Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

November 6, 2016

On the Eve of Celebration or Disaster – Nov 7, 2016 Cambridge City Council Agenda highlights

Filed under: 2016 election,Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 9:30 pm

On the Eve of Celebration or Disaster – Nov 7, 2016 Cambridge City Council Agenda highlights

Question?With the Presidential election looming, it feels almost like the early 1960s when many people believed that nuclear annihilation was a real possibility. In contrast, the kerfuffles and excesses of the little fish in our City Council pond seem almost quaint. Here are a few items to distract you from the national picture:

Manager’s Agenda #10. A communication transmitted from Lisa C. Peterson, Acting City Manager, requesting the City Council accept Chapter 218 of the Acts of 2016, “An Act Modernizing Municipal Finance and Government”, Sections 193 and 194 giving municipalities the authority to reduce speed limits on all ways other than state highways.

You may recall that not long ago the City Council hastily voted to reduce the speed limit to 20mph citywide. This led to a thoughtful response from the Dept. of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation recommending a citywide limit of 25mph with a lower speed limit for legitimate "safety zones" (as was the intent of the state enabling legislation). The City Council was also alerted at that time to the fact that any change had to wait until the new state law went into effect before adopting its provisions. That time has now arrived and we’ll shortly be seeing a 25mph limit in Boston, Somerville, Cambridge, and likely other places.

Manager’s Agenda #11. A communication transmitted from Lisa C. Peterson, Acting City Manager, relative to Council Order No. 15, dated Oct 31, 2016, regarding a Request for Proposal for consultant services related to the visioning, programming, governance, and re-purposing of the Harvard Square Kiosk as well as creating a Harvard Square Kiosk Working Group.

Charter Right #1. The City Manager coordinate with the Finance Department, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, and community stakeholders to outline a proposed system of governance, management, and stakeholder engagement for the Foundry, to be discussed in a public forum with the Council and community. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Toomey on Oct 31, 2016.]

Both of these agenda items concern efforts by the City Council to intervene in processes that have been long underway and thoughtfully planned and implemented. Residents, including councillors, can raise questions and make recommendations about the outcomes of these process, but intervening in contracts is probably not the best way to proceed. In the case of the Harvard Square Kiosk and the surrounding plaza, the City is simply hiring a firm to create a vision for the programming, operation and governance of the kiosk and plaza. That consultant will be working with City staff and a working group of stakeholders on this task. The City has agreed to allow more time for public input on its Request for Proposals and to possibly generate additional respondents.

In the Foundry matter, the City Council voted to allow the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority to shepherd the process leading to the selection of bidder who promises to achieve both the programmatic and financial goals specified by both the City Council and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority. Now some city councillors want to go back to the drawing board and change the goals in such a way that the City’s costs to operate this "gift" from Alexandria Real Estate will be substantially increased.

Order #2. That the City Council urge the City Manager to establish a deadline of Nov 1, 2017 for fully implementing the various street improvements and safety measures for increasing bicycle safety that were passed during the Oct 17, 2016 meeting.   Mayor Simmons

I hope that the interpretation of this Order is that whatever street improvements and safety measures are implemented are those that result from a thoughtful public process rather than in response to a blitzkrieg of pre-cooked solutions from activists.

Order #3. The City Manager confer with the City Solicitor on the possibility of allowing non-citizen Cambridge residents to vote in municipal elections without a home-rule petition.   Councillor Mazen, Vice Mayor McGovern

Every few years there’s some kind of movement to allow non-citizens to vote in Cambridge municipal elections. This Order makes statements like "non-citizens … are presently barred from formally voicing their opinions" that are clearly misleading. The Order also fails to note that any non-citizen living in Cambridge is a citizen of some country and generally is able to vote in those elections. Home rule petitions from Cambridge and elsewhere have been filed before and have not been approved. I certainly hope this is not approved either, but the Order also apparently seeks some kind of legal loophole that would allow non-citizen voting without any state approval. I seriously doubt if that is possible. In matters like voting it’s best to have uniformity across all cities and towns in Massachusetts in terms of eligibility to vote in all elections.

Order #4. That the City Manager request permission from the DCR to continue Sunday closings on Memorial Drive year-round, starting in early 2017, and to work with the Cambridge Police, Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and Public Works Departments and any other staff to implement this plan, and to report back to the Council as soon as possible on the feasibility and schedule.   Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone

I would rather see this expressed as a request to extend the season for this road closure rather than a year-round Sunday closure. There are consequences to these road closures, including increased traffic on other streets, and the costs should be weighed against the benefits (as well as the actual demand).

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report on behalf of Councillor Nadeem Mazen, Chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebration Committee, for a public hearing held on Nov 2, 2016 to discuss bicycle safety in Cambridge.

In reading this report I was glad to see that some City staff were taking a more thoughtful and measured approach than some city councillors. There is a lot of room for discussion and alternatives than just the blitzkrieg of orders introduced at the Oct 17 City Council meeting. I also hope that our elected officials can be educated about the difference between actual safety measures and politically expedient actions that don’t address the acual causes of cycling fatalities and injuries.

Communications & Reports from City Officers #1. A communication was received from Councillor David P. Maher, transmitting the Proposed Employment Agreement between the City of Cambridge and Louis A. DePasquale.

It appears that Louis DePasquale’s first day of work in his new role as City Manager will be Monday, Nov 14, 2016 and his contract will extend through Jan 8, 2021.

October 25, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 179-180: October 25, 2016

Filed under: 2016 election,Cambridge,Cambridge InsideOut — Tags: , , , , — Robert Winters @ 10:29 pm

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 179 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on October 25, 2016 at 5:30pm. Topics included Early Voting, upcoming changes to Inman Square traffic, the Oct 22 Conference on “the Media and the Elections”, and a recent meeting on the prospects for municipal broadband. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]


Cambridge InsideOut Episode 180 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on October 25, 2016 at 6:00pm. Topics included municipal broadband, the Oct 24 City Council Roundtable meeting on Charter Schools, and the proposed Municipal Lighting Ordinance. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

[Materials used in this episode]

October 18, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 177-178: October 18, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 177 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 5:30pm. The main topic was a review of what took place at the Oct 17, 2016 Cambridge City Council meeting, including the introduction of the Central Square Restoration Petition. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]


Cambridge InsideOut Episode 178 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 6:00pm. Topics included bicycle safety (and the torrent of bicycle-related orders at the Oct 17 City Council meeting) and some interesting demographic analysis of the September primary in the 26th Middlesex House District (Toomey vs. Connolly). The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

October 11, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 175-176: October 11, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 175 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 5:30pm. Topics included the recent presidential debate, the elimination of the Red Sox in the American League playoffs, a tragedy in Porter Square, and the upcoming CCTV conference on media and the elections. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]


Cambridge InsideOut Episode 176 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 6:00pm. Topics included a recent meeting on the Foundry Building, differing opinions among city councillors and School Committee members on whether more charter schools should be permitted, the availability of absentee ballots and Early Voting for the November 8, 2016 election. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

Information on Early Voting and Absentee Ballots in Cambridge – Nov 8, 2016 Election

Filed under: 2016 election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 11:37 am

City of Cambridge Designated Early Voting Sites Locations, Dates and Hours for the State/Presidential Election, November 8, 2016

Vote!We are excited to announce that all registered voters will be able vote before Election Day for the first time ever in Massachusetts. Early voting will begin on October 24th and continue through November 4th, 2016. Prior to the enactment of this new law, the only way a registered voter was allowed to vote prior to Election Day was through absentee voting. Although absentee voting will still be available for registered voters who qualify, only those who will be absent from their city or town on Election Day, or have a disability that prevents them from going to the polls, or have a religious belief preventing the same, are legally allowed to vote by absentee ballot.

Unlike absentee voting, early voting is for every registered voter. Registered voters do not need an excuse or reason to vote early. Regardless of whether a voter wants to take advantage of early voting, vote absentee or vote on Election Day, the first step is making sure you are registered. To check to see if you are registered to vote, and to find information on how to register to vote, you may visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website: www.sec.state.ma.us/ele. If you need to register to vote, you may do it online by visiting: www.RegisterToVoteMA.com. All you need is a license or an I.D. issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles to apply online. To be eligible to vote in the November 8th State Election, you must register to vote or make any necessary changes to your voter registration by October 19th, 2016.

Early voting can be done in person or by mail. In the City of Cambridge, early voting can be done in person at any of the five (5) designated early voting sites during the scheduled dates and times. To request a ballot by mail, simply fill out an application and mail it to the Election Commission, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. You can find the application on the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele

Please note, however, once a voter has cast an early voting ballot, the voter may no longer vote at the polls on Election Day.

For the first time in Massachusetts, the first choice all voters will make is which day to vote. Early voting will make the most fundamental right of our citizens more convenient than ever to exercise. We encourage all of our citizens to exercise that right and take advantage of the opportunity to vote on the sites during the scheduled dates and times. For public convenience, the City of Cambridge will also offer weekday evening hours and weekend hours on Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE EARLY VOTING SCHEDULE

LOCATION

DATE & TIME

City of Cambridge Election Commission Office
51 Inman Street, 1st Floor

Mon, October 24, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Tues, October 25, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 26, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 27, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 28, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 29, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Mon, October 31, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Tues, November 1, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, November 2, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 3, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 4, 8:30am to 6:00pm

Police Department, Community Room
1st Floor, 125 Sixth Street

Mon, October 24, Noon to 8:00pm
Tues, October 25, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 26, Noon to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 27, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 28, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 29, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Mon, October 31, Noon to 8:00pm
Tues, November 1, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Wed, November 2, Noon to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 3, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 4, 9:00am to 6:00pm

Cambridge Water Department
250 Fresh Pond Parkway

Mon, October 24, Noon to 8:00pm
Tues, October 25, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 26, Noon to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 27, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 28, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 29, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Mon, October 31, Noon to 8:00pm
Tues, November 1, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Wed, November 2, Noon to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 3, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 4, 9:00am to 6:00pm

Main Library
449 Broadway

Mon, October 24, Noon to 8:00pm
Tues, October 25, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 26, Noon to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 27, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 28, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 29, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Mon, October 31, Noon to 8:00pm
Tues, November 1, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Wed, November 2, Noon to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 3, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 4, 9:00am to 6:00pm

O’Neill Library
70 Rindge Ave.

Mon, October 24, Noon to 8:00pm
Tues, October 25, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 26, Noon to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 27, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 28, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 29, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Mon, October 31, Noon to 8:00pm
Tues, November 1, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Wed, November 2, Noon to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 3, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 4, 9:00am to 6:00pm


Voter Registration and Absentee Ballots for the State/Presidential Election, November 8th

Vote!The State/Presidential Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. For Cambridge residents not already registered, the last day to register to vote is Wednesday, October 19, 2016 until 8:00pm. The Office of the Secretary of State has developed an Online Voter Registration System at www.registertovotema.com. Individuals may use the online system to submit an online application, update their address, or change their party affiliation. You must have a valid driver’s license, learner’s permit, or non-driver ID issued by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). You must also have a signature on file with the RMV. If you do not have an RMV ID you can use the system to create an application. Print and sign the completed form and mail or bring it to the office of the City Cambridge Election Commission.

Absentee Ballots are now available at the Cambridge Election Commission office. Any voter who is unable to go to the polls on Election Day due to physical disability, religious belief, or absence from the City may request an Absentee Ballot from the Commission. The deadline to apply for an Absentee Ballot is Monday, November 7, 2016 at Noon. Absentee Ballots may be mailed to voters, or such voters may choose to vote at the Commission office during regular city office hours: Monday, 8:30am-8:00pm; Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30am-5:00pm; Friday, 8:30am-Noon. The office will also be open for extended hours on the following dates:

Tuesday, October 25th & November 1st, 8:30am-6:00pm
Wednesday, October 26th & November 2nd, 8:30am-8:00pm
Thursday, October 27th & November 3rd, 8:30am-6:00pm
Friday, October 28th & November 4th, 8:30am-6:00pm
Saturday, October 29th, 9:00am-5:00pm

The polls will be open on Election Day, November 8th from 7:00am until 8:00pm. For any additional information, please visit the Cambridge Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, call (617-349-4361) or visit our website at www.cambridgema.gov/election.

September 6, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 167-168: September 6, 2016

Filed under: 2016 election,Cambridge,Cambridge InsideOut,elections — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 11:01 pm

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 167 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 5:30pm. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]


Cambridge InsideOut Episode 168 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 6:00pm. [On YouTube]

July 28, 2016

Democratic Debate for 26th Middlesex State Representative [Tim Toomey vs. Mike Connolly]

On July 21, 2016, Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) and Somerville Community Access Television (SCATV) hosted a debate between the 2 candidates for 26th Middlesex Representative district, incumbent Timothy Toomey and challenger Mike Connolly. The debate was produced and hosted by Joe Lynch, producer of Greater Somerville. Panelists included Donald Norton, publisher and editor in chief of the Somerville Times and Susana Segat, correspondent from Cambridge Community Television.



Democratic Debate for 26th Middlesex State Representative from Cambridge Community Television on Vimeo.

Democratic Debate for 2nd Middlesex Senate [Patricia Jehlen vs. Leland Cheung]

Filed under: 2016 election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , , , , , — Robert Winters @ 12:17 pm

On July 21, 2016, Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) and Somerville Community Access Television (SCATV) hosted a debate between the 2 candidates for the 2nd Middlesex Senate District, incumbent Patricia Jehlen and challenger Leland Cheung. The debate was produced and hosted by Joe Lynch, producer of Greater Somerville. Panelists included Donald Norton, publisher and editor in chief of the Somerville Times, Alex Ruppenthal from the Medford Transcript and wickedlocal.com, and Robert Winters, founder of the Cambridge Civic Journal.



Democratic Debate for 2nd Middlesex Senate from Cambridge Community Television on Vimeo.

Powered by WordPress

%d bloggers like this: