Writing on the Hall: Votes and Carts | Local News

So much happened at this week’s Board of Aldermen meeting that I almost forgot some of the tidbits I decided to save for this week’s column.

While City Clerk Henry Heck sailed through unanimously and Recreation Superintendent Kim Peters won approval 10-1, the vote for City Attorney Matt Bloomer was five in favor and six against. It takes a seven-vote supermajority for the board to reject a mayoral nomination, so Bloomer was confirmed. Two years go, Bloomer’s confirmation was unanimous.

Board President Matthew Whitcomb said later in the week that some board members have expressed dissatisfaction with Bloomer’s use of outside lawyers on various issues, and that he also thinks some board members don’t fully understand how much Bloomer does.

Deja Vu

Shopping carts are back on the city agenda.

The proliferation of carts abandoned in residential neighborhoods consumed what seemed like a massive amount of the Board of Aldermen’s time back in the ’00s. Mayor David Allaire said Monday that the problem was again rearing its handlebar.

“Shopping carts are becoming, once again, an unacceptable issue in the city,” he said. “It’s making the city look awful. … We are coming up on the spring, the snow is gone — it’s just unacceptable.”

Allaire said he had met with the management of Price Chopper and Walmart and that Price Chopper had collected at least 80 of its carts in the past week or so.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten the same response from Walmart,” Allaire said.

Allaire said the shopping cart ordinance passed by the board years ago lacks “any teeth” and he would like to revisit the issue.

Alderwoman Sharon Davis, who herself brought the issue up a few weeks ago, said they always seem to pop up in the same location on Park Street.

“I know some folks have a difficult time,” she said. “I think there’s got to be some education as well for those folks about these carts.”


Monday, the Board of Aldermen will hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. to hear a presentation from Heartland Communities of America. Heartland, you may recall, is the company seeking to buy the former College of St. Joseph campus from Heritage Family Credit Union and turn it into an assisted-living facility in a $50 million project.

The Finance Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to review the city audit.

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