Video: Special City Council Meeting of 9/24/09; Landfill Expansion; Heavy Public Uses; Clips: Tacy, Odgers, Bessette, Foxmyn, Susco

Here is a complete video of the 9/24/09 special meeting of Northampton’s City Council. This video is 1 hour 25 minutes long and was recorded by Mimi Odgers of Water Not Waste.

Below is the official agenda followed by YouTube clips from the meeting. You may download PDFs of the proposed ballot question (21KB), the ordinance change sponsored by Ward 4 City Councilor David Narkewicz (204KB), and the ordinance change sponsored by the Planning Board (85KB). The council declined to take action on any of these proposals (see news accounts below).

Ward 7 City Council Candidate Gene Tacy
Citizens sometimes can’t get just compensation for damage caused by potholes, sewage and similar claims because current city requirements get in the way. Separately, the finance committee was unaware that the city has been collecting marijuana fines this year, $8,000 to date.

Mimi Odgers, Landfill Neighbor
Presents amended zoning protest petition (see the original petition). “Our petition will require that the council must have a…three-fourths majority to pass the zoning ordinance change [enabling landfill expansion].” Odgers objects to the council’s proposed ballot question as confusing and unnecessary since citizens have already placed a landfill expansion question on the ballot.

Dr. Jo-Anne Bessette, Landfill Neighbor
Objects to the proposed ballot question as biased. A new, more rigorous landfill air monitoring study is in the works–the council should wait for it before making decisions. Public comment procedures need reform, need to be more flexible.

Wendy Foxmyn, Member of the Best Practices Committee
Council should “delay no further and call a special meeting as promised–seven months ago–to review and discuss [the Best Practices Committee’s] recommendations.” This will help address concerns about public comments and how the city resolves problems.

Steve Susco, Bridge Road
“…regarding my not so great behavior last week, I offer an apology.” [See background on Mr. Susco’s sewage-backup problem at Northampton Redoubt.]

See also:

Gazette: “Council ditches landfill question; Consensus fails on referendum” (9/25/09)
After dissent from within its own ranks and from residents Thursday night, the City Council decided not to sponsor a nonbinding referendum question about the city’s proposed landfill expansion on the Nov. 3 ballot.

That means voters will weigh in on just one advisory question, written by a group of residents who live near the landfill on Glendale Road. That question asks: “Shall the City of Northampton expand the Northampton landfill over the Barnes Aquifer?”

…The vote to table was 6-1, with at large City Councilor James M. Dostal voting in the minority. Ward 5 City Councilor David A. Murphy was absent.

The ordinance amendments, meanwhile, were tabled because Narkewicz and others couldn’t hammer out a change that would allow them to discuss landfill expansion without leaving the decision to the Planning Board or weakening the rules all applicants must follow.

The vote to table was 6-1, with Spector voting against.

Gazette: “Resident apologizes for irate speech at Northampton council” (9/26/09)
“I tend to be a passionate man, from my petunias to my politics. I apologize for last week,” Steven Susco, of 754 Bridge Road, said at the council meeting.

Susco, however, said he believes city officials should spend less effort on monitoring the length of citizens’ speeches and more time listening. He often speaks to the council about a long-standing issue involving sewer water that’s been backing up into his home…

Eugene Tacy, of 158 N. Maple St., said he sympathized with Susco’s predicament. He said last week’s incident might have been avoided if city officials had done a better job responding to his complaints.

Video: City Council Meeting of 9/17/09; Special Clips: Susco/Higgins/Bardsley, LaBarge/Spector