WORCESTER — City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. has made the first appointments to the newly created Worcester Ballpark Commission to oversee Polar Park.
In a communication to the council ahead of Tuesday evening's City Council meeting, Augustus announced he has appointed seven residents to the commission: former City Solicitor David Moore, John Harrity, the Rev. Jose Perez, Moses Dixon, Meg Mulhern, Charran Fisher and Thomas Maloney.
Maloney is the designated labor representative; Dixon ran for the 17th Worcester district state representative in 2016 and currently serves as executive director and CEO of the Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging.
Fisher is president of Fisher Contracting Corp., and Harrity is president of Harrity Appliance and has served on the School Committee, the City Council and the Civic Center Commission.
Mulhern helped run District 1 Councilor Sean Rose's recent reelection campaign and has served as a parks commissioner. She is a sales and engineering director with International Ceramic Engineering Inc.
Perez is pastor at Rock of Salvation Church on Main Street.
Augustus is also asking the council to release deed restrictions in place for the property at 51 Gage St., a school building currently occupied by Learning First Charter Public School. Learning First purchased the former St. Mary's School and will be relocating.
Peter Dunn, the city's chief development officer, explained in a communication that African Community Education has a purchase and sale agreement with Learning First for the Gage Street property, but needs the council to release deed restrictions related to use of the property as a school, requirements about the selection of students, and approval by the city of any sale of the property. The city sold the property for use as a charter school in 1996.
Council orders are relatively light. At-large Councilor Kathleen Toomey is asking the city manager to work with the Fire Department to get confirmation from the manufacturers of firefighters' turnout gear that there are no toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in the gear. The chemicals are used to make fabrics water resistant.
District 1 Councilor Sean Rose is asking the city manager to explore the possibility of updates to the handball courts at Green Hill Park.
District 3 Councilor George Russell is asking the city to work with the state to install a lighted crosswalk system on Route 20, near the Auburn town line, in the area where there have been multiple pedestrian deaths including the most recent death Oct. 27 when a 66-year-old man was struck while crossing in the area of 557 Southwest Cutoff.
Precinct map approved
In a communication to the council, City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli notes that the city's new 60-precinct map has been approved by the state Local Election District Review Commission.
Because the state and local maps did not quite line up perfectly, there will be two split districts for state elections moving forward. Vangjeli said Ward 7 Precinct 5 and Ward 4 Precinct 2 will each be split in two for state elections.
Ward 7 Precinct 5A voters will vote in the 6th state Senate district, and voters in Ward 7 Precinct 5B will vote in the 8th state Senate district.
Voters in Ward 4 Precinct 2A will vote in the 9th state Senate district, while voters in Ward 4 Precinct 2B will vote in the 8th state Senate district, Vangjeli told the council.
There are several citizen petitions on Tuesday's agenda. Nicole Apostola is asking that election results by ward and precinct, and including registered voter numbers, be made available in the city's open data portal.
A group of school cafeteria workers is requesting a portion of the city's American Rescue Plan Act funding be given to the cafeteria workers who worked through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jones Appiah is petitioning the council to formalize the year-round use of the Worcester Common Oval for activities like in-line skating, roller skating and skateboarding.
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Ballpark commission, split precinct Tuesday council agenda Worcester