By SCOTT JACKSON
Three members of the Quincy City Council on Monday will introduce a resolution asking Mayor Thomas Koch to appropriate $75,000 to the Department of Social Justice and Equity.
Councillors will convene Monday at 6:30 p.m. for their first regular meeting of their new two-year term. The meeting will be conducted via Zoom and will air live on QATV. For those wishing to log into the meeting via the Zoom app, the meeting ID is 829 3518 7103 and the passcode is Gk2USd. The meeting can also be accessed by phone by calling 929-436-2866, entering the same meeting ID and the passcode 481351.
During the meeting, Councillors Brian Palmucci, William Harris and Anne Mahoney will introduce a resolution asking Koch to appropriate $75,000 to the Department of Social Justice and Equity.
Last January, councillors approved an ordinance creating the new department. As established by the ordinance, the department would consist of a single employee, a director, who would be tasked to, “create equity and inclusion among all populations in Quincy.”
Koch did not set aside funding for the new department in the budget he submitted for the current fiscal year that began in July 2021. The budget does include a position for a diversity and inclusion officer within the mayor’s office, but that position was not assigned a salary.
While he did not fund the new Department of Social Justice and Equity, Koch last summer established a nine-member commission on diversity, inclusion and equity.
In a separate resolution that will be introduced on Monday, Palmucci and Councillors Noel DiBona and Nina Liang will ask the Koch administration and the city’s development partners for an update on the revitalization efforts in Quincy Center. As part of the resolution, they are also seeking on the urban revitalization development plan for Quincy Center, the master planning document for the downtown district.
In addition to those two items, Mahoney will introduce a resolution asking the mayor to set aside $60,000 to allow city councillors to hire their own outside legal counsel as they see fit. Councillors unanimously approved a similar resolution – introduced by Mahoney and Palmucci – in November. Chris Walker, Koch’s chief of staff, told councillors at that time the mayor was unlikely to grant that request.
Three items submitted to councillors during their prior term, which were not approved before the end of that term in December, will be resubmitted Monday evening. They include Koch’s proposed urban redevelopment plan for Wollaston Center; an amendment to the zoning code concerning lot coverage, sponsored by the mayor and Ward 1 Councillor David McCarthy; and McCarthy’s proposal to rezone several areas within Houghs Neck from Business B to Residence A.