Since taking office in January 2014, the council has begun working on some of the issues that I talked about on the campaign. As of April, we have passed zoning changes that will now allow bakeries and delicatessens in business zoned areas by right. We have passed a new sign ordinance that hopefully will improve the look of our Downtown. In addition at our last meeting we had a first reading on a new and improved parking ordinance for restaurants.
Hopefully, this month (April) we will finish up on my ordinance change on Fuel Storage Permits. This change will put this issue back with the professionals on the Fire Department and out of the City Council. The passage of this change will remove one more obstacle that has discouraged good development in our city. It will also free up valuable time that the City Council can spend on issues that we need to address.
In March, I put in two new resolutions. The first was to make the installation of Wi-Fi in Government Center a priority. This basic service is available at most donut shops for all to use. Unfortunately, if you work or are doing business at Government Center you have to pay for a personal hot spot if you want to be part of the twenty-first century.
The other resolution was to ask for a list of every non- government entity that uses space in a city owned building and the terms of their lease. I also asked for the procedures used to advertise and to choose who gets the space. At the present time nobody that I have talked to seems to have a list of this information. If we are going to be so deeply involved in the real estate business, the taxpayers of Waltham need to know that we are doing it in a professional manner.
Please check back for future updates, and watch for my monthly guest column in the Waltham News Tribune.