Different Department heads joined and welcomed Oscar Montes, La Ceiba’s Environmental Director. The Mayor of Somerville and Nancy Martin from USAID were also present on the first day. Our meetings throughout the week involved many different departmental staff from the City of Somerville. The listened to La Ceiba's most pressing climate issues such as flooding and waste water management. Rob King, from the Department of Capital Projects and Planning showed us the City's plan to enhance their water collection systems to avoid flooding and other waste water infrastructural upgrades.
Welcome meeting with the Mayor of Somerville. On the picture are Oscar Montes, La Ceiba’s Environmental Director, Irma Flores, from the City of Somerville, who helped us with the translation, Nancy Martin, from USAID and various City staff.
The delegation had the chance to sit-in on a couple of regularly scheduled performance management 30-minute sessions for Inspectional Services and Recreation. The Department of Permitting and Inspections recently implemented a software system that allow inspectors to quickly verify compliance. Goran Smiljic, the Departmental head, is proud of this system. It also allows them to feed data into statistical reports which are then manage and utilized by SomerStat, one of Somerville's highlights, housed under the Mayor's office of innovation and analytics with a focus on data for performance management.
Visit to Greentown Labs, the country’s largest clean tech incubator. It was exciting for the team to learn about so many different innovations and the level of collaboration that takes place under one roof.
The team La Ceiba - Somerville on our way to an interview for Somerville's Spanish-language TV program with Hispanic news media (SomerViva)
Visiting parks that incorporate small-scale flood control systems
As a result of a week packed with meetings and activities the team decided on 4 themes to tackle during the workshop that will be held on the week of the 3rd trip to La Ceiba. A workshop will be held during which La Ceiba and Somerville’s technical teams will present together to the City Council and other relevant stakeholders. The themes decided on are: Land Use Planning, Storm water infrastructure, Community Engagement, Political and Regional Leadership, and City Management. Mayor Curtatone of Somerville will most likely participate in the coming exchange.