Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

October 18, 2017

2017 Cambridge City Council Campaign Bank Reports

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,campaign finance,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 1:14 am

The following table shows the summary bank reports for 2017 Cambridge City Council candidates. You can sort by any of the fields shown by clicking on the field name – one click ascending and second click descending.

CandidateFromToStartReceiptsExpendBalanceAs Of
Benjamin, Ronald01/01/1710/15/17$9.00$1,141.56$1,145.31$5.2510/16/17
Burgin, Josh06/16/1710/15/17$0.00$17,720.76$14,417.98$3,302.7810/16/17
Carlone, Dennis01/01/1709/30/17$17,827.87$23,177.96$15,128.81$25,877.0210/05/17
D'Ambrosio, Olivia01/01/1710/15/17$122.75$6,275.31$4,849.63$1,548.4310/16/17
Devereux, Jan01/01/1710/15/17$8,715.10$50,485.11$30,588.46$28,611.7510/16/17
Gebru, Sam01/01/1710/15/17$0.00$50,978.50$46,605.35$4,373.1510/16/17
Harding, Richard07/01/1710/15/17$1,961.06$25,049.97$6,136.18$20,874.8510/17/17
Kelley, Craig01/01/1709/30/17$2,231.84$13,819.55$8,102.03$7,949.3610/02/17
Lenke, Dan08/16/1710/15/17$0.00$1,030.00$920.00$110.0010/16/17
Levy, Ilan07/16/1710/15/17$0.00$2,972.37$1,706.97$1,265.4010/16/17
Mallon, Alanna01/01/1710/15/17$100.00$49,461.18$29,946.54$19,614.6410/16/17
McGovern, Marc01/01/1710/15/17$14,966.66$55,027.63$46,588.27$23,406.0210/17/17
Moree, Gregg07/06/1707/06/17$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.0007/06/17
Musgrave, Adriane05/16/1710/15/17$0.00$32,473.65$10,212.02$22,261.6310/16/17
Okamoto, Nadya03/16/1710/15/17$0.00$9,177.95$3,414.01$5,763.9410/17/17
Pillai, Hari07/24/1707/24/17$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.0007/24/17
Santos, Jeffrey06/07/1710/15/17$0.00$8,570.20$8,152.71$417.4910/16/17
Siddiqui, Sumbul02/16/1710/15/17$0.00$40,529.60$19,509.10$21,020.5010/16/17
Simmons, Denise01/01/1709/30/17$10,179.79$42,540.59$22,878.29$29,842.0910/02/17
Sivongxay, Vatsady01/01/1710/15/17$0.00$31,526.78$22,734.90$8,791.8810/16/17
Sutton, Bryan06/16/1710/15/17$0.00$1,125.28$920.56$204.7210/16/17
Tierney, Sean02/01/1710/15/17$0.00$28,925.29$17,175.02$11,750.2710/17/17
Toner, Paul02/16/1709/30/17$0.00$62,389.25$35,153.01$27,236.2410/05/17
Toomey, Tim01/01/1710/15/17$4,069.67$49,395.80$18,704.56$34,760.9110/16/17
Volmar, Gwen06/09/1710/15/17$0.00$12,698.58$6,995.26$5,703.3210/16/17
Zondervan, Quinton01/01/1710/15/17$3,510.00$40,685.07$38,739.90$5,455.1710/16/17
2017 City Council Bank Reports (updated Oct 18, 2017 at 1:14am)

Campaign Finance Reports – 2017 City Council (updated Oct 18, 1:14am)

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2017 City Council Campaign Receipts and Expenditures

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,campaign finance,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 12:57 am

The following table shows the total campaign receipts and expenditures for 2017 Cambridge City Council candidates. You can sort by any of the fields shown by clicking on the field name – one click ascending and second click descending.

CandidateIDReceiptsCambridge% CambridgeExpenditures (to Oct 17)
Devereux, Jan16062$49,149.50$43,858.5089.2%$30,754.71
D'Ambrosio, Olivia16520$6,250.00$5,500.0088.0%$4,849.63
Kelley, Craig14104$16,409.00$13,110.0079.9%$10,282.50
Carlone, Dennis15680$25,426.93$19,750.0077.7%$15,128.81
Musgrave, Adriane16657$33,731.89$25,860.0076.7%$10,212.02
Levy, Ilan16173$3,085.00$2,350.0076.2%$1,706.97
Harding, Richard16737$12,897.47$8,890.0068.9%$6,136.18
McGovern, Marc15589$59,463.51$38,256.1964.3%$46,588.27
Mallon, Alanna16530$44,286.18$27,413.0061.9%$31,585.66
Burgin, Josh16709$18,175.28$10,989.5260.5%$14,872.50
Zondervan, Quinton16516$34,019.64$20,314.8659.7%$38,739.90
Sutton, Bryan16713$1,210.23$634.9552.5%$1,005.51
Siddiqui, Sumbul16556$40,654.60$19,800.0048.7%$19,509.10
Benjamin, Ronald16493$1,010.55$470.0046.5%$1,145.31
Simmons, Denise13783$54,163.00$24,537.0045.3%$22,878.29
Tierney, Sean16559$28,975.29$12,850.0044.3%$18,925.02
Toner, Paul16576$70,105.11$30,625.0043.7%$49,537.35
Toomey, Tim12222$49,395.80$20,194.9340.9%$20,564.56
Volmar, Gwen16691$13,107.58$4,545.9434.7%$7,404.26
Santos, Jeffrey16686$5,001.61$1,466.6129.3%$8,259.32
Gebru, Samuel16531$51,856.00$14,348.0027.7%$46,867.29
Sivongxay, Vatsady16528$31,526.78$7,220.0022.9%$22,734.90
Okamoto, Nadya16596$8,538.99$510.006.0%$3,414.01
Lenke, Dan16771$0.00$0.00-$920.00
Moree, Gregg14683$0.00$0.00-$0.00
Pillai, Hari16770$0.00$0.00-$0.00
2017 City Council Campaign Receipts and Expenditures (last updated Oct 18, 2017 at 12:40am)

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October 17, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 263-264: Oct 17, 2017

Episode 263 – Cambridge InsideOut: Oct 17, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Oct 17, 2017 at 5:30pm. Guest: David Weinstein, candidate for Cambridge School Committee. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

David Weinstein’s Candidate Page


Episode 264 – Cambridge InsideOut: Oct 17, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Oct 17, 2017 at 6:00pm. Guest: Elechi Kadete, candidate for Cambridge School Committee. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

Elechi Kadete’s Candidate Page

[Materials used in these episodes]

October 16, 2017

Notable Items on the Oct 16, 2017 City Council Agenda

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 1:11 am

Notable Items on the Oct 16, 2017 City Council Agenda

Harvard Square - from an American Splendor story by Harvey PekarThe posted agenda is relatively light, but there may be more to come from MIT on the Volpe Petition which must be ordained no later than Oct 31. The items I found at least a bit interesting were:

Manager’s Agenda #11. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-78, regarding a Police Substation in Central Square.

It seems pretty clear that the Police Commissioner understands the need for police presence in Central Square. The issue is whether this is best accomplished with a fixed structure (whether it be a storefront or a stand-alone structure) or a more mobile presence. We should see a more detailed plan within the next several months.

Manager’s Agenda #18. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-80, regarding a report on the Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Study.

Just some good information about what’s underway regarding open space. If, in addition, plans for the Volpe Center parcel proceed as proposed, the whole Kendall Square area will one day be dramatically improved and better connected. Better sooner than later.

Manager’s Agenda #21. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the City Council’s draft Guiding Principles and Goals developed with the assistance of Big Sky Blue Consulting over the course of three public goal setting meetings held during this term.

I have to admit that I don’t put a whole lot of stock in these goal-setting processes, but it is interesting to see what the Council comes up with as a snapshot of current sentiments. The devil is usually in the details, and goal statements are generally light on the details.

Unfinished Business #7. An amendment to the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge by adding a new Section 13.90 to Article 13.000 and amend the Zoning Map to add new PUD-7 District. The question comes on passing to be ordained on or after Oct 16, 2017. Planning Board hearings held July 25, 2017 and Sept 12, 2017. Petition expires Oct 31, 2017.

There have been some indications that MIT may come forward at this meeting with some commitments and timelines – possibly including greater details on its current and future plans for greater on-campus housing options for graduate students and other affiliates. The expiration date of this zoning petition is October 31 and there are just two more regular Council meetings before then (Oct 23 and Oct 30) [corrected]. An additional Ordinance Committee meeting on this topic has been scheduled for Tues, Oct 17 at 2:30pm.

Order #7. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the Community Development Department, the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department, the Department of Public Works, and the Arts Council regarding the feasibility of implementing neighborways on certain streets in Cambridge, propose two streets to pilot as neighborways, and create a process by which a group of residents can request that their street be considered as future neighborways.   Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone

This sounds interesting, but a few specific illustrations would be helpful. Just think how things might have played out if Cambridge Street residents and businesses were allowed to participate in a process like this instead of the "take it or leave it" approach the City took in reconfiguring that street with no real public process.

Order #8. The City Manager is requested to consult with relevant City staff to propose immediate and forward-looking measures to improve and prioritize conservation of Cambridge’s tree canopy before the Urban Forest Master Plan is in place.   Councillor Devereux

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk transmitting a report from Councillor Jan Devereux, Chair of the Health and Environment Committee for a public hearing held on Sept 26, 2017 to follow up on Policy Order #2 of June 20, 2016 to discuss the City’s Tree Protection Ordinance and possible ways to improve this ordinance to protect the tree canopy while protecting individual property rights.

We all love trees, right? One assumption that seems to run through this report is that tree removal on a neighboring property is something neighbors necessary oppose, but there are cases where a resident may actually want a neighboring property owner to remove a tree. I happen to be one of those residents. If neighbors mutually agree that a tree should be removed would any of the proposed ordinances stand in the way of this? – Robert Winters

October 15, 2017

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (October 15, 2017)

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 9:42 am

Member Sought for Cambridge Planning Board Vacancy

City SealOct 4, 2017 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Planning Board. Planning Board members must be residents of the city; and women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Cambridge Planning Board plays a significant role in planning for the future of the city and oversees its development and growth as prescribed by zoning. The Planning Board serves a quasi-judicial role as the special permit granting authority for certain types of development proposals, especially large projects. In evaluating special permits on behalf of the city, the board conducts public hearings and votes on the project based on the proposal’s conformance with the provisions of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance. The board also makes policy recommendations to the City Council about proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, and engages in general planning efforts related to land use and development within the city. The work involves reviewing and commenting on building and site plans, planning and engineering studies, and zoning documents.

The Planning Board meets approximately three times each month. Meetings take place on Tuesday evenings, each lasting approximately 3-4 hours. Meetings are open to the public and are video and audio recorded. As part of their time commitment, board members are expected to review application and petition materials prior to each meeting. Materials typically include development plans, impact studies, narrative descriptions, provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, information from city departments, written comments from the public, and other documents. The board typically reviews 1-3 major cases at each meeting. Occasionally, representatives of the Planning Board may be appointed to other city committees and working groups.

Ideal candidates would possess the ability to participate in a collaborative process, work with other Board members to consider diverse ideas, and reach a decision. Members should also have strong attentiveness and listening skills. While there is no requirement for a technical background, interest and understanding of development, architecture, urban design, and zoning is desirable.

Interested persons should submit a resume and a brief letter to City Manager DePasquale describing their interest. Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply and finding “Planning Board” in the list of Current Vacancies. A cover letter and résumé or summary of applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, November 13, 2017.


Members Sought for Cambridge Peace Commission

City SealSept 22, 2017 – City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking individuals interested in serving on the Cambridge Peace Commission. Composed of up to 20 members who serve three-year terms and represent the socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic diversity of the city, the Peace Commission meets on the third Wednesday of most months at 6 p.m., at 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor Conference Room, Cambridge. Prospective members must reside in Cambridge.

Commission members are volunteers appointed by the City Manager and work with the staff in fulfilling the mission of the Peace Commission and in accomplishing its goals. Members are expected to attend regular meetings, participate in organizing the Commission’s events and activities, and do some work outside of Commission meetings. Members are encouraged to learn about the day-to-day work and projects of the staff, and offer advice and viewpoints that reflect the Commission’s mission and role within city government.

As a department of the City of Cambridge, the Peace Commission works with other municipal agencies, communities of faith, nonprofit organizations, and the wider community to build connections and strengthen relationships, and to promote positive dialogue and foster understanding. The Commission fosters a community where differences and diversity are understood and celebrated, so that all residents can contribute to making Cambridge an equitable and peaceful community. It pays special attention to traumatic events and violence affecting Cambridge and its residents, and coordinates and supports compassionate community responses to support recovery and healing.

The Commission supports Cambridge’s Sister City relationships, including those with: Les Cayes, Haiti; San José Las Flores, El Salvador; and Yerevan, Armenia. It also celebrates Cambridge residents and local efforts with recognition programs and events, and raises awareness about local and global peace and social justice issues through educational forums, discussions, and presentations. For more information about the Peace Commission, visit: www.cambridgema.gov/peace.

Individuals interested in being considered can submit a cover letter, résumé or summary of applicable experience using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, Oct. 23, 2017.


Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities Vacancies

City SealSept 8, 2017 – Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) advisory board.

Made up of 11 members who serve three-year terms in a volunteer capacity, the CCPD board meets on the second Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. CCPD seeks to build a membership that reflects the cultural and racial diversity of the city, is cross-disability in nature and representative of the different geographical areas of the community. Members must be current residents of Cambridge.

CCPD works dynamically to maximize access to all aspects of Cambridge community life for individuals with disabilities, and strives to raise awareness of disability matters, to eliminate discrimination, and to promote equal opportunity for people with all types of disabilities – physical, mental and sensory. CCPD members are expected to work with other members and CCPD staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the CCPD Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.96). CCPD members are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in subcommittees, and work on various short and/or long-term projects, as needed.

For more information, contact Kate Thurman, Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities at ccpd@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4692 (voice) or 617-492-0235 (TTY).

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resumé or summary of relevant experience and the kinds of disability-related issues or projects that interest them can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, Oct 23, 2017.

October 10, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 261-262: Oct 10, 2017

Episode 261 – Cambridge InsideOut: Oct 10, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Oct 10, 2017 at 5:30pm. Guest: Jake Crutchfield, Cambridge School committee candidate. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

Jake Crutchfield’s Candidate Page


Episode 262 – Cambridge InsideOut: Oct 10, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Oct 10, 2017 at 6:00pm. Guest: Josh Burgin, Cambridge City Council candidate. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

Josh Burgin’s Candidate Page

[Materials used in these episodes]

October 3, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 259-260: Oct 3, 2017

Episode 259 – Cambridge InsideOut: Oct 3, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Oct 3, 2017 at 5:30pm. Guest: Manny Lusardi, Liaison for Immigrant Affairs (Vice-Mayor’s Office). Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]


Episode 260 – Cambridge InsideOut: Oct 3, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Oct 3, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topics: Elections, Harvard Square, Volpe Petition, property taxes. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

October 1, 2017

Preview of Oct 2, 2017 Cambridge City Council meeting

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , , , — Robert Winters @ 11:43 pm

Preview of Oct 2, 2017 Cambridge City Council meeting

City HallHere are the choice items on this week’s menu:

Manager’s Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the votes necessary to seek approval from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue of the tax rate for FY2018. [Tax Rate Letter]

Highlights: The FY18 property tax levy is $389,080,359, an increase of $16,406,272 or 4.4% from FY17. The 4.4% property tax levy increase is below the FY17 increase of 5.1%, and slightly above the fiveyear annual average (FY14-FY18) increase of 4.19%. With approval of the recommendations, the ten-year annual average (FY09-FY18) increase will be 4.85%. The FY18 residential tax rate will be $6.29 per thousand dollars of value, subject to Department of Revenue approval. This is a decrease of $0.20, or -3.1% from FY17. The commercial tax rate will be $14.81, which is a decrease of $1.31, or -8.1% from FY17. In FY18, commercial property owners will pay 65.4% of the property tax levy, the same share as in FY17. Consequently, residential property owners’ share of the FY18 tax levy is 34.6%, also the same as in FY17.

Based on the FY18 property assessment, total residential property values increased by 7.87%. Total commercial property values increased by 14.36%. The median percentage tax increases for residential properties will be 2.8% for single-family homes, 5.2% for condominiums, 0.7% for two-family properties, and 1.1% for three-family properties. For FY18, the total assessed value of taxable property in the City equals $43,619,137,030 a 10.1% increase over FY17 values.

Manager’s Agenda #4. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-66, regarding additional information requested on a Grand Junction Overlay District.

This responds to a City Council request last week for additional information. We first suggested the use of this RR corridor as a bicycle/pedestrian connection in 1999 when I served on the Green Ribbon Open Space Committee. Back then I saw it primarily as a way of providing direct access to the open space and fields of Magazine Beach for the people of East Cambridge. My view now is that this would also make housing options in East Somerville and Allston more attractive for MIT students and staff and for people who work in Kendall Square and along the corridor. I really hope this becomes a reality within the next few years.

Manager’s Agenda #5. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to adopt the MIT Volpe PUD-7 Zoning Petition with suggested changes. [Letter][Revised Petition][Redlined Petition]

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Leland Cheung, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Sept 13, 2017 to continue discussion on a zoning petition by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create a new Planned Unit Development Overlay District (PUD-7) over the area known as the Volpe National Transportation Center site in Kendall Square.

I am cautiously optimistic that we may see ordination of some amended form of this zoning proposal before the expiration date at the end of October. Much depends on what commitments MIT is willing to make in the weeks before ordination (independent of the disproportionate demands of the Smith, et al. petition re: graduate student housing). This really could become a great space, and I hope the planners can find room for some fun attractions, e.g. a batting cage where people can take a few swings.

Applications & Petitions #2. A Zoning Petition has been received from Peter Kroon, et al., transmitting a proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance that would amend the Harvard Square Overlay District.

Read the petition and draw your own conclusions, but my read of this petition is that it wants to bring some of the best features of the recently ordained Central Square Restoration Petition up to Harvard Square, e.g. the transition from regulating "fast food" to instead regulating "formula businesses". It also prioritizes housing in the upper floors of any taller new buildings. (Don’t worry, there’s no towers expected anytime soon.)

Resolution #11. Congratulations to the Central Square Business Association for a successful Dumpling Fest and Central Flea.   Mayor Simmons

Special thanks go to Michael Monastime, the new Wizard of Central Square, for pulling off one of the biggest daytime attractions Central Square has seen in years.

Resolution #12. Congratulations on Bill Cavellini, Bernard LaCasse and the Cambridge Arts Council on a successful restoration of the "Beat the Belt" Mural.   Mayor Simmons

I wish I could have attended the dedication. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who helped.

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with appropriate City departments with the view in mind of implementing systems in Harvard Square.   Mayor Simmons, Councillor Cheung

The order contains a generally good list of suggestions for transportation and public amenities in the Harvard Square area. I hope that the inclusion of more bicycle lanes doesn’t translate into additional mistakes like the Brattle Street Lanes of Confusion.

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested, in as timely manner as possible, to determine if Cambridge can legally assist DACA beneficiaries by collecting donations from individuals and organizations. Managing and dispersing such raised donations on a reimbursement basis to Cambridge DACA beneficiaries.   Vice Mayor McGovern, Mayor Simmons

Cambridge works with plenty of nonprofits and religious entities that can provide the suggested services without running afoul of any state laws.

Order #8. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department to create a volunteer bike registry program that can accept donations that will go to fund environmentally friendly projects in the City.   Councillor Toomey

I would register my bike in a heartbeat and agree to adhere to any and all traffic laws. (I already do.) That said, I don’t know that we would see much tangible benefit from such a voluntary program. If it could convince more cyclists to take more seriously their responsibilities as road users perhaps there might be some marginal benefit.

Order #10. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the appropriate City departments to determine the feasibility of subsidizing the rate of the “100% Green” option in the Cambridge Community Electricity Program to ease any financial burden that residents who want to use entirely renewable energy may feel when purchasing, using existing income thresholds such as the Fuel Assistance Program.   Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone, Vice Mayor McGovern

This is a very slippery slope. Relatively few residents opted into the more expensive “100% Green” option because people generally make rational economic choices. Just because City officials feel that choosing this option is a worthy goal doesn’t mean that taxpayers should be subsidizing it. Buying groceries from the local market may be a worthy goal in support of local businesses, but many of us will still do much of our shopping at Costco and Market Basket. Should taxpayers pick up the difference if we do all our shopping locally? I don’t think so. – Robert Winters

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