Mayor Burke signing the Community Compact with Lieutenant Governor Polito
Mayor Stephanie M. Burke is marking her first 100 days in office by releasing her report on the progress made toward accomplishing her initiatives she outlined at the beginning of the administration. The Mayor and her administration are focused on multiple key areas — economic development, public safety, revitalization of our squares, utilizing our open spaces and enhancing communication throughout the community for a more positive experience.
The Community Compact
The City of Medford pledges to adopt best practices that focus on infrastructure, complete streets and financial systems integration. The administration remains focused on keeping the citizens of Medford safe and proud of the community we live, work, study and play in. Here is some additional information on these practices:
- Infrastructure: We are thrilled that the Commonwealth is providing $40k in grant money for MAPC staff to assist the City in preparing an actionable economic revitalization strategy for Medford Square.
- Complete Streets: Complete Streets will play a vital role in designing future road projects in Medford.
- Financial Systems Integration: The Commonwealth is providing funding for a consultant to explore a single financial system which will lead to operating efficiencies and ultimately a transparent open checkbook for the public. As the City’s prior budget director, Mayor Burke can speak directly about the positive impact this will have on both our school and city financial departments.
The Commonwealth will work with the City of Medford as a partner in implementing these best practices, including prioritizing technical assistance when that is needed to accomplish execution of a new best practice.
The administration has partnered with SeeClickFix to implement a new platform that will allow citizens to report quality-of-life issues and request City of Medford services. The SeeClickFix mobile app and web tools allow Medford citizens to provide the City staff with pictures, videos, specific descriptions, and more valuable information needed to get the job done efficiently. To date, we have received 209 requests and closed out 94 issues since going live on March 30th.
In addition, the SeeClickFix platform provides City officials with a centralized issue management system to manage issues from creation to resolution — engaging Medford citizens throughout the process.
City Hall Parking
Mayor Burke implemented visitor parking in front of City Hall for convenient access to the building. Visitor parking improves accessibility for citizens to attend meetings and engage in business within City Hall. There is a two hour limit on the designated visitor spots.
Our transition teams is composed of three subcommittees: Business and Economic Development, Cultural Affairs and Recreation and Constituent Services. Each subcommittee has spent countless hours meeting with businesses, community groups and constituents to gain insight and feedback on different areas of the City.
The Business and Economic Development group has focused on ways to assist existing businesses, engage with new businesses and promote the city to surrounding communities and institutions. The subcommittee remains focused on city processes, organization and infrastructure to consider the changes needed within our community. This actionable report will be issued shortly.
The Cultural Affairs and Recreation subcommittee has identified ways in which the administration can highlight Medford’s diverse community, arts and cultural opportunities as well as promote activities available for residents throughout the City.
Over the past few months the Constituent Services subcommittee has held three public meetings and gathered information from citizens about services received from municipal government and collected feedback on how services could be improved. The report, survey results and citizen feedback provided by this subcommittee, help to indentify how citizens currently receive information and their preferred communication methods.
The success of the subcommittees and commitment from civic leaders within each team has provided the administration with greater insight in essential areas of the City moving forward.
All items noted will be monitored and followed up on. Reports can be found at http://www.medfordma.org/mayor/transition-team/
First and foremost, our Police Department, Fire Department, Board of Health and many groups focused around pedestrian and public safety within the community have played a pivotal role in the first one hundred days of the Mayor’s tenure.
Working together to address the opiod overdose crisis, the Board of Health, the Police Department and Fire Department jointly acquired a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on February 1st supporting the administration of Naloxone (Narcan). 26 Narcan doses were successfully administered already in 2016. The grant also supplied Naloxone Administration and Overdose Education Materials to aid in the opioid crisis.
Additionally, the Board of Health, School Department, Police Department and Fire Department continue efforts to address the opioid overdose crisis by producing, publishing and delivering information on how to get help after an overdose as well as reaching out to help those affected. We are also working diligently to educate all and end the stigma associated with addiction.
Moreover, the Medford Police Department in partnership with the Board of Health is working on an early intervention program (ASAP – Alcohol and Substance Alternative Program) for those caught using substances. This program will provide an education on substance abuse and address those who need treatment resources for on-going help. The Office of the Prevention Coordinator is currently promoting this program during roll call briefings at the start of Medford Police department shifts.
The administration has recently sworn in four new Medford Police Officers, designing a new locker-room space for female officers and are requesting through civil service three additional officers.
In addition, the Medford Fire Department contract was ratified thru June 2017. There is now narcan on all of the fire trucks which many communities are using to help combat the state’s raging opiate epidemic. Narcan can bring a person suffering from an opiate overdose back to consciousness.
Also, we are in the process of offering “conditional letters of appointment” for 10 additional firefighters.
Our administration remains invested in academic programs throughout the community. We continue to strive for improved recreational space, competitive athletic programs and educational opportunities for all.
- A letter of intent for Vocational School Improvements has been prepared for submission to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
- We have taken necessary measures to secure all access doors at Medford High School.
- The administration has appointed Barbara Kerr as the Director of the Medford Public Library.
- In the first quarter of 2016 we received $353,732.58 in tax title and tax deferral payments. ($210,371.17 in taxes and $143,361.41 in interest).
- In its mission to facilitate the creation of affordable housing, the City of Medford is supporting non-profit housing developer Medford Community Housing with $150,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds toward the purchase of a two-family home located at 705-707 Fellsway West in Medford.
- The acquisition and rehabilitation of this property will result in two affordable rental opportunities for families at or below 60% of the Area Median Income.
- The project is also made possible with $447,966.00 in North Suburban Consortium HOME funds and $110,000 in private financing. In the recent past, the City has collaborated with Medford Community Housing on the creation of affordable rental units at 297 Main Street and 61 Boston Avenue.
- We commend Medford Community Housing in their efforts to expand affordable housing and will continue to work with community partners to maximize opportunities that improve quality of life for low income Medford residents.
- We have walked Medford’s squares with department heads and discussed potential improvements and necessary changes to further develop our community.
- Our administration remains present and vocal in Green Line Extension meetings with MassDOT and other municipalities as we continue to support the positive impact the Green Line Extension project has on the City.
- Currently, there are several tennis courts and basketball courts undergoing renovations at Morrison Park, Dugger Park, Harris Park, Victory and Playstead Park.
- By working with the Engineering & Police Department, we have ordered a traffic study on Salem Street Spring Street Playstead Road High Street Harvard Street and Main Street to make necessary road improvements.
- A free cash appropriation of $281,888 was approved by the City Council for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (referred to as SCBA) for all firefighters in the City. The current equipment used by the Fire Department can no longer be tested for safety and is therefore in need of replacement. The SCBA is comprised of oxygen tanks, breathing masks, and related equipment, that allow firefighters to enter fires and other environments where extremely toxic chemicals are present and in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere.
- The SCBA also protects firefighters in the event that contaminant presence or concentration are not known. The Fire Chief has applied for a grant to cover up to 90% of the cost of the SCBA. The City will be informed of the amount granted in the fall of 2016. At that time, any grant funds will reimburse the free cash account and the monies will become available to appropriate for another purpose.
- Implementation of work off abatement program, where citizens can receive up to $1000 abatement on their Real Estate Taxes
- Ward meetings to review and implement strategies to augment City Services.
- Connectivity and accessibility along the Mystic River for walking paths and utilizing open space
- Updates to the outside and physical structure of City Hall
Letter from Mayor BurkeView Fullscreen