Somerville Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz, who chairs the Board of Aldermen's legislative matters committee that's currently drafting an ordinance to regulate food trucks in the city, spoke about the effort on the Sept. 18 episode of "Greater Somerville."
The committee has been working on the ordinance for about seven months, and Gewirtz was relatively candid when talking about the direction the draft ordinance has taken.
Many aldermen, for instance, want a pilot program for food trucks, but Gewirtz questioned that concept.
"The Board of Aldermen is going to look at every [food truck] application, so what does a pilot program mean?" she asked on the show.
"We crafted an ordinance which allows the Board of Aldermen to take into account every possible scenario of welfare and convenience to the city," she said.
She also said that some people in many of the city's different squares all want to be part of pilot programs, and starting a program in one square might leave others out.
On the idea that food truck operators undergo criminal offender record information (CORI) checks, Gewirtz said the committee was looking into that requirement.
Gewirtz didn't seen to think CORI checks are necessary, and she said, chuckling, "I don't understand why we're getting CORI checks from a guy who wants to have a falafel food truck or sell Chinese food."
"There are people who feel that's important, so as chair of the committee, I will, of course, we'll hear it, we'll take it into account, we'll see if that's something that makes sense."
She added, "I think we have to be cautious that we're not putting regulations on certain businesses ... that we're not applying to everybody. And how do you singal out certain businesses for these sorts of things ... where does it end?"
Another guest on the show, Christine Liu, online managing editor of America's Test Kitchen, said debates about food trucks are taking place in other communities in the area, including Boston.
A supporter of food trucks, Liu said, "The appetite for cool ideas and cool food in Somerville has come to an all-time high."