The Mayor’s Morning Briefing: Happy New Year!

I want to send each of you my best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year!

City Hall will close at 12 p.m. today and will reopen at 8:30 on Wednesday, January 2.

DPW
This is a red recycle week.
Christmas trees will be picked up curbside beginning today. Please remove all ornaments, tinsel, plastic bags, and lights before leaving the tree at the curb.
There will be no trash or recycling pickup on Tuesday, January 1, 2013, and all curbside pickups will be delayed by one day from the usual schedule for the remainder of the week.
Crews are continuing to clean up after the weekend storm.

Library
Food for Fines: During the month of December, please help A Servant’s Heart Food Pantry by returning your overdue items along with a nonperishable donation and your fines will be forgiven.
Holiday Hours: The library will close at 1 p.m. Monday, December 31, and will be closed on Tuesday, January 1, for New Year’s Day.
January 23, 10 a.m., Children’s Story Time registration. Parents may register by phone (781-665-2314) or in person. Story Time is for children ages 3 and 4 (must be 3 by Feb. 1) and includes songs, finger plays, and a craft and lasts approximately 45 minutes. For more information, check the library website or pick up a brochure at the library.
January 26, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., MPL Lego Construction Company. No registration necessary.
January 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Music, Movement, and Mother Goose, Children’s Room
January 29, 10:15 a.m., Rockin’ Babies and Boppin’ Toddlers (10:15-11 a.m., Boppin’ Toddlers, for children 9-18 months; 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m., Rockin’ Babies, for children 0-9 months)
January 29, 3-5 p.m., Paper Quilling for Children. Hands-on paper quilling workshop for third graders and up. Children will take home a finished project. Space is limited so please register in the Children’s Room beginning on January 7.
January 31, 3-4 p.m., Snack Pack Book Discussion Group for children in grades 4 and 5. Check at the Children’s Room for the book; snacks will be provided.

Events
January 11, 10 a.m., Kids Club, Memorial Hall

Meetings
January 9, 7:45 p.m., Board of Appeals, Aldermanic Chamber
January 14, 8 p.m., Planning Board, 160 Green St. Public Hearing

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The Mayor’s Morning Briefing: December 27, 2012

DPW
This is a green recycle week.
Trash and recycling pickups are delayed by one day because of the Christmas holiday.
Yard waste can be dropped off at 72 Tremont St. from Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Christmas trees will be picked up curbside beginning Monday, December 31. Please remove all ornaments, tinsel, plastic bags, and lights before leaving the tree at the curb.

Library
Food for Fines: During the month of December, please help A Servant’s Heart Food Pantry by returning your overdue items along with a nonperishable donation and your fines will be forgiven.
Holiday Hours: The library will close at 1 p.m. Monday, December 31, and will be closed on Tuesday, January 1, for New Year’s Day.
December 27, 2 p.m., MPL Snack Pack Vacation Week Special. Children in fourth and fifth grades are invited to drop in to discuss the book of the month. This month’s selection is The Borrowers, by Mary Norton, and a movie will be shown at this special event. Snacks will be served. Registration is not required and new members are always welcome.
December 29, 10 a.m., Lego Construction Club. Registration is not required; drop in and bring a friend!

Meetings
January 9, 7:45 p.m., Board of Appeals, Aldermanic Chamber
January 14, 8 p.m., Planning Board, 160 Green St. Public Hearing

The Mayor’s Morning Briefing: Holiday Hours

City Hall will close at 12:30 on Friday and will reopen at 8 a.m. Wednesday, December 26.

There will be no trash or recycling pickup on Tuesday, and all pickups will be delayed by one day for the rest of the week.

The City Yard will be open on Monday, December 24, from 7 to 11 a.m., closed on December 25, and open Wednesday through Friday during regular hours, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Merry Christmas!

DPW
This is a red recycle week.
Yard waste can be dropped off at 72 Tremont St. from Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Christmas trees will be picked up curbside beginning Monday, December 31. Please remove all ornaments, tinsel, plastic bags, and lights before leaving the tree at the curb.

Library
Food for Fines: During the month of December, please help A Servant’s Heart Food Pantry by returning your overdue items along with a nonperishable donation and your fines will be forgiven.
Holiday Hours: The library will be closed on Monday, December 24, and Tuesday, December 25, and will reopen at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 26. The library will close at 1 p.m. Monday, December 31, and will be closed on Tuesday, January 1, for New Year’s Day.
December 20, 7 p.m., MPL Book Group. The adult book club at the MPL will discuss John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas and watch a feature film based on the book. Bring a gaudy (or nice) ornament for a swap. Stop by the circulation desk or call 781-665-2313 to pick up a copy of the book.
December 27, 2 p.m., MPL Snack Pack Vacation Week Special. Children in fourth and fifth grades are invited to drop in to discuss the book of the month. This month’s selection is The Borrowers, by Mary Norton, and a movie will be shown at this special event. Snacks will be served. Registration is not required and new members are always welcome.
December 29, 10 a.m., Lego Construction Club. Registration is not required; drop in and bring a friend!

Meetings
December 20, 7:30 p.m., Conservation Commission, Mayor’s Conference Room
January 9, 7:45 p.m., Board of Appeals, Aldermanic Chamber

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

This week, I formally signed on to Boston Mayor Tom Menino and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition.

Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Menino are two of the nation’s true great Mayors. They believe fervently that due to the dysfunction in Washington, Mayors must rise up and lead this call for change on guns and other issues important to our citizens.

I had a conference call with representatives from the organization and agreed to sign a letter calling on President Barack Obama to put forward a strong agenda before Congress that would include

  • Requiring every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check;
  • Getting high-capacity rifles and ammunition magazines off the streets;
  • Making gun trafficking a federal crime.

In addition, we are asking the Obama administration to take steps directly to

  • Appoint a director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which has not had a confirmed director for over six years;
  • Require federal agencies to report records to NICS;
  • Prosecute people who are banned from buying guns or ammunition but attempt to do so anyway;
  • Repeal the remaining Tiahrt restrictions, which limit access to federal gun data.

I signed off on the letter and will be working with the group to help coordinate communications in Massachusetts. Mayor Menino and Mayor Bloomberg feel it is important to have Mayors of cities like Melrose on board since Newtown is very similar to Melrose. This is not just an urban, “big city” issue but an issue for all American cities.

A copy of the full letter is below.

Continue reading “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”

The Mayor’s Morning Briefing: Go Green for the Holidays

If you’re interested in helping Melrose do a better job of recycling, stop by the Recycling Committee’s meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at the Melrose Public Library. And be sure to check out our recycling coordinator Jesse Schmitt’s tips on reducing waste over the holidays.

DPW
This is a red recycle week.
Yard waste can be dropped off at 72 Tremont St. from Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Christmas trees will be picked up curbside beginning Monday, December 31. Please remove all ornaments, tinsel, plastic bags, and lights before leaving the tree at the curb.

Library
Food for Fines: During the month of December, please help A Servant’s Heart Food Pantry by returning your overdue items along with a nonperishable donation and your fines will be forgiven.
Holiday Hours: The library will be closed on Monday, December 24, and Tuesday, December 25, and will reopen at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 26. The library will close at 1 p.m. Monday, December 31, and will be closed on Tuesday, January 1, for New Year’s Day.
December 20, 7 p.m., MPL Book Group. The adult book club at the MPL will discuss John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas and watch a feature film based on the book. Bring a gaudy (or nice) ornament for a swap. Stop by the circulation desk or call 781-665-2313 to pick up a copy of the book.
December 27, 2 p.m., MPL Snack Pack Vacation Week Special. Children in fourth and fifth grades are invited to drop in to discuss the book of the month. This month’s selection is The Borrowers, by Mary Norton, and a movie will be shown at this special event. Snacks will be served. Registration is not required and new members are always welcome.
December 29, 10 a.m., Lego Construction Club. Registration is not required; drop in and bring a friend!

Meetings
December 19, 7 p.m., Recycling Committee, Melrose Public Library
December 20, 9:30 a.m., Council on Aging, Milano Senior Center
December 20, 7:30 p.m., Conservation Commission, Mayor’s Conference Room
January 9, 7:45 p.m., Board of Appeals, Aldermanic Chamber

The Mayor’s Morning Briefing: December 18, 2012

DPW
This is a red recycle week.
Yard waste can be dropped off at 72 Tremont St. from Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Christmas trees will be picked up curbside beginning Monday, December 31. Please remove all ornaments, tinsel, plastic bags, and lights before leaving the tree at the curb.

Library
Food for Fines: During the month of December, please help A Servant’s Heart Food Pantry by returning your overdue items along with a nonperishable donation and your fines will be forgiven.
Holiday Hours: The library will be closed on Monday, December 24, and Tuesday, December 25, and will reopen at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 26. The library will close at 1 p.m. Monday, December 31, and will be closed on Tuesday, January 1, for New Year’s Day.
December 20, 7 p.m., MPL Book Group. The adult book club at the MPL will discuss John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas and watch a feature film based on the book. Bring a gaudy (or nice) ornament for a swap. Stop by the circulation desk or call 781-665-2313 to pick up a copy of the book.
December 27, 2 p.m., MPL Snack Pack Vacation Week Special. Children in fourth and fifth grades are invited to drop in to discuss the book of the month. This month’s selection is The Borrowers, by Mary Norton, and a movie will be shown at this special event. Snacks will be served. Registration is not required and new members are always welcome.
December 29, 10 a.m., Lego Construction Club. Registration is not required; drop in and bring a friend!

Milano Senior Center
Holiday Hours: The Milano Senior Center will be closed on Monday, December 24, and Tuesday, December 25.
December 18, 12-2 p.m., Special Holiday Lunch, featuring a special holiday meal and entertainment by the Melrose High School Chorus Group. A $1 donation is requested. Call 781-662-6886 to make a reservation.

Meetings
December 20, 9:30 a.m., Council on Aging, Milano Senior Center
December 17, 7:45 p.m., Board of Aldermen, Aldermanic Chamber

Letter to Parents

Here is the text of a letter that was sent to the families of all Melrose Public Schools students.

December 17, 2012

Dear Parents,

We know you share our shock and deep sadness regarding the events that unfolded this weekend in Newtown, Connecticut. In many ways, Newtown looks very similar to Melrose: Small neighborhood schools, a close, tight-knit community, and an environment where people feel safe every day. It is fair to say that they will never, as a community, completely recover from this tragic event, and I think it is fair to say that the nation shares in their grief and pain.

However, it is important for you to know first and foremost that every employee, every administrator that is employed by the City of Melrose, has dedicated their professional life to helping ensure that people are safe, be it children, the elderly, or people in our business districts and our neighborhoods. Every employee of the City of Melrose plays a role in enhancing safety and quality of life for all individuals.

Please be assured that on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis, we train, prepare for, and review policies and procedures and action plans, to ensure, in the case of any emergency, that we are ready to address it in the best possible way. Although we review continuously, this morning we started the day by coming together to take a different look at how we ensure safety for every child that you drop off to go to class or to a sporting event, a fine arts concert, or an afterschool program. We consider those children our children and prepare for their safety as you would prepare in your own home.

Some examples of our preparedness:

  1. The Melrose Fire Department and the Captain dedicated to school safety evaluate and make necessary adjustments to evacuation plans at all schools, including outside gathering places and dealing with the needs of disabled or special education students. They work closely with the principal of each school. Each party signs off on the evacuation plans, and these plans are practiced during the school year, with children and teachers.
  2. Our Police Department is trained to deal with emergency situations involving our schools and children. They work as part of consortium of law enforcement agencies, Northeast Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC), which is the regional emergency response team that supports local police departments in situations such as school threats, missing children, or violent incidents. There is a response team of NEMLEC, called School Threat Assessment Response System (STARS), which is specifically dedicated to working with local school districts during emergency situations. It is important to know they are not simply called during these emergencies but train year round and constantly evaluate best practices throughout the region to ensure they are ready for any contingency. Our police department works very closely with them, and our Chief is the Assistant Control Chief to NEMLEC STARS.
  3. Our Health Department is trained to deal with emergencies that may include contamination, medical crises, or infection.
  4. Communication systems have been set up over previous years, from Connect Ed to Code Red to use of public access television, to provide ongoing, up-to-date information to parents and caregivers, as well as the community as a whole.
  5. Our Police Department and Fire Department work with the School Department to prepare lockdown drills, which are practiced yearly in our schools.
  6. Buzzer systems with video monitors are active and in place in all of our schools.
  7. Identification badges are given to all personnel, and visitors are asked to sign in and out when they enter a school.
  8. Additional plans are developed for students with disabilities that may need special attention in any situation.
  9. Classroom educators participate in drills with their students.

I think we all must acknowledge that today begins a new day in how we look at safety and procedures regarding our schools, no different than after September 11 or Columbine. It is unfortunate but true that tragic events such as these emphasize how important it is for every employee and every parent to follow and administer policies and procedures that make us safer. You are our most important partners in ensuring school safety. We are continuing to dedicate our lives to making sure that you and your family are safe. These are very difficult times for our country, but we feel confident that as we continue to be vigilant, and continue our strong training and preparedness, Melrose will remain the safe community it is today.

Thank you for your continued support.

Robert J. Dolan, Mayor
Cyndy Taymore, Superintendent of Schools
Fire Chief Christopher Leary
Police Chief Michael Lyle

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