts; and organization for training. Plover awareness will be conveyed to GHS students at the Vulnerability and Sea Rise Program taking place Friday of the plovers and their nesting sites. COUNCILOR QUESTIONS: Councilor O Hara asked how volunteers can sign up. Mr. Whittaker asked that prospective plover volunteers email their interest to Ms. Lennon (firstname.lastname@example.org) at this time. Councilor Memhard noted a concern expressed at the last Council meeting was that the protections would be extended to start on April 1 on Good Harbor Beach, and highlighted the concern about Wingaersheek, Coffin and Crane Beaches. At this point there s not been success with nesting plovers at Wingaersheek beach, he pointed out. He conveyed he wanted to ensure that the Conservation Agent and the volunteers were on top of that so that they create a hospitable environment even though there is no formal plan for Wingaersheek Beach at this time. Mr. Whittaker advised he knows of no appearance of nesting plovers on Wingaersheek Beach, although there has been talk of isolated nests in recent years on the private side, Coffin Beach. He highlighted that ECGA has been instrumental in helping the city with inspections. The steps taken for Good Harbor Beach are welcome, he added. Councilor Cox noted that at the last meeting the concern about enforcement arose where it was highlighted that signage was part of that issue. If the tickets are tossed out because of signage, she conveyed that she d appreciate the Conservation Agent working with the DPW to get better signage erected. She asked for cooperation so that these tickets will stick. Mr. Whittaker advised they re working hard with their volunteers to make them
comfortable to approach people but also how to step back in conflictual situations and call for assistance. Additional signage will be posted, he
assured. It is hoped with giving volunteers a little more confidence and recognized as authority it should help the situation. Councilor Cox asked that the signage be posted year round. Mr. Whittaker added that the Conservation Agent can write tickets but not for these kinds of matters. Councilor Gilman noted as a former 20 year Brier Neck resident that she knew the beach well, pointing out she put forward a Request to the Mayor for having sawhorses right at the entrance of the pedestrian bridge, for example so that in order to gain the beach, people must go around the signage making it hard to miss. She suggested it could be replicated at the Good Harbor Beach parking lot; at the end of Witham Street where it meets the beach, and at the high tide mark between the public and private section of the beach. Mr. Whittaker expressed he believed that by trying to expand the awareness zone not just within the symbolic fencing to protect the nesting areas, but located on paths leading down to the beach it would help. He assured that once they see the way the birds are moving they can better post signage and utilize other methods to protect the plovers. Councilor LeBlanc expressed his concern that when signage is too complex people don t read it all the way through. He suggested a partial sign method to post information in a graduated way on the beach, so that not all the information is contained in one large sign. Mr. Whittaker conveyed the point was well taken, saying that there are several ideas they may test out. He noted they will explore many methods to convey information to the beach-going public. Councilor Gilman noted certain High School groups must do community service and suggested that might be an avenue for the Conservation Agent to seek volunteers. The Mass. Audubon Society will hold a training program on plovers on March 30 at the Sawyer Free Library, he noted, which will help with public outreach, as well as a program at the end of the week at GHS on Coastal Resiliency where they can bring up this subject.
MAYOR S REPORT 1. Management Appointment: Police Chief Edward G. Conley, III TTE 04/01/2024 (Refer City Council) 2. New Appointments: Archives
Committee Susan Roberts-Wright, Lois A. Hamilton, Sandy Williams TTE 02/14/22 (Refer O A) Shellfish Advisory Commission Francena Monell-Simard TTE 02/14/22 (Refer O A) 3. Memorandum from City Clerk re: acceptance of donations to the Archives Committee in the amount of 175 (Refer B F) 4. Memorandum from CFO re: requesting approval to credit the General Fund via Home Rule Petition with the Fuller School sale proceeds (Refer B F) 5. Memorandum from CFO re: loan authorization request in the amount of 900,000 for the demolition reconstruction of the Magnolia Pier (Refer B F) 6. Supplemental Appropriation-Budgetary Request (2019-SA-31) from the CFO (Refer B F) 7. Invitation from the North Shore Association of REALTORS re: the North Shore Mayor s Housing Panel I on March 14, 2019 (Info Only)
1. Special Events Application: request to hold the 2019 Gloucester Block Parties on July 13, August 10 and August 30, 2019 (Refer P D) 2. PP2019-002:
Petition by National Grid to relocate 1 JO Pole on School House Rd. (P5) w/anchor; anchor on P4, all near 4 School House Road with P5 to be relocated 25 east off existing location with sustaining and protecting fixtures (Refer P D)
Items to be added/deleted from the Consent Agenda Unanimous Consent Calendar:
Council President Lundberg asked to remove Item 1 under the Mayor s Report, Management Appointment, Police Chief, Edward G. Conley, III, TTE
02/14/2024 and advised that the Administration has made an offer that has been accepted by Chief Conley from Manchester-by-the-Sea, and it is now the matter of confirmation and ratification of the new Chief s contract to come before the Council. He announced that the Council will meet as a Committee of the Whole to ask questions to the prospective Police Chief, adjourn, and then convene a Special
Meeting of the City Council to vote on the confirmation of a Police Chief and the ratification of the Police Chief s contract. The meeting take place
on Tuesday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m in Kyrouz Auditorium. By unanimous consent of the Council the matter of the Management Appointment, Police Chief, Edward G. Conley, III, TTE 02/14/2024 was referred to the Committee of the Whole.
MOTION: On a motion by Councilor Gilman, seconded by Councilor Holmgren, the City Council voted by ROLL CALL 9 in favor, 0 opposed, to adopt the
Special Council Permit decision (SCP2019-002) for School House Road 2, 3 4, Map 262, Lots 14 37; and Gloucester Crossing Road 7, Map 43, Lots 4 5 for the modification of Condition 18 of SCP2017-012 pursuant to GZO Sec. 1.5.13 of the Gloucester Zoning Ordinance.
Council President Lundberg noted this was for a Council discussion noting last December the P D Committee took under consideration a letter from the
Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee highlighting that Committee s concern about the Gran Prix Gloucester Cyclo Cross Event. They promised they would have a public discussion about that situation, he advised, which hadn t taken place yet. He suggested that the Cyclo Cross usually applies in June or July, but that already on their website they are advertising this event for October 2019. He suggested that the City Clerk forward a letter to the event organizers to remove that from their website. Councilors Cox and LeBlanc conveyed they had no problem with future dates of events by organizations being advertised, citing that the other local area organizations put up save the date notices on their websites and that the Cyclo-Cross organization was no different. It was noted by Councilor LeBlanc that other large events which take place annually in the summer at the park do damage to it, none of whom provides the city with monetary or physical reparations to the park, although the Cyclo-Cross event organizers do that. It was pointed out that this event takes place in the fall, considered a shoulder season, and is typically one of the last, or the last event held at the park the year. They both pointed out this was singling out just one event that takes place annually at Stage Fort Park. Council President Lundberg prompted a discussion about how this matter might come to the Council for a public discussion, as right now the only event they have complaints about is the Cyclo-Cross. Councilor Cox pointed out the city has received many complaints about other events held at Stage Fort Park, that the Cyclo-Cross event isn t the only one damaging the park and disturbing the neighborhood surrounding it. She asked they wait until the Cyclo-Cross pulls their Special Event application and have it come to the Council. Councilor Hecht expressed concern for timing of applications if they have to reject an event saying events should apply sooner. Councilor Cox noted that the Special Events Advisory Committee (SEAC) has set up timing for events to come in advance. Councilor Holmgren, offering that if they are writing to one organization they have to write them all, inquired as to what the special events application schedule is. Joanne M. Senos, City Clerk, a
member of SEAC, recounted that for recurring events their application must be filed in to her office at least 45 days in advance of the event, and if
a new event to the city the application must filed at least 60 days in advance of the event. Councilor Gilman suggested that in light of the 400th city s anniversary it would be appropriate to let groups using Stage Fort Park for these events that it will restrict use of the park closer in to that year, that the city may want to accelerate event permitting so that they are fair to their partners in order to have a professional, proactive conversation. If part of the decision is to bring it back for public discussion, at Council from P D, they can then do so, she added. Councilor Memhard noted Stage Fort Park as a unique city asset, and summarized the concern of whether the Cyclo-Cross event is too intensive a use of the park, also noting that the event is subject to the wear and tear of the weather. Councilor O Hara agreed saying that they are fortunate to have a beautiful park, noting other communities parks don t compare. He urged long-term planning for use of the park in order to preserve this asset. Councilor Cox expressed agreement that there needs to be some oversight for city property so it is equitable for all. She pointed out that the 400th Committee and the Administration should make recommendations to the Council as to what their plans are with their events for the years preceding for a balanced use of the park. She added it is appropriate to have the discussion, she offered, but it is not appropriate to pinpoint one group by bringing them forward in advance. Councilor LeBlanc pointed out the city s 400th is five years away saying they do need to have this conversation in the future, but expressed his concern it was premature. Councilor Nolan, the Council s liaison to the Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee (SFPAC), advised the Council needs to have this discussion, as the SFPAC seeks ways to improve the park and preserve it especially in light up the upcoming city s 400th celebration. He expressed on behalf of the SFPAC their continuing concern about this particular event, recounting that this matter comes up each year and doesn t get resolved, asking that they talk to the organizers of the Cyclo-Cross event. Council President Lundberg suggested a public hearing on the matter to hear from the constituents, the SFPAC, the groups who use the park to get their opinions and not leave it up to P D this year in July to okay the Cyclo-Cross event, saying they all should be involved. Councilor Hecht asked about the Council s options to bring the matter forward. Ms. Senos suggested that once the SEAC receives the application, they not take it up and just refer it to Council and all the advisory committees before SEAC votes on it. Councilor Cox suggested if they do that for one event to take place at Stage Fort Park they have to do it for all groups that use the park, again pointing out it wasn t fair to single out one event as they have already permitted events for this summer season at the park. Mr. Destino advised that the Cyclo-Cross organization is fully aware of the concerns that were raised by the SFPAC and of the city s upcoming 400th. He reported he had attended a meeting of SEAC and asked them to reset the number of events to protect the quality of life for residents, which he advised they are doing. He advised that the Cyclo Cross event organizer was at that particular meeting for their 2018 permit and was put on notice that the 400th anniversary celebration is forthcoming. He reviewed the process of calling a public hearing: Three Councilors can get together to call a public hearing as can the Council President or the Mayor. If and when the Council calls the public hearing, they tell the organization to appear, and they will come in front of the Council. He pointed out that the Cyclo-Cross event is a shoulder event that s come to the city for 20 years. He acknowledged that there are complaints, but pointed out that Stage Fort Park is beat up by other events as well. If they want this one event in front of them they can do that, he added. Council President Lundberg advised he didn t want to single out the Cyclo-Cross event, but this is applicable to anyone using the park, recollecting the conversation had with the Farmer s Market and the issues of parking vehicles on the grass that causes damage. He asked the Council to consider a fair way to approach this issue and advised he ll do some consulting to find common ground.
Council President Lundberg announced that this matter for a meeting with the Boards, Committees and Commissions is to thank all those special
volunteers who serve the city. He reported he and Ms. Cahill have discussed the matter, noting that not all boards, committees and commissions are all in the same shape in terms of their mission, organization and membership. He added that the Administration needs to spend some time with those groups, and work in something about the city s 400th. It is now proposed that this meeting take place in the fall to give Ms. Cahill time to work with those groups that need focus and get them all up and running so they all can attend and benefit from such a meeting. Councilor Gilman expressed appreciation for the idea saying that the Councilors should make suggestions for agenda items for the meeting to make for a more meaningful review. She asked they reach out to the boards,
There is a Monday, March 19 morning VIP program which Ms. Cahill addressed: For the first time there is a program called, MassAve. The Mass. Dept. of
Agriculture is encouraging small businesses to have booths at the Expo; the expense was beyond most small businesses previously, but this year small businesses can obtain a 50 rebate for their costs--five Gloucester businesses have taken advantage of this program for the 2019 Expo. There is a MassAve ribbon cutting at 12:00 p.m. The VIP reception starts at 1:00 p.m. which is done by the city s partner, SnapChef which will feature dabs and Massachusetts lobster, and the Cape Ann Brewery. Expected to attend is Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, Congressman Moulton and Consuls from three countries.
Councilors Requests to the Mayor: Councilor Hecht announced he will be the celebrity bartender at the Cape Ann Brewery Thursday night which benefits
the Lobster Trap Christmas Tree Fund. Councilor Gilman mentioned the Vulnerability and Sea Level Rise Program at the GHS Auditorium taking place on Friday, March 22. She recognized the Moose Lodge Youth Awareness Team: Jessie Alexander; Delany Benchoff, Rachel Belanger; Jack Bergan and Brandon Smith. She announced that a public hearing will take place on Thursday, March 14th for the proposed budget at the school in front of the School Committee -- the agenda is posted on the city s website. Councilor O Hara thanked the DPW employees for doing a great job for most recent storm event with 14 inches of snow accumulated. Councilor Holmgren looked forward Keep Massachusetts Beautiful Saturday, March 16th at Endicott College, an afternoon of talking trash. Councilor Memhard advised that on Wednesday, March 13th Dr. Safier and the School Committee at 7:00 p.m. will have a presentation by city consultants, Dore Whittier on the East Gloucester School Building Program. Councilor Cox congratulated one of the students she was paired up with for the Moose Lodge Youth Awareness Team previously, Delaney Benchoff. She also mentioned the Keep Massachusetts Beautiful event highlighting that she was invited to speak on the city s plastic bottle and nip bottle initiative, noting that 10 communities have reached out for the city s language. Council President Lundberg reminded the Council they have an invitation to the National Honor Society NHS induction which takes place on Thursday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. He mentioned a letter received by the Council that the Visiting Nurses offices on Angle Street is now closed relaying that their need for physical office space is diminished, but that their services will be in Gloucester will remain in full force. He noted a special joint meeting of the P D Committee and Gloucester Historical Commission will take place tomorrow to set priorities and to learn what is in their pipeline for National Registry designation, and general procedures. When they do consider the proposal for making Dogtown part of the National Register of Historic Places, it will be at the P D Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 20th that Councilor Holmgren will act as Chair as Councilor Gilman has recused herself from that matter. Councilor Nolan noted that folks in the audience who were waiting to express their support for the Magnolia Pier to Councilors after the meeting. Councilor Cox noted that a Loan Authorization to rebuild the Magnolia Pier would be taken up at a public meeting of the Budget Finance Committee on Thursday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m.
A motion was made, seconded and voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 8:34 p.m.
Dana C. Jorgensson
City Council Meeting 03/12/2019 Page 8 of 8
Clerk of Committees
DOCUMENTS/ITEMS SUBMITTED AT MEETING: None.
Special City Council Meeting 03/19/2019 Page 1 of 5
SPECIAL GLOUCESTER CITY COUNCIL MEETING Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Kyrouz Auditorium City Hall -MINUTES-
Present: Chair, Councilor Paul Lundberg; Vice Chair, Councilor Steven LeBlanc, Jr.; Councilor Melissa Cox; Councilor Valerie Gilman; Councilor
Kenneth Hecht; Councilor Jennifer Holmgren; Councilor Scott Memhard; Councilor Sean Nolan; Councilor James O Hara Absent: None. Also Present: Mayor Sefatia Theken; Joanne Senos; Jim Destino; Interim Police Chief John McCarthy; Fire Chief Eric Smith; Chip Payson; Donna Leete; Mike Hale; Nancy Papows; Donna Compton; Karin Carroll; Jill Cahill; James Pope; Vanessa Krawczyk; Grace Poirier; and members of the Gloucester Police and Fire Departments
Council President Lundberg announced that there was a robust process in accordance with the ordinance amended last year pursuant to the search and
confirmation of a new Police Chief. He extended the Council s congratulations to Mayor Theken on the success of the city representation at the North American Seafood Expo in Boston this past week. Mayor Sefatia Theken expressed her appreciation for the kudos for TeamGloucester highlighting the support of the Council highlighting the five city businesses who for the first time had their own booths. Mayor Theken made the following statement: Over the past several months the Administration, working with Resource Management Associates, invested significant time and resources to conduct a thorough, nationwide search for a new Gloucester Police Chief. She expressed her confidence that the Council would find that Chief Conley brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a distinguished record of service that will benefit the city in years to come. She expressed appreciation for Resource Management Associates for their assistance in managing the search for a new Police Chief and overseeing a rigorous three day assessment process. She thanked the Council who asked for the videos of the interviews. She also extended her thanks to the city s Selection Committee led by Jim Destino, CAO whose members were: John McCarthy, Interim Police Chief; Eric Smith, Fire Chief; Donna Leete, Human Resources Director; Mike Hale, Public Works Director; James Marr, Jr., Community Liaison; Dr. Richard Safier, Superintendent of Schools; Chip Payson, General Counsel; John Dunn, CFO; James Pope, Director of Information Services; and Jill Cahill, Community Development Director. Collectively the Selection Committee came up with a great outcome for the city, she highlighted, saying that there were two impressive finalists but that the best candidate was chosen. She pointed to Chief Conley s demonstration of leadership, abilities, broad experience with the city of Chelsea and town of Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Departments and knowledge of Massachusetts law enforcement that were the final deciding factors. She advised the city needed someone who d be a part of the team and understanding the unique nature of Gloucester. She conveyed she didn t make this decision alone, asking her management staff who would interact with the new Chief to be a part of the interview process and met with the staff to hear their opinion. She added that she was confident that the Council would feel the same as she did that Chief Conley is the right choice for Gloucester.
The candidate for Police Chief, Chief Edward G. Conley III was invited to the podium by Council President Lundberg. Chief Conley advised he was
before the Council as the Mayor s candidate to be appointed the next Police Chief of the City of Gloucester, which he termed was a privilege. He referred to the rigorous process to get to this point saying that each of the candidates were very well qualified, particularly Major/Deputy Inspector General James Rhoden of the Baltimore Police Department. He stated that the people of Gloucester and the men and women of the Police Department deserve a rigorous and challenging process; and that in the end the Mayor put
COUNCILOR QUESTIONS: Councilor Hecht mentioned improvement is constant, and asked how the Chief planned to improve the Police Department, and lay it
out so that it is an on-going process. Chief Conley noted when he was hired by Manchester they worked together and built a team to build consensus. He advised he has his personal goals; he works with the union and staff to develop departmental goals; and works within city government management team to build broader, macro goals. He pointed out goals have to be specific and measurable. Saying that establishing goals in policing, referencing the philosophy of community policing, some of the goal setting should also involve citizen feedback which he highlighted as important. Councilor Gilman, mentioning briefly points of interest and issues of concern in Ward 4 whom she represents, asked the Chief to share examples of successes in community policing and some particulars. Chief Conley conveyed his opinion that community policing is an ambitious term. Community policing to him at the core is about engaging the community and finding out what their perceived needs are. He explained his opinion of what constituted community policing -- engaging the community on what their priorities are. He gave the example as a young police officer working under Chief Ed Flynn whom he called a pioneer in community policing. He explained his first assignment in 1994 in Chelsea was Sector 3 which contained a lot of elderly housing and a large crime element. Chief Flynn empowered the police officers to go out into the community, meet with the constituents, to build a crime watch by engaging and recruiting citizens. He advised it is about listening to different sectors of the city. When he worked in Sector 3 in Chelsea there was a lot of violence, theft; and yet the biggest complaint was about Market Basket shopping carts at that time which was the important to that neighborhood -- and they did something about. He highlighted it is empowering patrol officers at the lowest level with authority, some accountability, be able to make mistakes, but to have them feel good about going out into the community and building teams of people and listening, saying that it has to start at the top. Councilor O Hara expressed concern for the city s drug issues comprised of victims and the supply chain. He asked the Chief about his plan to address both sides of the issue. Chief Conley noted that the majority of his time in Chelsea was commanding the Chelsea Police Drug Unit. He pointed out that no one spends time on the street as an officer without having firsthand knowledge and true compassion for people experiencing addiction. He pointed out that they re also very good at knowing the difference between someone who has an addiction who needs help for which many strides within the criminal justice system has made great strides in Essex County through the District Attorney s Diversion Program and PAARI. He advised that arrest is not always the best option. They also know the difference that there are those who come over the bridge to bring poison into the community for the sole purpose of making money. He pointed out they know who those people are and know the difference. He called those functions reactive. He recounted that in his role as commander of Chelsea s drug unit, he was under no illusion that all the arrests he was making would have an impact on reducing drugs. He expressed pride in the work they did in Chelsea and conveyed they saved lives. He expressed he is especially excited about prevention. He mentioned several reasons why the D.A.R.E. program failed, but pointed out that school resource officer programs are highly effective with school resource officers in schools mentoring students and also teaching the D.A.R.E. program. In Gloucester he pointed to the Police Department s Kops N Kids initiative -- police officers adopted the class of 2030 (all first grades in the city s school system) which he called a great program. He advised that the following week he s scheduled to stop by a school that s having a celebration of the Kops N Kids initiative. Council President Lundberg noted there was MRI (Municipal Resources Inc.) conducted an audit of the Gloucester Police Department in 2007 and revisit audit in 2017. One recommendation was that the Department achieves state accreditation and asked value that state accreditation provides to make the department more effective. Chief Conley explained as follows: Manchester achieved accreditation in two years by making it a priority. Advising that as boring as policy is, it is the foundation of what they do. Policies creates an algorithm that even when leadership is absent, policy and procedure people to make decisions which tells them how to think about different problems. State accreditation forces a police department to adopt the best policies for the community. This then protects officers from liability by pulling up policies which are akin to checklists and review it like an algorithm and don t need to ask the same questions constantly. These policies are adaptable, and it forces a constant review of departmental policy. Accreditation isn t just a one-time event, but reaccreditation then takes place every three years. Policy has to be built on a strong foundation internally; policy development is done by working with labor and impact bargaining, working with command staff to then develop the policies, and then ends up as a buy-in of the department. Accreditation is a tangible affirmation that they can do these things right.
Special City Council Meeting 03/19/2019 Page 3 of 5
Councilor LeBlanc expressed his thanks to Interim Chief John McCarthy for not only for all he s done for the past several years, but for the past 40
years of his service as a Gloucester Police Officer, saying that he will be missed. Interim Chief John McCarthy received a round of applause from those present. Councilor LeBlanc noted he had spoken with Chief Conley recently, discussing the Chief s leadership skills. Noting he was elected to the Council in 2011 recounting the previous chiefs he s known as an elected official, he asked how Chief Conley will bring leadership and stability to the department. Chief Conley agreed Chief McCarthy has done a great job especially coming to the Chief s position in the manner which he did. He advised his style of leadership is to empower people at the lowest level meaning pushing down power and authority so that officers can to do their job and be creative because good leaders lead by example. More effective leaders do it by empowering their people to find meaning in the work they do, he conveyed saying that leadership is to influence people to get things done; as a department to build consensus behind a common mission and values. It is a difference between knowledge and effectiveness, and effectiveness is more important and he pointed out that one can have all the knowledge in the world, but if any leader or manager can t take that knowledge and turn it into an outcome, then they re not effective as a leader. He explained that he focuses his attention to take that knowledge and turn it into an outcome. Councilor LeBlanc expressed his appreciation for the meeting he had with the Chief saying he was pleased to be working with him. Councilor Cox noted that the 2009 MRI report showed an environment of dissatisfaction within the department, and the 2017 report showed no surveys or personal interviews were conducted but stated that it wasn t as much of an issue. She asked what the Chief plans to do about morale stating her opinion that an appreciated employee will do more than an unappreciated employee, saying that she wanted assurance that there is an avenue for employees to express their dissatisfaction or satisfaction. Chief Conley called morale, a real thing. He advised it affects all aspects of policing and most organizations. He mentioned indicators of dissatisfaction such as amount of sick time taken. He termed exit interviews as a great opportunity for gaining a better understanding of morale issues. He conveyed he finds ride along s as a good way to engage in casual conversation with officers for them to open up and express their opinions. In Manchester he advised he d gotten a free Survey Monkey subscription and allowed his department to answer anonymously some quick simple questions which gave him a good baseline of where things were to assist him in moving forward with necessary changes. Manchester is a smaller department, he noted, but in a large organization like Gloucester there would be in time some true data, data which he expressed he believes in to confirm decisions especially related to morale. Councilor Nolan advised he had no questions and thanked the Chief. Councilor Memhard noted he is the Ward 1 Councilor, noting the ward s assets of the Back Shore and Good Harbor Beach, both which creates challenges for his ward in the summer season. He recounted that a task force recommended changes to the parking ordinances and enforcement for ticketing and towing, two issues that come up frequently, and have been dual challenges. He expressed hope that the Chief s experience will help to enforce existing ordinances to improve the quality of life for residents in those beach areas. Chief Conley called summer parking enforcement a hot-button issue, as it is in Manchester, noting that town s great influx of boater touching on briefly what they did in that community to stem issues it created. To solve the problem, he advised it takes a lot of input and expressed a willingness to be a part of that process. He recounted that there is a thing about citing people (MGL Ch. 40, 21D non-criminal disposition by ordinance citations) is that it has a trail-off effect like speeding tickets with any kind of enforcement where it reaches a point it turns the other way and becomes ineffective. He advised there is a need to strike a balance, highlighting that a lot of tickets do get thrown out in court. He offered that the solution has to be a community-based solution in striking the balance of access to the city beautiful resources, protecting those resources for the longer term and respecting local businesses and residents. Councilor Holmgren asked how the Chief will continue the groundwork laid by Interim Chief McCarthy and the Administration to help enforce current animal regulations in the Code of Ordinances and the city s new Piping Plover Protection Plan and beach regulations and how he ll empower the Animal Control officers to cite violators and follow citations to the city Treasurer and the District Court level. Chief Conley advised he watched the City Council meeting when they took up the issue of the Piping Plovers on Feb. 26, saying that people are passionate about that issue. He reported that TeamGloucester has worked hard on this issue as have the city former Conservation Agent, Ken Whittaker, who crafted the plan and the new Conservation Agent, Adrienne Lennon whom he ll work with as a team. Enforcement isn t always the answer, he conveyed, saying that every decision they make is a system that has feedback loops which he conveyed can have unintended consequences. He cited that signage is important and announced that Interim Chief McCarthy has secured funding for a security camera to be installed to view the nesting area as a deterrent and help in any investigation. A lot of work has been done; he added, expressing that he was looking forward to being brought up to speed on the issue.
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Council President Lundberg noted an important issue that the Mayor s made a centerpiece of her Administration supported by all City Councilors, that
there is a domestic violence officer in the police department and a program. In talking about the drug issue, domestic violence is another issue that arresting their way out of it is a last resort. He asked the Chief his opinion on the program and issue. Chief Conley advised that when you run the drug unit in Chelsea you also run the Executive Bureau as a Sargent recounting that they had a domestic violence investigator and a program Case de Verde with a civilian case worker because, like addiction, people trying to get out of domestic violence situations not having financial wherewithal need support and follow up. They will relapse and go back to that relationship and is a place where assets needs to be focused for follow up of the victim. He advised he read the MRI study, but advised he won t have a good sense of things until he s been on the job for a few months. He conveyed that the Gloucester Police Department moving forward needs to move towards community policing with levels of responsibility and accountability. It should likely be a Domestic Violence detective, and leveraging existing social groups in the city. You can have ten social agencies doing good work but people call the police, and the department has to have an organized system to expand coverage with modern techniques, he pointed out. These are places where women and men who are victims, and their children who witness the violence, that affects them for their lifetimes -- they need to get in early and identify these families, he highlighted. Councilor LeBlanc stated that the city has a tremendous police department that does great community outreach, with a lot of residents getting to interact with officers. He asked what the Chief sees in the future for the department gain more interaction in the community through outreach programs that the city would benefit from. Chief Conley noted every day every patrol officer should engage in the community in a nonconfrontational way; walking routes is always popular. Evidence is that walking routes doesn t deter crime but makes people feel safe and allows for the development of develop relationships and trust. Officers should get out of their car and engage people. He conveyed, which the department does encourage, he noted. In law enforcement circles, the men and women of this department have an excellent reputation for doing proactive progressive things in the community; he pointed out, and touched on the balance to make officers comfortable to make these types of contacts. Councilor Cox asked about training, again highlighting the MRI report, saying that lack of training prompted the department s withdrawal from the Cape Ann Response Team which she cited as beneficial to the city. She asked if the Chief sees a reengagement of that program. She also noted that there used to be auxiliary police officers with the department, expressing her opinion that there was a benefit in having those officers trained available. As to enforcement, she pointed out that there are people willing to spend the day on Good Harbor Beach to remind beachgoers of the regulations and that uniformed authority goes a long way. She asked for the Chief s thoughts on civilian dispatchers which were highly recommended in the report but the department advocated against it. Chief Conley noted he s heard about CERT teams, and spoke to utilization of civilian trained personnel, especially when their own emergency personnel are overwhelmed. He advised he would speak to Fire Chief Eric Smith on such matters, but cautioned there is associated liability. Cape Ann is isolated, he pointed out, and as part of NEMLEC, and they can call in help as needed, boots on the ground. In terms of auxiliary officers, in Manchester auxiliary officers are strictly volunteer trained on pepper spray and have no authority to make arrests or carry a firearm -- to be able to make arrests and carry a firearm they d have to be academy trained as regular police officers. He conveyed he s not totally against a program of that nature although saying it would have to be limited. In terms of emergency volunteers there is potential and reiterated he d talk to the Fire Chief to gain his insights. Councilor Memhard noted that Gloucester is a high profile community for some of the right reasons, noting that the former Police Chief was a recognized national leader with the Angel Program and then terminated for cause by the Mayor. He referenced that fallout for the city which is still dealing with unresolved issues from that situation which he suggested placed Chief Conley in a difficult situation coming into the community. He asked the Chief how he would turn this situation around. Chief Conley responded he came from Chelsea, a city that was in receivership when he joined that police department and had its city government dissolved, and had a front row seat how that city came out of that situation. He advised he was briefed on what happened surrounding the issue the Councilor raised. Moving out of something like that, the department may still unfairly carry some reputation in outside circles. He conveyed it is about getting the right people to move forward on the right mission with the right values. Councilor Cox asked how he d handle officer complaints about fellow officers. Chief Conley noted in Chelsea they average 30 investigations a year from a simple complaint to handling officer suicide, long-term suspensions and last chance agreements. Out of all those things they were in civil service one time, he pointed out. He and the Chief spent many years as union presidents, and took that knowledge in negotiation and understanding the other side to become better negotiators for resolution in most cases. He conveyed where he found discipline goes wrong is when it s dealt out unfairly or one way to one person and one way differently to another. He noted
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he d had to accept a forced resignation from one of his officers who violated a public trust. That investigation was handled no differently than one
that occurred a few months prior for rudeness -- it is going by the numbers. He pointed out that in the end most mistakes officers make that may subject those to some type of disciplinary action are not so serious as to cause someone to lose their job. He highlighted that the challenge is to hold someone accountable for what they did; get them to see the error of their ways; hold them accountable to see the error they ve made and then drop it and bring them back into the organization because they ll be officers for the next 20 years and you don t want to lose them. You want to make them a better officer and bring them back into the fold he advised, and assured that there is a way to do that. Councilor Memhard thanked Chief Conley, expressing appreciation for his answers saying he could see why the Mayor chose him. He cited the city s hardening of school security, and the issues that transpired at the Sawyer Free Library, a problem solved through proactive steps such as placing retired police officers on site at the library in order to allow librarians to go back to being librarians. He asked for the Chief s broad perspective on public safety so that citizens feel safe in public buildings in the community. Chief Conley advised success or failure relies on the team. When talking about school shooting training, if they re not getting buy in from the teachers or do too much training and scare parents, it fails A Chief needs the backing of a team to do that, he pointed out, and is what he d rely on to make those decisions. Public safety is the No. 1 job he has, he pointed out. Chief Conley then expressed his appreciation to be able to explain his policing philosophy. He puts what he says in writing, he noted. He advised he looked forward to this experience as a first step, saying that he is truly accessible. He conveyed he would rather hear from the Councilors personally especially early on.
Councilor LeBlanc moved and Councilor Memhard, seconded, that the City Council confirm the appointment of Edward G. Conley, III Police Chief for a
contracted term of five (5) years, commencing April 1, 2019 through March 30, 2024 pursuant to Gloucester Code of Ordinances Chapter 17 Police Article II. Police Department Sec. 17-16 and City Charter Sections 2-10 and 3-3.
MOTION: On a motion by Councilor LeBlanc, seconded by Councilor Memhard, the City Council voted 9 in favor, 0 opposed, to confirm the appointment of
Edward G. Conley, III Police Chief for a contracted term of five (five) years, commencing April 1, 2019 through March 30, 2024 pursuant to Gloucester Code of Ordinances Chapter 17 Police Article II. Police Department Sec. 17-16 and City Charter Sections 2-10 and 3-3.
Jim Destino, CAO, responding to Council President Lundberg s inquiry about the Council voting for a five- year contract, reviewed he had previously
explained to the Council that it is the end of the fiscal year and that the Administration would fund Chief Conley s salary with FY19 money. He suggested that if a Council made a motion for funding through the FY19 police budget it would be in order if the Council wished. Councilor Cox advised that a vote wasn t necessary for the Budget Finance Committee to make a motion if there is enough funding in the FY19 budget to cover the Chief s salary before the next fiscal year. Council President Lundberg conveyed they d tried to broadcast widely for resident questions but only one was received which was about the contract term of five years. Mr. Destino conveyed that the five-year contract was about stability for the city, the Department, and for the Chief. Not all candidates deserve or require a five-year contract but this candidate does, he pointed out, highlighting that Manchester also had a five-year deal. Councilor Cox offered her thanks to Interim Police Chief John McCarthy for all he s done for the city.
season. A decal like the city s mooring decal will be issued which must be affixed to the kayaks, and owners will be given a packet of information
upon receipt of the decal, available through the Harbormaster s office, he noted. Councilor Nolan noted that if kayaks aren t stored in the racks and left, those kayaks are subject to confiscation by the Harbormasters as noted in the amended ordinance, and the owner fined. Mr. Johnson confirmed that will be