Police Briefs 01-17-2019

Police Briefs 01-17-2019

ARMED ROBBERY OF CAR

On Dec. 31, at 10 p.m., officers were dispatched to 144 Bloomingdale St. for a report of a past armed robbery. Upon arrival, Officers spoke to the victim who stated while driving his car he was cut off by a vehicle on Bloomingdale St. He told officers that the two males exited the sedan and approached him saying that he had just struck their car.

The passengers of the suspect’s car then proceeded to rob him of his wallet and its contents. A short time later, the officers received information on the whereabouts of the suspect vehicle and stopped it. The victim was able to identify the two males in the car as the persons that robbed him. Both were taken into custody.

Rigoberto Ruiz-Cadiz, 22, of 146 Bloomingdale St.; and Efrain Alicea, 22, of 64 Addison St., were both charged with armed robbery.

NEW YEAR’S (WINDOW) BASH

On Jan. 1, at 11:30 a.m., CPD officers responded to 140 Shawmut St. for a report of an intoxicated male party that had destroyed a window to a residence. Upon arrival, a witness pointed out the male individual who caused the damage. He was placed under arrest for malicious destruction of property.

Ernesto Bonilla, 18, of East Boston, was charged with malicious destruction of property under $1,200.

TRIED TO USE A STOLEN CREDIT CARD

On Jan. 3, at 6:50 p.m., CPD officers responded to the Homewood Suites Inn for a report of a male party attempting to use a stolen credit card. At the hotel, the officers spoke with a hotel employee, who stated that the suspect just fled the hotel after he tried to pay for a room with a stolen credit card. A short time later, the same male was attempting to secure a room at the Residence Inn with another stolen credit card. He was placed under arrest.

Andy Joseph, 34, of 1 Webster Ave., was charged with unlicensed operation, possession of an open container in a motor vehicle, larceny of a credit card, and two counts of uttering/forging a credit card.

PUBLIC DRINKING

On Jan. 5, at 10:55 a.m., a CPD officer on foot was patrolling Luther Place. The officer observed a male party in the area behind 466 Broadway drinking out of a bottle of liquor. The male was placed under arrest drinking in public.

Jose Martinez, 56, of East Boston, was charged with violating the public drinking ordinance.

DA ROLLINS CHOOSES CHIEF OF STAFF

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced last week that Jennifer Grace Miller will be her Chief of Staff, citing Miller’s broad experience in senior government positions, including stints at two statewide law enforcement agencies.

Miller’s first day will be Feb. 1, 2019.

Miller has most recently served as Counsel to the Massachusetts Senate, where she was the chief legal counsel to 40 senators and approximately 200 staff members. Prior to joining the Senate, Miller was Chief of the Government Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. As Chief, Miller supervised roughly 100 lawyers and staff in three divisions. She previously served as the Bureau’s Deputy Chief and as an assistant attorney general in the Administrative Law Division, focusing primarily on civil appellate work. Among other high-profile litigation, Miller argued the Massachusetts buffer zone case,McCullen v. Coakley, at the United States Supreme Court.

Miller began her public service career as Senior Staff Counsel at the Supreme Judicial Court. She then served as Assistant Solicitor General in the New York Attorney General’s office.

“Jennifer Grace Miller is a smart, dedicated public servant with deep experience managing complex government institutions and sophisticated litigation,” District Attorney Rollins said. “She has worked in all three branches of government and will bring a trusted set of skills and perspective to the District Attorney’s office.”

She also serves as a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.

Police Log

Monday, 12/31

Dilcia Menjivar, 31, 39 Lawton Ave., Lynn, was arrested for intimidation.

Rigoberto Ruiz-Cadiz, 22, 146 Bloomingdale St., Chelsea, was arrested for armed robbery.

Efrain Alicea, 22, 64 Addison St., Chelsea, was arrested for armed robbery.

Tuesday, 1/1

Ernesto Bonilla, 18, 155 Lexington St., East Boston, was arrested for malicious destruction of property.

Julio Portillo, 52, Pine Street Inn, Boston, was arrested for resisting arrest and on a warrant.

Wednesday, 1/2

Yancarlos Mejia-Gonzalez, 31, 72 Upham St., Malden, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with suspended license, failing to stop for police, red light violation and immigration detainer.

Darnell Booth, 37, 560 Beach St., Revere, was arrested for probation warrant.

Carlos Ramos, 51, 27 Watts St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed.

Thursday, 1 /3

John Lewis, 34, 292 Salem St., Revere, was arrested on a warrant.

Andy Joseph, 34, 1 Webster Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed, possessing open container of alcohol in motor vehicle, larceny of credit card, utter forged credit card (2 counts).

Saturday, 1/5

Jose Martinez, 56, 264 Bennington St., East Boston, was arrested for ordinance violation of alcoholic beverage, marijuana/THC.

Faisal Yerow, 23, 120 Central Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for probation warrant.

Sunday, 1/6 Quincy Parker, 42, 90 Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

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Equitable Access:Chelsea School Leaders Demand Educational Equity for All Students at Malden Forum

Equitable Access:Chelsea School Leaders Demand Educational Equity for All Students at Malden Forum

Chelsea School Superintendent
Mary Bourque and Chelsea City Manager Thomas Ambrosino were two panelists
Tuesday night at Malden High School discussing school budget funding.

Chelsea School Superintendent Mary Bourque and Chelsea City Manager Thomas Ambrosino were two panelists Tuesday night at Malden High School during a forum calling on legislators to overhaul the state’s current educational funding model to ensure equity for all students, especially those in low-income areas.

During the state’s last legislative session a bill by State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain) would have recalculated the cost to educate each student in public school districts known as the ‘foundation budget’ and poured millions of dollars into school over the next several years.

However that bill failed and educators like Bourque are calling this mechanism the state uses to provide students with equitable access to educational opportunities ‘obsolete’ and must be revised to meet the expectations of today’s economy.

Because the state has not updated its education funding formula since 1993 to reflect districts’ real health insurance and special education costs, the amount of aid being provided to cover those costs is too small.

To compensate, many districts like Chelsea end up using money that would otherwise have supported core education programs—including Regular Ed. Teachers, Materials & Technology, and Professional Development. This also results in dramatic cuts in other areas of education.

“The time is now because we have no more time left,” said Bourque at Tuesday night’s meeting. “There will be more cuts because we don’t know where the money will come from. We cut all of our after school programs…elementary (afterschool) programs two years ago and middle school after school programs last year. It’s time to make changes to the formula and we need to make the formula work for us. It is time to save the futures of our students and open those doors to the future. We can not afford to have our students go through another year of cuts in their school system.”

The problem for low income school districts like Chelsea is there is a growing equity gap between schools in Chelsea and schools in more affluent areas of the state. When faced with such shortfalls, high-wealth districts can often draw on additional, local revenue. Lower-wealth districts like Chelsea, however, are generally unable to do so and the consequence is that they spend less on resources that are critically important to the quality of education students receive.

“I do think there a lot of school systems in a financial crisis my expectation is that if this is not addressed in this legislative session we are going to have a lot of tough decisions to make like Brockton did where they had to lay off a significant amount of teachers,” said Ambrosino. “We are living in good economic times. State revenues have been running above estimates for quite some time so it’s time for the legislature to use this good fortune and make education a priority once again and invest in education. This is not easy and requires a lot of money so I don’t envy any legislators that have to work on this but budgets are all about priorities. A budget, simply put, is a policy statement on your (the legislation’s) priorities and the legislature once again has to make education a priority. If it doesn’t there will be too many ‘have nots’ in the Commonwealth once again.”

Estimates by lawmakers to fix the budget formula could be as high as $1 billion with Gov. Charlie Baker vowing to put forth his own proposal to fix the broken system after the House and Senate couldn’t agree on a solution last year.

However, Bourque said something has to be done and done soon because Chelsea is running a $7.4 million school budget gap between what the state covers for education and what the Chelsea School District is actually spending to educate students.

“Morally obligated to meet our students needs and provide for them so they can be successful and have futures,” said Bourque. “Sometimes, as a superintendent, I feel like we’ve been living on a ‘fixed budget’ since 1993 and that fixed income is not working. The result is that we are stretched too thin.”

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Chelsea Council Gets Back to Business for 2019 Session

Chelsea Council Gets Back to Business for 2019 Session

The City Council got back to business Monday night with a special organizational meeting and then quickly taking care of the new year’s first agenda items.

As expected, the Council approved a second term for Damali Vidot as council president. District 2 Councillor Luis Tejada was voted in as vice president, and Yamir Rodriguez as the Council’s delegate to the School Committee.

“I want to thank all my colleague’s for entrusting me with one more year as president,” said Vidot. She is the first female councillor to serve two back-to-back terms as council president.

Vidot said she is looking forward to a year of unity and respect on the council.

In other business, the Council unanimously approved funding for new contracts for the City’s two police unions.

The contracts include a retroactive salary increase of 2.5 percent for FY17 and 3 percent for FY18 and FY19. There is also a 3 percent increase slated for FY20 and an additional 1 percent increase that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The contract also implements residency requirements for all new hires for the Police Department.

Later in the meeting, the Council also approved an amended residency ordinance for all police, fire, and civil service employees.

The ordinance requires that all personnel who live in Chelsea at the time of the hire must maintain residency for five years from the date of hire. Personnel who do not live in the city at the time of hire have six months to relocate to Chelsea.

Councillor-At-Large Leo Robinson cast the lone vote against the amended ordinance, using the example of a child who might have to look after sick parents as a possible reason an employee may not be able to relocate.

•During the public speaking portion of the meeting, some familiar guests dropped in to say thank you to the Council.

Several members of the Chelsea High senior class thanked the council for its recent vote to fund a turf field cover to the tune of $170,000 for the new high school field.

With the field cover, the senior class and subsequent classes will be able to hold outdoor graduations.

“We’ve put so much hard work into this, and everything that has happened has been amazing,” said Senior Class President Jocelyn Poste.

Poste and several other seniors presented the Council with a signed letter in appreciation for their efforts. They also asked the council for their signatures on a proclamation documenting the students’ and the Council’s efforts to work together to make the turf field cover a reality.

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City Looks to Residents to Name, Define Neighborhoods

City Looks to Residents to Name, Define Neighborhoods

Ask 100 people where the Mill Hill neighborhood separates from the Mill Creek neighborhood and one would probably get 100 different answers.

Neighborhoods in Chelsea have been loosely defined for decades, with some not even named at all, but now Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney is looking to residents of Chelsea to define the City’s neighborhoods more precisely.

“It came up because City Planner Karl Allen has been working on a project by the Produce Center and he kept calling it West Chelsea,” she said. “Every time he did that, people would laugh at it. It brought up the question as to what do you call that area. It was the same thing for the Walnut Street Synagogue area. Then you have people talking about Prattville. We decided to try to figure out what you call the various neighborhoods of Chelsea.”

That started with a query of the Chel-Yea group last month, and during that event and with online follow ups, Graney said she got very impassioned responses.

People, she said, took it very seriously.

“Several people said everything was just Chelsea, but others had strong opinions about Admiral’s Hill and Prattville,” she said. “It has solicited a lot of interested conversations.”

Graney has produced a map with suggested boundaries and names. So far, they have included Prattville, Mayor’s Row, Chelsea High, Addison-Orange, Soldiers’ Home/Powderhorn Hill, Cary Square, Mill Creek, Mill Hill, Spencer Avenue, Eastern Ave Industrial Area, Box District, Bellingham Hill, Salt Piles, Waterfront, Downtown (including Chelsea Square and Bellingham Square), Williams School, Carter Park, Mystic Mall, Produce District and Admiral’s Hill.

It was difficult, she said, to find the real boundaries of the Soldiers’ Home neighborhood versus Cary Square, she said, and many said the Spencer Avenue area should be called Upper Broadway. Mill Creek, on the other hand, has been confused in some ways with the Parkway Plaza.

She said the exercise is one that moves beyond the fun of talking about it, and moving towards making it a place.

“The legacy of the fire in the Mystic Mall area sort of upended most boundaries there,” she said. “People are uncomfortable with the area beyond Carter Park and Chelsea High area. If it doesn’t have a name, it becomes this no man’s land. Naming a place has a power to it. I’m hoping people in these areas claim that power in that naming.”

Graney said they will continue to take input on the neighborhood boundaries, and will likely present something to the community in the near future.

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Chelsea Man Arrested after Leaving Two in Serious Condition

Chelsea Man Arrested after Leaving Two in Serious Condition

Police have arrested a 24-year-old Chelsea man in connection to a shooting and stabbing at 16 Pleasant St. early Saturday morning.

Hector Emilio Hernandez, was arrested on charges of attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm following the alleged attack, according to Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Revere police and emergency medical personnel responded to 16 Pleasant St. at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday to find a 27-year-old man from Chelsea apparently shot and a 23-year old man from Chelsea apparently stabbed. Both were hospitalized. State Police detectives were notified and the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit responded.

Hernandez is expected to be arraigned Monday in Chelsea District Court.

“The relationship between the parties involved remains under investigation, as do the circumstances surrounding the violent encounter,” Wark said in a statement.

Wark added that based on an investigation that continued through Saturday morning and into Saturday afternoon, troopers and officers developed information that the suspect may be in the area of Calumet Street in Revere.
Troopers and officers set up surveillance and observed a man matching the suspect’s description enter a residence on that street.

When police went to the house they observed the suspect exit a back door and try to climb a fence. He was caught and apprehended and transported to the State Police Barracks in Revere where he was booked on charges of attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Revere Police Criminal Investigation Division at 781-286-8340 or the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit at 617-727-8817.

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So Far….So Good

So Far….So Good

With the rush and hub-bub of the holiday season now over, we’ll all be settling in for another long New England winter.

Up to this point, we have been fortunate. We have yet to feel the wrath of any truly wintry weather. A cold day here or there — including a chilly Thanksgiving — has not been hard to take. Indeed, the temperatures have been quite moderate since the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21, with the New Year’s Day temperature rising into the mid-50s, making it quite a nice day for a walk or a run outside, despite the strong breeze.

However, we know that Mother Nature typically saves her best (or worst) for later in the season. In just the past few years, we had winter storm Nemo in February of 2013, the Snowmageddon winter of 2015 (in which there was no snow in December), and last year we had those crazy storms in early January and early March that knocked out power throughout the region and brought coastal flooding to places along our bayside areas that never had experienced it to that extent before.

The images of Boston Harbor flooding into the Seaport District and water pouring into the Aquarium T stop were something we never had seen in our entire lives as residents of this area — and that includes the Blizzard of ‘78 and the No Name Storm of 1991. The highest-ever high tide (exceeding the Blizzard of ‘78) and the third-highest tide in Boston Harbor were recorded in those two storms last year.

As we are writing this, the 10-day forecast is pretty nice, especially considering that it is the first part of January. However, the models for the long-range forecast indicate that February will be colder, snowier, and stormier than usual in our part of the country.

But as any longtime New Englander knows, all that we can do is to take winter one day at a time and be grateful for the nice days when we get them. When it comes to the weather, especially in this era of climate change, we are at the mercy of the vicissitudes of Mother Nature.

We can hope for the best, but we must expect the worst.

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Decision Delayed on Forbes Development

Decision Delayed on Forbes Development

Just as the Planning Board looked close to taking a vote on a major development plan for the Forbes site Tuesday night, Dec. 18, the attorney for developer YIHE asked the board to give his client another month to review potential changes to the project.

Paul Feldman, the attorney for the developer, requested a one-month continuance of the public hearing on the project after City officials, including City Manager Thomas Ambrosino, recommended decreasing the density of the residential units on the site.

Developers were seeking 630 studio, one-, and two-bedroom units in a mix of buildings on the property, along with 963 parking spots, and 20,000 sq. ft. of office, commercial, and retail space.

Chinese company YIHE purchased the 18-acre former Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing site, bordered by the Chelsea River and Mill Creek, in 2014 for just over $11.5 million. In 2015, the City rejected a far-reaching plan for the site that included skyscrapers more than 20 stories tall and more than 1.5 million square feet of residential and commercial development.

“The current proposal is more than half the size smaller than the one three years ago at 699,000 square feet,” said Feldman.

During a nearly three-hour public hearing Tuesday night, Ambrosino gave the project his qualified support, stating he approved of the developer’s plans to allow waterfront access to the public through a three-acre waterfront park. He also supported their willingness to work with the city on affordable housing levels and the plan to build 60 percent of the units as condominiums, dramatically helping to increase home-ownership levels in Chelsea.

“This is the first significant home ownership project to come to the city since I started here three-and-a-half years ago,” said Ambrosino.

However, the city manager said the project is too dense for the neighborhood, and asked the Planning Board to recommend to the Zoning Board of Appeals that the project be limited to 550 residential units. He also asked the ZBA to stipulate that 10 percent of the units in the project be set aside as affordable units at 50 percent of the annual median income.

“I advocate that outright denial would not be in the best interest of the city,” said Ambrosino. He noted that 630 units could be approved by right on the 18-acre parcel provided there were more parking spaces than the number proposed by YIHE.

During the public hearing, Feldman said the developer was willing to work with the city on affordable housing. With the recommendation to reduce the number of units, however, the attorney said his client would need more time to review the conditions.

“Given the enormous amount of information we have heard tonight, we do not want to be rushed,” said Feldman.

During the hearing, most of the questions from the board and the public revolved around some of the usual suspects with any large development — safety, traffic, and parking.

A good portion of the evening was dedicated to a traffic study conducted by the developer’s engineering firm.

Jeff Dirk of Vanasse and Associates said there would be a traffic impact from the 630 units, but that it would top out at about 200 vehicle trips during peak hours around 1 Forbes Street. He also noted that once traffic exited the development over one of two proposed new bridges to the site off Crescent Avenue, it would be dispersed throughout a number of thoroughfares throughout Chelsea, cutting down on overall congestion.

“It will be a relatively minor increase (in traffic) as you get away from the site,” said Dirk.

Feldman said the developers will work with the City to make infrastructure and traffic improvements in the area, including to Crescent Avenue itself. In addition, he said YIHE will work with the MBTA to improve public transportation to the site and the surrounding neighborhood.

While a dedicated bus stop is likely years away, Feldman said developers will provide a shuttle bus service to the nearest MBTA bus stops and the Silver Line for residents of the development and the neighborhood.

But some people Tuesday night, including District 3 City Councillor Joe Perlatonda, said the development team was painting too-rosy a picture of the traffic and parking impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.

“This is in my district and I am still not on board,” said Perlatonda.

As it stands, the councillor said pedestrians dodge traffic on Crescent Avenue, and backups in the area can be severe, particularly during school drop-off and pick-up hours.

“Parking is also a major concern, and I also don’t want to see a bus circling Carroll Street and Clinton Street,” he said. “I see there being a complete bottleneck.”

Several residents and Planning Board members were also concerned about the two new planned bridges, questioning if they were too close together in case of emergency.

Feldman said a wider bridge would be for vehicles and a narrower one would be primarily for pedestrians, but could be used for emergency access by the police and fire departments.

However, Planning Board member Gladys Vega said she was worried that there could be issues in an emergency because the bridges are essentially side by side, with no other access point to the development.

City Council President Damali Vidot raised concerns about the density of the project, as well as the lack of three-bedroom apartments in the initial plans.

“I do appreciate the 10 percent affordable housing at the lower annual median income, if the developer is willing to do it,” Vidot said. “But I do have an issue with (Feldman) minimizing the impact of the project on the community. This would be an increase in population of 2,000 people, or about five percent of the city’s population.”

The Planning Board will take up the public hearing on 1 Forbes St. at its January meeting.

Feldman said he will also be asking for a continuance from the ZBA, which needs to grant a special permit to allow for fewer parking spots than are required under zoning for the Waterfront District.

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Vidot to be Chosen as Council President for a Second Year

Vidot to be Chosen as Council President for a Second Year

Council President Damali Vidot has lined up the votes to be chosen as the Council President for a second year in a row, a rare move on a Council where most only serve for one year and pass it on.

“I’m excited to serve again and thank my colleagues for their confidence,” she said this week. “From what I’m hearing, it’s the first time a woman has served for two consecutive terms as Council President. I don’t have it all figured out, but I believe my colleagues trust my leadership and know I’m trying to do the right thing.”

Aside from Vidot, the vice president will be Luis Tejada and the School Committee liaison will be Yamir Rodriguez.

The Council in Chelsea doesn’t vote on its leadership positions until its first meeting in January. However, the Council does line up its votes and preferences in December. Rarely, if ever, does the vote change between December and January.

Vidot said one of her goals is to begin looking at the boards and commissions within the City, such as the License Board and Zoning Board.

“One of my goals is to better monitor these boards in the city, like the Traffic Commission and the ZBA,” she said. “I feel like at different levels these boards exist and that no one is in control. I’ve seen residents come up 100 percent against a project, and it goes through anyway. These are things we really need to look at to make sure we’re all on the same page. It feels like we’re all running in different directions now.”

Additionally, Vidot said she hoped to foster a good working relationship between councillors in the coming year.

“I take a lot of pride in being able to work with all the different councillors,” she said. “I want to make sure we’re all working together and doing the best we can…There are so many different needs. You take a councillor like Bob Bishop from Prattville and a Councillor like Enio Lopez from District 4 and their needs in those districts are so different, but I look forward to being able to work together to address each of them equally.”

The Council has yet to set a date for its first meeting and its organizational meeting for election of officers, but it is expected to be on Jan. 7.

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Council Passes Plastic Bag Ban, to Go into Effect December 2019

Council Passes Plastic Bag Ban, to Go into Effect December 2019

When Chelsea residents go shopping for the holidays next year, they will have to either bring their own bags or pay a dime for a heavy-duty plastic bag.

Monday night, the City Council approved an anticipated single-use plastic bag ban in the city. The ban goes into effect one year from the Dec. 17 vote.

The proposal has been discussed in committee and meetings on the ban have been held with local businesses, but the issue was not listed on Monday night’s agenda.

District 4 Councillor Enio Lopez made the motion to take the ban out of conference committee and have it voted on by the full Council. Lopez noted that single-use plastic bags are bad for the environment and are also a constant source of litter around the city.

“This is a great idea and it is in our power to do it,” said Council President Damali Vidot. “I think small businesses will be able to adjust to the change.”

District 1 Councillor Robert Bishop said he initially had some mixed feelings about the proposed ban, but said he was swayed by Sunday night’s ‘60 Minutes’ segment on the environmental dangers of plastic.

“I think plastic will kill us all if we keep going the way we are going,” said Bishop. While Bishop said plastic bags are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the dangers of plastic, banning plastic bags is a start.

District 3 Councillor Joe Perlatonda voted for the ban, but said he did have some concerns about the cost to consumers and businesses. While single-use plastic bags will be banned, consumers will be able to purchase sturdier, multi-use plastic bags for 10 cents.

Councillor-At-Large Leo Robinson shared some of Perlatonda’s concerns and recommended the proposal be kept in committee, giving local businesses more time for input.

But the majority of the Council favored taking action Monday night.

“There have been other cities that have implemented this, and you can see a huge difference in the streets,” said District 2 Councillor Luis Tejada.

The one year time-frame before the ban goes into effect will give the City time to do outreach to local businesses, and give the businesses time to go through any existing stock of plastic bags.

The ban passed with a 10-1 vote, with District 8 Councillor Calvin Brown casting the lone vote against it.

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Council Rejects Silber Center School Bus Traffic Plan

Council Rejects Silber Center School Bus Traffic Plan

Monday night, City Councilors rejected a plan that would dramatically impact traffic and parking around the John Silber Early Learning Center on Hawthorne Street.

The recommendations from the Traffic and Parking Commission, based on a request from School Facilities Director Joseph Cooney III, sought to block traffic from Congress Avenue and Hawthorne Street, only allowing bus access to Hawthorne Street during the hours of 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. and to move a school bus lane from Shurtleff Street to Hawthorne Street. Cooney also requested a painted “Buses Only” parking area in front of the school on Hawthorne Street and to change the existing language on the signs to “No Parking, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., School Buses Only.”

Several councillors said they were dismayed by the effect the changes would have for residents in the area, and also said they thought the Council should have had more of a say in the proposed changes.

“Why take away all of the parking for the whole day?” asked District 6 Councillor Giovanni Recupero. “You can’t just say we are going to do this and this is what it is. What’s going to happen to the people who live there?”

Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda echoed Recupero’s concerns.

“Reading this, it is a major change and there has not been the outreach this deserves,” he said.

Many major details were missing from the proposal, Avellaneda added, including what would happen with parking when school is not in session. He said it would have been preferable if school officials had met with councillors before making the recommendations.

“I know that behind this, the intent is the safety of school children,” Avellaneda said. “But I don’t think this has been fully vetted or thought out.”

  • In other business Monday night, the Council unanimously approved spending $170,000 for a turf field cover at the new Chelsea High School field. This cover will allow for outdoor activities on the field, including high school graduation.

For the past several meetings, Chelsea High students have organized and spoken out in favor of the proposal.

With the vote taken, several councillors praised the students for the role they played in making the request a reality.

“I’ve never seen a group impact the Council on an issue as much as you guys,” said District 2 Councillor Luis Tejada. “Keep up the good work and know that this is the way to get things done in life.”

  • The Council also approved a request by Council President Damali Vidot to place signs at five locations around the city where Chelsea police officers have been killed in the line of duty over the past 150 years.
  • In other parking and traffic related news, District 5 Councillor Judith Garcia announced that Fire Chief Leonard Albanese rescinded a request to change the traffic flow on Chestnut Street.

A petition from St. Stanislaus Church with dozens of signatures stated that the temporary change of direction on the street had been detrimental to the day-to-day business operations of the Parish rectory and created multiple hardships for parishioners and others in the area.

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