June 29, 2009 City Council Agenda Highlights
This is the last City Council meeting before the summer break. (The next meetings will be on July 27 and Sept 14.) Significant agenda items include:
City Mgr’s Agenda #4: A Planning Board recommendation on the Vehicle-sharing Parking Facilities Petition (which today means ZipCar but which could involve other companies in the future).
City Mgr’s Agenda #6: A proposed Home Rule Petition to be submitted to the State Legislature entitled “An Act Relative to the Provision of Services to the City of Cambridge by the Cambridge Energy Alliance”. [Follow the link for the complete text of the Home Rule Petition.]
On the Table #2: That the City Manager is requested to make available adequate funds to the City Council so that the City Council can hire its own legal expert to review relevant issues in pending litigation.
This matter is still not resolved and this could be taken from the table and taken up if there are five votes to do it (and there won’t be further discussion about it – except on the campaign trail – until the next meeting at the end of July).
Order #2. That the City Council go on record requesting that the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy maintain the existing State laws governing cable licensing, which adequately protect cities and towns, residents of the Commonwealth by defeating House Bill No.3765 and Senate Bill No.1531, An Act Promoting Consumer Choice and Competition. Councillor Davis
This Order would oppose a bill promoted by Verizon that aims to minimize the cable licensing process and, some would argue, give Verizon a competitive advantage over Comcast. The current process now obliges Comcast to provide funding for local cable access provider CCTV, and its Executive Director Susan Fleischmann has been making the case that Verizon should have to fulfill similar obligations. Lest anyone try to portray Verizon as the bad guy and Comcast as the good guy, it’s worth noting that Comcast just sent out a letter to its analog cable customers informing them that their service is about to be “enhanced” to the “World of More.” What Comcast means by the “World of More” is that analog cable customers will be seeing their cable TV bills quadruple this October or else have most of their stations disappear when Comcast will eliminate its analog cable option. Comcast has mastered Orwellian language. They actually say they will enhance your cable TV package by eliminating service and dramatically increasing the cost of service. Welcome to the World of More. – Robert Winters