Boston's city clerk may no longer privately collect fees for performing marriages while on the city's dime.
The City Council voted unanimously today to reform how and when the clerk may collect such fees and where the money will go. There will be four changes:
- The new rules state that a clerk may perform marriages for no more than three hours four days a week. Those regular hours are 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with provisions for emergencies.
- It will cost couples $15 to get married in City Hall; the money will go to city coffers.
- The clerk will need to keep a public record of how many marriages city officials are performing.
- Marriages may not be performed outside City Hall by City Hall employees on workdays.
. In Boston, the City Clerk has a salary of $102,000 but can earn tens of thousands more a year performing marriages.
In other news:
- The council referred the mayor's new $2.4 billion 2013 budget to the Committee on Ways and Means. Councilor Charles Yancey (D4) said that it looks better than previous drafts have because it does not call for the closure of schools or community centers.
- Councilor Tito Jackson (D7) and At-Large Councilor John R. Connolly requested a hearing to examine the inclusion of African-American history into the core curriculum in Boston public schools. "It is so important for our young people to understand where and whence they come from so that they have a foundation to build on," Jackson said. The request was supported by the council.
- Connolly asked for a hearing for parents and community leaders to talk about the impact of two years without a teachers' contract. "We need to be thinking about children and families first. that's why I want to convene this hearing," he said of the impact the impasse has had on students.
- Yancey requesting a hearing for explanation of risks that may result from novel virus research, such as combining viruses in new ways, at Boston University’s South End Biolab. The request was sent to committee.
- A capital expenditure of $19.1 million was approved for the renovation of Charlestown High School.