Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

March 26, 2012

Ins and Outs – Monday, Mar 26 City Council meeting and other news

Filed under: 2012 election,City Council,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 12:05 am

Ins and Outs – Monday, Mar 26 City Council meeting and other news

Though there is a City Council meeting this week, all the really interesting stuff happened at last week’s meeting and in the days that followed. The Biggest Item by far was last week’s Order relating to the extension of the City Manager’s contract through June 2013 coupled with Bob Healy’s statement that he would retire at the end of the contract. As if one major retirement wasn’t enough, State Representative Alice Wolf announced on Thursday that she would not seek reelection this Fall. As expected, City Councillor Marjorie Decker then announced her candidacy for the seat now occupied by State Rep. Wolf. Others may yet toss their hats into the ring for the Democratic Primary in September and there’s a decent chance that there may even be a challenger in the November General Election.

Meanwhile at this week’s City Council meeting, there are a few interesting agenda items:

Manager’s Agenda #10. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appointment of Larry Ward as an Election Commissioner for term of four years, effective Apr 1, 2012, in accordance with Chapter 239 of the Acts of 1921 as amended.

The Manager had a tough choice between nominees Tom Stohlman and Larry Ward. I suppose it didn’t hurt that Councillors Reeves and Simmons were actively supporting Larry Ward (who will be a fabulous election commissioner). If there’s an opening on the Planning Board anytime soon, I hope Tom Stohlman is interested. Even better, let’s hope Tom runs for City Council again and wins.

Charter Right #1. That the City Manager is requested to instruct the Board of Zoning Appeal to restart the process of the Dunkin Donuts cafe/coffee shop at 1678 Massachusetts Avenue. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Toomey on Order Number Seventeen of Mar 19, 2012.]

The discussion on this at the end of the March 19 City Council meeting illuminated the kind of elitism of which Cantabigians are often accused. If this was yet another yuppie café there would be no objections. (The site is next door to the Evergood Market.) Think of the bright side, folks. With a donut shop, you’ll have plenty of police protection. (I know I’ll get grief for that….)

Applications & Petitions #6. A zoning petition has been received from Zevart M. Hollisian, Trustee of Garabed B. Hollisian Trust and L-Z Realty Trust and Seth D. Alexander, President, MIT Investment Management Company, requesting the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance by extending the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District from Green Street out to Massachusetts Avenue in the area adjacent to Blanche Street; said parcel to be developed by Forest City.

The Forest City/University Park zoning petition returns. This would alter the zoning in the area bounded on three sides by Green Street, Blanche Street, and Mass. Ave. easterly to the former Cambridgeport Saloon (even more formerly Fathers Four) to extend the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District (CRDD) to include this block. The 7-page petition is here:

Resolution #1. Congratulations to Mayor Emeritus Walter J. Sullivan and Marion Sullivan as they prepare to celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary on July 22, 2012.   Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey

Yes, indeed – wonderful people with a marvelous extended family.

Resolution #3. Urge residents to be cognizant of the beginning of street cleaning which commences the first week of April.   Councillor Toomey

No parking on the odd side of the street or your car will be tagged and towed. Street Cleaning. No parking on the odd side of the street or your car will be tagged and towed. Street Cleaning. No parking on the odd side of the street or your car will be tagged and towed. Street Cleaning…..

Resolution #7. Thanks to State Representative Alice Wolf for her years of service to the citizens of Cambridge.   Mayor Davis, Councillor Toomey, Councillor vanBeuzekom

Absolutely, yet I couldn’t help but notice that Marjorie Decker wasn’t listed as a cosponsor. Perhaps she was busy…..

It never ceases to amaze me how much the Democratic Party in Massachusetts abhors contested elections within its own party. This was the case when Marjorie Decker challenged Paul Demakis in 2002 and all the party regulars recoiled in horror. It makes you wonder what will happen if another Democratic hat comes flying into the ring for Wolf’s seat. Meanwhile, in the other House and Senate Cambridge districts, all we hear are crickets. – Robert Winters

March 22, 2012

Marjorie Decker to Seek Wolf Seat

Filed under: 2012 election,elections — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 7:25 am

Marjorie Decker to Seek Wolf Seat (Mar 22, 2012):

Dear Friends,

After speaking with State Representative Alice Wolf about her decision to not seek re-election this fall, I have decided to run for State Representative in the 25th Middlesex District. This district includes parts of neighborhoods encompassing West, North, Riverside and mid-Cambridge including the Aggasiz neighborhood. It is my honor and privilege to pursue the opportunity to represent the people of Cambridge in the Legislature.

No one can fill Alice’s shoes, but I assuredly share her values and those of the people of Cambridge. If elected, I will continue to work hard every day to live up to the standard of excellence in public service that she has set.

I look forward to the opportunity to continue my work on early childhood education, strengthening the economy to help create new jobs, expanding health care to make it more affordable, and working to expand a green legislative agenda that is rooted in the preservation of future generations to come. I look forward to talking with voters about the issues they deeply care about at the local and state level.

I want to thank Representative Wolf for her work on behalf of families across the Commonwealth and, most importantly, right here in Cambridge. It has been an honor to know and work with Alice since her days as the Mayor of Cambridge, when I was a student at CRLS, and later as her campaign manager and Legislative aide. Her tireless efforts and enduring optimism that we can and must do better for ourselves and each other have inspired and mentored me over the years.

I look forward to meeting with and listening to the concerns of Cambridge voters from across the 25th Middlesex District in the coming weeks and months. This is sure to be a spirited election year with so many important issues at stake. I hope to earn the opportunity to represent the values and ideals of the people of Cambridge on Beacon Hill.


Marjorie Decker

March 21, 2012

Alice Wolf will not seek reelection in 2012

Filed under: 2012 election,elections — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 9:50 pm

This just in from Rep. Alice Wolf (Wed, Mar 21, 2012):

Dear Friend,

I want to let you know, personally, before you hear it through the grapevine that I will announce tomorrow that I am not running for reelection in November. I thank you for your support, friendship, interest in the community and political action over the years.

While I don’t, yet, have specific plans for my next venture, I know it will involve continuing to advance the progressive causes and values that have been the hallmark of my career and our work together.

While I’m making those plans, I won’t drop the ball in the House. My term continues until the end of the year and I plan to continue to work on my current legislative agenda and to represent my constituents as vigorously as I have for the past 16 years.

In those years in the House, I have been the leader on many issues, such as:

Creating the Department of Early Education and Care – to work toward universal access to high quality programs for all young children – especially those at risk.

Creating the special education circuit breaker to assist school systems by providing funds for programs for kids with substantial special needs.

Making gay marriage a reality in Massachusetts, continuing many years of advocacy for civil rights and for the GLBT community.

Passing legislation to keep homes in expiring use housing affordable – a 14-years effort. The first homes saved under this law are in a building at the corner of University Road and Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge – a project just recently completed.

Thank you for your part in enabling me to serve. I hope you feel I have represented you well. I look forward to continuing our work together to strive to make Cambridge and all of Massachusetts a fair, humane, sustainable place to live.

Sincerely yours,


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