Council Overview: February 2022

Introduction


I’ll keep this introduction brief so that we can get straight to this belated overview of the City Council’s work in February. My goal to publish regular updates via social media and email has been not much more than aspirational lately; I have been prioritizing the other aspects of Councilor responsibilities above the task of chronicling them. (In my view, these include: communicating with constituents through phone calls, one-on-one conversations, office hours, and email; meeting with city staff and other people who can help me be better informed about the issues facing our city; researching matters put on the City Council agenda by other Councilors and electeds; and researching/instigating my own policy goals and priorities.)


I share this not as an excuse, but just to be open with you about what I'm up to and why. If you have opinions about what type of updates would be most useful to you, please let me know. I continue to try to figure out what practices and habits will make it easier for me to be more consistent at sharing updates from the Council with you all. I thank you for your attention, engagement and patience, and I welcome your input!


In this update


  1. City Council meeting information + a bit of trivia

  2. Citywide links, resources, events, and updates

  3. Council roundup: February (short month, long recap)

  4. Extracurriculars


City Council Meeting Information


Agendas for our regular Tuesday City Council meetings are posted online the Friday afternoon before. Once they’re posted, you can find them in this Google Drive folder which is listed on the City Council page of the city website under “Meeting Agendas” (not “Upcoming Meetings”).


You may attend City Council meetings in the Chambers at City Hall, on Zoom, or via live Broadcast (TV details here). Clickable Zoom links for public meetings are on the city’s online calendar.


City Council Meeting Trivia


Wondering what’s the difference between the different kinds of meetings?

  • Our regular meetings are held at 7pm on Tuesdays. The agendas are populated by resolutions from Councilors, papers submitted by other City Staff, and petitions from members of the public (petitions for business licenses, petitions to make a public comment, etc.).

  • A Committee of the Whole (or COW for short) involves all seven Councilors, but it is not a regular meeting. They are held on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at times that do not conflict with regular meetings. The purpose of a COW is to discuss one topic in more depth than we would want to make time for during a regular meeting. For example, the topic of Zoning Recodification was discussed in-depth with zoning experts in a Committee of the Whole dedicated to that topic; and then we referred it back out of committee for a final vote in a regular session.

  • Subcommittee meetings: Each subcommittee is made up of three Councilors, one of whom is its chair. A topic will be discussed in a subcommittee only if it is “referred” there from a regular meeting. As a hypothetical example, a resolution about recycling may be referred to the Climate, Sustainability & Transportation Subcommittee. After it is taken up there, it may be referred to a COW for discussion by the whole Council. After that, the Council may refer it back out of Committee again for a final vote during a regular session.


Citywide links, resources and updates

  • Street sweeping starts April 19th! Check out the full calendar here, and be sure to move your car accordingly to avoid a ticket.

  • Need support from the city? Fill out the Request for Resident Services Form

  • Rain barrels are available to Medford residents for a discounted price through May 3rd.

  • Medford is offering a $1,000 rebate to residents who remove and update lead-lined water pipes. Learn more and apply for the rebate here.

  • A constituent who works at Wayside Youth & Family Support Network on Forest Street has informed me that they are hiring! The Medford location is seeking mental health clinicians and college interns. Learn more here and spread the word!

  • Medford is hosting a Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 30th, from 10am–2pm at City Hall and Wegman’s. Learn more here.

  • Check out upcoming news and events at the Royall House and from CACHE (Coalition for Arts, Culture and a Healthy Economy).


February roundup


These notes detail what I found most significant from each week of meetings in February. If I touched on everything that we discussed, I would truly never finish these updates!


Week of January 31


Vice President Bears and I co-sponsored Paper 22-058, a resolution to study a proposed Community Control over Public Surveillance (CCOPS for short) Ordinance. We voted unanimously to send it to the Subcommittee on Public Health & Community Safety, which I chair, for further discussion. Civil liberties advocates in Medford have been calling for such an ordinance for more than three years now, and I am glad for the opportunity to take it up. This proposed ordinance does not outright ban public surveillance nor regulate private use of surveillance technology, but rather it sets up a structure in which any surveillance technology that will be utilized by a municipal entity must be vetted by the City Council in order to be acquired or put into use.


I offered a resolution in support of the Senate bill S.1579 and accompanying House bill H.2418, “An Act to protect the civil rights and safety of all Massachusetts residents,” also known as the Safe Communities Act; and to have a letter of support of the bill sent to Medford legislative delegation as well as the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, where the bill was being discussed. Every Councilor supported this resolution.


I also co-sponsored Councilor Tseng’s resolution to express support for Representative Barber’s bill H.3559, “An Act relative to public transit electrification.” This resolution passed with four votes.


Among Councilor Tseng’s other resolutions offered this week were a resolution to celebrate Black History Month and “support efforts in our community, City government, and schools to combat racism and white supremacy and to teach Black history,” and the Council’s first-ever resolution celebrating Lunar New Year and reaffirming solidarity with Asian-Americans in Medford. Thank you, Councilor Tseng!


On February 2nd, we met in Committee of the Whole to discuss paper 20-568, on Zoning Recodification. The Community Development Board (CDB) had by this point spent many months poring over our current zoning code, with the help of an attorney and zoning consultant. The CDB Chair walked us through all the recommended changes, and the process also involved the Office of Planning, Development & Sustainability. The charge of the Council, in short, was to discuss the changes to the zoning code that the CDB created during this thorough process and, eventually, vote on which to adopt (thus updating our zoning ordinances).

In this first meeting to go over the recommended changes, we separated out the 71 proposed changes into two categories: Those that no one had an objection to, and those that we wanted to discuss in more depth (in another meeting) before voting. We put aside more technical and substantive proposed changes for an additional discussion, but many proposed changes were about simply modernizing and updating the language in our zoning code. One example would be updating the definition of a “household” to no longer be tied to “family.” Of course, many households (and families) don’t involve biological relatives, and it’s in line with common sense – as well as current US Census Bureau language – to not define households by how individuals within them are genetically related. I’m glad that our zoning ordinance no longer will!


Week of February 7


The Mayor sent the City Council a Home Rule Petition to create a Charter Review Commission. If approved by the City Council, it would be sent to our state delegation, and if they approved it, the city would then have permission to initiate a Charter Review Commission to reevaluate our City Charter. A couple of Councilors had questions on the petition (i.e. what happens if a vacancy occurs on the commission?) so we passed it into Committee of the Whole to discuss further before taking a vote. I was ready to vote in favor, but was perfectly willing to take a little extra time to resolve other Councilors’ questions, if that would mean getting a stronger vote on the petition overall. (The state delegation is unlikely to approve home rule petitions that don’t receive unanimous or near-unanimous support.)


Vice President Bears offered 22-070, a resolution to support of H.3080 and S.1874, “An Act relative to payments in lieu of taxation by organizations exempt from the property tax,” as well as H.3803, "An Act establishing a study to examine lost municipal real estate tax revenue." I was glad for the opportunity to vote and speak in favor, and grateful to Vice President Bears for his initiative. I testified in support of H.3080 and S.1874 when they were taken up by legislative committees in January, as I wrote about in my last update.


I offered a resolution advocating for a higher level of Unrestricted General Government Aid in the FY2023 state budget. As reported by the Massachusetts Municipal Association and elsewhere, the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2023 state budget proposal included a 2.7% increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid. However, this modest increase in local aid is disproportionate to the dramatic forecasted increase in 2023 state tax collections (22% increase from original FY2022 tax base forecast, and 7.3% increase from calculation of tax base used to create FY2022 state budget). The point I sought to amplify is that, seeing as cities like ours rely on state revenue sharing to balance our local budget and fund essential services (and, with the ongoing pandemic recovery and economic inflation, these resources are needed as acutely as ever), the state really ought to give cities a higher level of Unrestricted General Government Aid in the FY2023 state budget. I was glad that my fellow Councilors supported this resolution.


Finally, I offered a resolution that noted the two-year anniversary of Medford’s pledge to make our city hunger-free by 2028, and advocated for expanding the City’s capacity to address food insecurity; the development of convenient and affordable food sources throughout Medford; and the targeting our pandemic recovery resources towards ensuring that our community’s basic needs are met.

I know that resolutions like these are, in a sense, symbolic. We cannot move budget line items, create new programs, or shift city priorities with just a say-so from the Council. But I still feel that it is important to reaffirm our priorities loudly and publicly. It doesn’t mean much if it isn’t followed up with urgency, policy, and action, but I hope that the public declarations and reminders can be a part of the process that results in real, materially-backed priorities.


On February 8th, in a Committee of the Whole, we discussed the proposed Polystyrene Ban Ordinance. We heard from members of Medford High School’s CCSR (Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility), who proposed the idea of the ban in the first place. Huge thanks to these savvy and knowledgeable student leaders – I hope that this is one of many legislative ideas that they and their fellow students will propose in coming months and years! In this meeting, we heard from members of the public, and ultimately we resolved to solicit feedback from the business community on the timeline of ban implementation, and from the City Solicitor on the language of the draft ordinance.

I am excited to pass this ordinance, because in this day and age, I don’t think it’s justifiable to condone a material that we know simply does not biodegrade. But at the same time, I heard the business owners who said this was bad timing due to supply chain concerns, and I find those concerns real and reasonable. Since we’re already so many years (decades) overdue in implementing a ban on polystyrene, I felt comfortable with extending the date of implementation out further – i.e. a ban going into effect in July of 2023, and then enforcement doesn’t start for a year after implementation, which is how the original text of draft ordinance puts it. This would give businesses more time to prepare for this transition, and hopefully supply chain issues would ease in that time, too, making non-polystyrene alternatives cheaper and easier to find.


On February 9th, in a Committee of the Whole, we met to complete our in-depth discussions of paper 20-568, the Community Development Board (CDB)’s recommendations for updating our Zoning Recodification. By my count there were more than 2 dozen aspects that we discussed in this meeting, so I won’t try to go over all of them here. If anyone reading this has specific questions about what we voted on, please just contact me. I am a fairly compulsive note-taker (especially during Zoom meetings, which is how we conducted these) so I should be able to dig up more context if there’s something you’re wondering about! (And, of course, the recording of our meetings are available on medfordtv.org, though they’re not well-organized.) Here are a few highlights:

We created a new parking category, A1, that can be used to assign residential areas a new, lower parking minimum. A parking minimum is the lowest number of parking spots that must be created per every new unit of housing. Our existing parking minimum for most residential areas is 2 parking units per unit. The CDB’s recommendation for the new parking category is 1.2 parking spaces per unit.

This wouldn’t convert every residential area to the new minimum, but rather create a new category that we can use when we redo the zoning map, to apply to relevant areas (higher-density neighborhoods, areas surrounding affordable housing or near public transit). This recommendation was based on a variety of norms and observations:

  • In some areas, we have more street parking than is needed, which is a waste of public space. (And let’s make no mistake, public streets are public property.)

  • When we require 2 parking spaces/unit for all new developments, that poses an additional construction burden and expense. This stands to make it harder to attract developers to Medford, and/or increase the number of variances (developers asking for permission to take exception to the parking minimum) that go before the Zoning Board of Appeals. If we want to meet housing demand and streamline the housing development process, we need to reduce parking minima wherever we can.

  • There are comparable policies in nearby cities: Somerville has no parking minimum in areas near public transit; Malden requires 1.5 spaces per unit, which steps down to 1.25 as you get closer to mass transit; and Arlington requires just 1 space/housing unit for 1, 2 and 3-unit homes.

Some councilors felt wary of lowering the minimum too much, feeling that most households do have 2 cars each and this would create a squeeze. In the end, we compromised between the CDB’s recommendation of 1.2 spaces/unit and the existing 2 spaces/unit norm, and unanimously voted for 1.5 spaces/unit, with the provision that numbers would round down, not up (for example, in a 3-unit building, the minimum number of parking spaces would round down to 4, not up to 5).

I actually regret my vote on this – almost immediately afterwards, I wished I had voted no on the compromise number. It wouldn’t have changed the outcome, but it would have been a show of support for a lower minimum, which I do believe we need.

The good news is, if the Administration follows through on hiring zoning consultant Attorney Bobrowski for us again later in the year, we will have the chance to take another deep dive into the zoning code. That will be our opportunity to build upon this review and modernization of the zoning code, and make more substantive changes. The Medford Comprehensive Plan will be done by that time, and the CDB Chair recommended that we make a more transformative update of the parking zone map once we have that to work off of. We can take that opportunity to reshape the parking zone map, and even consider a more detailed model, i.e. with a tiered parking minima scheme that correlates to number of bedrooms, specific proximity to transit hubs, etc. So, we’ll get another shot at this (provided the Administration funds our use of a zoning consultant again).

Other zoning updates: We unanimously adopted the recommendation to no longer limit home occupations to 1 per home, since multiple family members could easily be working from home simultaneously. I found this to be an obviously true observation (as I’m sure many work-from-homers would, after the past couple years) – one of several no-brainers.

We approved new language to the requirements around adding new driveways, to encourage the use of pervious/porous surfaces (unless graded to direct runoff onto permeable areas) and options that require less paving overall, like ribbon driveways. Ditto similar recommendations in another section pertaining to large parking areas in commercial zones.

There were also plenty of less-than-sexy adjustments, i.e. lifting the size threshold at which certain projects must receive a site plan review. You’ll be thrilled to know that we now won’t require site plan review for drive-in eateries unless they’re 5K square feet or larger (up from 2.5K) or medical offices unless they’re 10K square feet or larger (up for 5K). I’m being a bit sarcastic, of course, but the intent of these changes is solid: to not burden smallish businesses with site plan review, and only make bigger businesses go through that – in so doing, removing a step that would be burdensome to smaller operations in the process of opening up shop in Medford.

By the end of that meeting, we reported all of those changes out of Committee of the Whole. The next step to finalize the process is to vote in a regular meeting of the City Council. Since these changes occur in the zoning ordinances, they’ll go through the three-part process required for any new ordinance or ordinance change: one vote in City Council (“first reading”); publishing in the newspaper for public view (“second reading”); then a final vote in City Council, again (“third reading”).


Week of February 14


On February 15, we met in Committee of the Whole to discuss two topics: Paper 21-577, on setting a new tax credit income limit for residents 65 and over; and 22-013, establishing an Election Commission. On that first point: this idea was introduced by President Morell in 2021. The basis for this discussion is a particular “local option” in state law (MGL Chapter 59, Section 5, Paragraph 41) – local option meaning something the state has outlined which cities can adopt, if they choose. This one is the option to create a tax credit for seniors based on certain income/property tax eligibility requirements. President Morell’s proposal was to tie the upper income limit (at/below which seniors are able to receive the benefit) to the state senior circuit breaker limit, rather than an income maximum picked out by the City Council.

My questions going into the meeting were: (1) What’s the current eligibility cap on receiving this tax credit? Answer: $50,000 yearly income or less. (2) Where did that number come from? Answer: That’s just the number selected by the City Council the last time this topic was discussed – the local option gives City Councils the power to decide the amount. (3) Why switch to using the state circuit breaker income threshold? Answer: By using the state’s determination, which is revised every year, we’ll be hewing to the state’s algorithm for determining who should receive this benefit; and by tying it to the state number, it will be automatically updated each year, so we don’t have to revisit the issue again unless we choose to.

The logical next question: Okay, but who’s eligible once we adopt this – what will change? Here’s what Mass.gov says, below. Their income thresholds are already higher than our previous number – which is a fine thing, I think, as $50K in income is still fairly low – and it goes into detail on the other eligibility requirements for renters and owner-occupiers both.

  • “You must own or rent residential property in Massachusetts and occupy it as your primary residence.

  • For tax year 2021, your total Massachusetts income doesn't exceed:

  • $62,000 for a single individual who is not the head of a household.

  • $78,000 for a head of household.

  • $93,000 for married couples filing a joint return.

  • If you are a homeowner, your Massachusetts property tax payments, together with half of your water and sewer expense, must exceed 10% of your total Massachusetts income for the tax year.

  • If you are a renter, 25% of your annual Massachusetts rent must exceed 10% of your total Massachusetts income for the tax year.

  • The assessed valuation of the homeowner's personal residence as of January 1, 2021, before residential exemptions but after abatements, cannot exceed $884,000.

In general, my take on this and issues like it is: I don’t like arbitrary policy decisions, and the City Council picking an income threshold feels arbitrary. I’m glad we unanimously voted to tie our tax credit eligibility requirements to the state circuit breaker, so that it will automatically update each year in line with real economic trends – that’s the point, after all.


We then talked about establishing an Election Commission. This is another local option. So, how would an Election Commission change the system we’ve already got?

Essentially, this would shift the organizational structure of how elections are run and facilitated at the local level. The new Board of Election Commissioners would take over the powers, responsibilities and duties as the current Board of Registrars. As our current Election Coordinator put it: The way that we vote is changing – our voter base is growing, and we have new systems to support, like increasing use of early voting and mail-in voting. Creating a dedicated Board of Election Commissioners would add capacity and support the voting and elections process more robustly.

For example, the City Clerk, currently a member of the Board of Registrars, would not be a member of the Board of Election Commissioners. I think it makes sense to not have the City Clerk spread between clerking for the City Council and fulfilling many other licensing responsibilities, and also having substantial elections responsibilities. Two me, these ought to be two separate jobs.

Ultimately, completing this change will also require finalizing a budget for the Elections Office – transitioning the salary costs from the Board of Registrars over to the Board of Elections Commissioners, but also, hopefully, securing funding to bring the Elections office up-to-date electronically.


In our regular meeting on February 15 we took up several topics of discussion, including recommending an appropriation of $2500 to help the Chevalier Theater in a potential suit against Encore Casinos. The conflict is over a proposed development that would violate the terms of Encore’s community agreement by their creation of an entertainment venue with similar seating numbers to Chevalier, in too close a proximity to it (and in so doing creating competition that could hurt the Chevalier’s chances of staying afloat). Fortunately, after several anxious weeks for those involved, the Gaming Commission put the kibosh on Encore’s proposed development, rendering this a moot point.


On February 16, we held a Committee of the Whole on adopting MGL Chapter 175M, Section 10 – that is, opting into the state’s Paid Family & Medical Leave program. Municipalities are exempted from joining this program, so if we finalize the decision soon, we stand to be the first city in the state to offer PFML to city employees!

I believe offering this benefit is simply the right thing to do, and while we have some specifics to shake out in a future meeting with the City Administration, I’ll support it. It’s also worth noting that we have several recent examples of open positions at the City staying unfilled for a long time. Offering this employment benefit could help us attract great candidates and help us be competitive with private sector employers.

Our next steps after discussion in this meeting were to discuss with the Mayor’s office, the Finance Department (we didn’t have a Finance Director when this meeting occurred, but we do as of this writing), the City Solicitor, as well as union leaders representing municipal employees, to get a more specific picture of how this will affect the city budget and individual paychecks.


Week of February 21


In a Committee of the Whole on February 22, we discussed a proposed Tree Ordinance. As a little overview of the process so far, the idea of a Tree Ordinance was first proposed by Councilor Knight in February of 2019 and referred to the Zoning & Ordinances Subcommittee. That draft codified tree protections on land that was to be developed. In December of that year, the Energy & Environment Committee released their tree advisory research, recommending a fund for trees and an ordinance that would lay out a permitting process for tree removal, among some other provisions. In July 2021, the Subcommittee decided to allow Trees Medford, a community group, to draft and submit a revised ordinance. They did just that and completed their draft in December, which we reviewed at this meeting.

First, representatives from Trees Medford provided an overview: The overall goal is to protect, preserve and enhance Medford’s tree canopy, and the ordinance was crafted after review of tree ordinances in 30 other communities. The ordinance seeks to accomplish its goals by specifying: regulations for the removal and replacement of trees; a permitting process that’s run through the Building Department and Tree Warden, who can then grant permission to remove a tree; and penalties for failure to adhere to the permitting process.

There were several questions raised about the draft ordinance; we’ll meet again about it and I’m confident we’ll be able to approve a finalized version, hopefully soon. As for me, my biggest qualm was with a lack of specificity about the grounds under which the Tree Warden may deny a permit application to remove a tree. The current draft reads:


No Tree Removal Permit shall be issued unless one of the following conditions exists:

i. The Protected Tree will be relocated or replaced on site.

ii. The Permit Applicant will replace the Protected Tree by the off-site planting of tree(s) of the same or equivalent size as measured in DBH inches [DBH= Diameter at Breast Height, a metric for measuring trees]. In the event that a tree of the same or equivalent size as measured in DBH inches cannot be planted, then equivalent contributions to the Tree replacement fund and/or multiple smaller replacement trees may be planted provided that, wherever practicable, as determined by the Tree Warden, the total DBH of the replacement trees and value of the contributions shall, when added together, equal the total DBH of the Protected Tree that has been removed.”


So my question was, under this language, will tree-removal permits always get approved as long as mitigation plans are up to par? Are there any grounds for denying a tree removal permit, other than failure to have a compliant replanting or Tree Replacement Fund contribution plan? I’d like to see language empowering the Code Enforcement Officer or Tree Warden to deny unnecessary or frivolous tree removal permit applications, even if the applicant presents a compliant mitigation plan. I believe this is one of the questions that will be addressed in the next draft.

This ordinance would also set up a Tree Committee that would serve as an advisor to the City on tree-related matters. That’s all well and good, but it bothers me that the majority of our city committees are unfunded and uncompensated (the case with many committees – not a gripe with this proposal in particular). We’ll never have socioeconomic and racial diversity on our boards and commissions if we can’t compensate people for their time. Making these positions all-volunteer means that they consistently overrepresent people of greater means who can afford to work for free.


Onto our regular meeting on February 22: I co-sponsored a resolution by Councilor Tseng requesting an update on strategies to address the traffic calming and pedestrian safety on South Medford’s residential streets, particularly around main drags like Main Street that consistently back up and lead to use of surrounding streets as cut-throughs. (As a South Medford resident myself, I experience these traffic jams first-hand every time I try to get to 93 or City Hall during rush hour.) We noted the impacts on local road degradation, hazards to pedestrians, dangerous traffic speeds, and the need for short-term solutions (i.e. “Do Not Block Intersection” signage) as well as long-term solves.


I also co-sponsored a resolution by Councilor Tseng to send a letter of advocacy to President Biden calling for an end to mass deportations of Haitian immigrants under the Title 42 public health policy, which has been used as an excuse for turning away immigrants and asylum-seekers. This move was inspired and requested by Haitian-American legislators in the greater Boston area and spearheaded by Boston City Councilor RuthZee Louijeune. I am very proud that Medford joined the chorus of cities calling for an end to this inhumane and inhospitable policy, and grateful to Councilor Tseng for liaising with Councilor Louijeune and bringing this forward. On April 6th, the CDC finally announced that Title 42 implementation would end on May 23rd.


Councilor Tseng also put forth Paper 22-083: “Whereas the 2020 Massachusetts Uniform Citation Data Analysis Report, a project supported by the supported by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, suggests that there is a statistically significant correlation between race/ethnicity and stop outcomes in Medford, where Black and Hispanic individuals are more likely to receive criminal citations or be arrested and Hispanic individuals are less likely to receive written warnings…Be it Resolved that the Medford City Council request the Chief of Police investigate potential causes of stop outcome disparities and report back to the City Council on his findings.

In addition, the resolution further requested that the Chief publish data of all motor vehicle stops on the MPD website, and hold a community forum on the topic to deepen community trust, which is something the Report recommended.

I was glad to speak and vote in support, and I appreciate Councilor Tseng for his research and commitment to helping us maintain focus on crucial equity issues. This paper passed, despite some pushback. As a reminder, the City Council doesn’t have the authority to actually order the MPD, or any other department, to publish this data; but I hope that they will heed the suggestion.


On February 23rd, the Subcommittee on Rules and Ordinances (myself, Councilor Knight, chaired by Vice President Bears) met to discuss proposals to update the City Council Rules. I don’t know the last time they were updated. While some of our proposed rules changes were brought up in January this year, some of them haven’t been taken up since they were proposed in 2016, so it’s been at least that long (but probably way longer).

Comparable to our process with the zoning ordinance, there’s plenty to do simply with updating language. For example, removing gendered and ableist language (for example, using “he/his” as a default; saying “shall arise and address the Chair to speak” instead of “shall signal,” which is what we do anyway); streamlining and removing redundancies; and correcting norms that no longer describe our current practices. Then, there are more substantive changes we want to discuss. For example, clarifying how the public may participate in meetings, and reevaluating our meeting schedule, including the frequency of summer meetings or even shifting to biweekly regular meetings to free up more time in the schedule for subcommittee meetings. We had another meeting on this in March before referring the proposed changes to a Committee of the Whole, so I won’t go into too much detail here.


Extracurriculars


This month I also met with the Mayor to discuss my wish list for FY23 budget priorities (more resources for housing stability, please!); attended the Medford Democratic Caucus, and was thrilled to get a spot as a delegate to the Massachusetts Caucus in June (can’t wait to support Sonia Chang-Diaz for Governor and Chris Dempsey for Auditor!); took a delightful tour of the Medford Brooks Estate, learning about proposed renovation and preservation plans; and met with the Greater Boston Labor Council to talk about priorities for the term. And enjoyed some wonderful time in the Fells, but that was just recreational.



Thanks to all who read along. I hope that these updates will be informational for those who are interested, and help serve as a record of the term, at least through my own perspective. Reach out anytime at kitformedford@gmail.com or kcollins@medford-ma.gov.


94 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

6 Weeks In: Reflection It’s been just over a month since Inauguration, and I believe things have gotten off to a positive and productive start on the City Council. I am trying to always look at things