Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

February 24, 2013

And the Oscar goes to…. Feb 25, 2013 Cambridge City Council Agenda Highlights

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

And the Oscar goes to…. Feb 25, 2013 Cambridge City Council Agenda Highlights

There are a few major items on the agenda this week: (1) The possible signing of a 3-year contract with Rich Rossi as the next City Manager (starting July 1), and (2) a possible vote on ordination of the Forest City zoning petition. Starting with the big items:

Richard RossiCommittee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Government Operations and Rules Committee, for a public meeting held on Feb 13, 2013 to continue discussions with Attorney Elizabeth Valerio, representing the City Council in negotiations with the next City Manager, Richard Rossi.

Communications and Reports from City Officers #2. A communication was received from Councillor David P. Maher transmitting a copy of a letter sent to Councillor Kelley.

Communications and Reports from City Officers #3. A communication was received from Councillor David P. Maher transmitting the proposed contract between the City of Cambridge and Richard C. Rossi as the next City Manager for the City of Cambridge. [original PDF]

The contract offers a very generous salary for each of the next 3 years, but it’s also interesting in that part of the deal is that Rich Rossi gives up an enormous amount of accrued value in compensatory time and sick leave gathered over his decades of service. The City gets a good deal in the short term, and Mr. Rossi potentially gains in the very long term due to an enhanced pension. Read the contract and draw your own conclusions. I’m sure we’ll hear public comment from the usual suspects. The communication from Councillor Maher to Councillor Kelley is delightful.

Unfinished Business #10. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Administrative Assistant, Office of the City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public meeting held on Jan 30, 2013 to continue discussions on a zoning petition filed by Zevart M. Hollisian, Trustee of Garabed B. Hollisian Trust and L-Z Realty Trust and Seth D. Alexander, President, MIT Investment Management Company to amend the zoning Ordinance and Map by extending the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District from Green Street out to Massachusetts Avenue in the area adjacent to Blanche Street; said petition includes a map and a commitment letter. The question comes on passing to be ordained on or after Feb 25, 2013. Planning Board hearing held Jan 8, 2013. Petition expires Apr 17, 2013.

Manager’s Agenda #13. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Council Order No. 14, dated 2/11/13 regarding the Forest City Petition and letter of commitment to ensure that it is consistent with other letters of commitment, and Council Order No. 15 dated 2/11/13 regarding whether the Forest City Petition would be considered spot zoning. [Legal opinion from Nancy Glowa, City Solicitor]

Communications and Reports from City Officers #4. A communication was received from Councillor David P. Maher transmitting a proposed amendment to the Forest City Zoning Petition and the Letter of Commitment as revised by Forest City to be accepted and incorporated into and made part of the Zoning Ordinance.

This is the Forest City petition and it could come to a final vote at this meeting. It’s been before the City Council in one form or another for about two years now, so please laugh out loud when anyone says that they need more time to study the issue. The votes of most of the city councillors have not changed since early in the process. It’s always been a matter of whether one or two councillors would value the overall public benefit of this petition over their need to cater to a few influential political supporters. The future debate over the potential for new housing development in and around Central Square is yet to come, and it will be a relief if we can allow the redevelopment of that long-neglected stretch of Mass. Ave. to proceed so that we can move on to the more important stuff.

Don’t be surprised if public comment turns into a circus with fear-mongering, accusations of corruption, and speeches by aspiring Council candidates all fighting over the same pool of a thousand votes.

Elsewhere on the City Manager’s Agenda:

Manager’s Agenda #2. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-65, regarding a report on Sunday openings at the Library.

The bottom line is that even if everyone would love expanded Sunday Library hours, you still need workers to staff the place and that’s not necessarily a sure thing.

Manager’s Agenda #7. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-90, regarding a report on Executive Session to discuss lawsuits.

I’m not sure which lawsuits this refers to, but there will always be some people who want to milk Mother Cambridge.

Manager’s Agenda #15. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the City of Cambridge retaining the rare distinction of being one of 37 municipalities in the United States with three AAA ratings from the nation’s three major credit rating agencies.

We get a similar report every year around this time. Though it may seem routine, it really is something worth celebrating. I wonder how many of the aspiring Council candidates actually understand its significance.

Resolution #14. Happy 90th Birthday wishes to Mayor Emeritus Walter J. Sullivan.   Councillor Toomey, Councillor Maher

Happy birthday, Walter. You were the first person I ever met at the Count at the old Longfellow School about 30 or so years ago. I don’t know whether I should thank you or blame you for encouraging my interest in the Cambridge elections.

Resolution #15. Congratulations to Saul Tannenbaum on launching a daily compilation of local news in and out of Cambridge titled Cambridge Happenings.   Councillor Cheung

Though Cambridge Happenings is what they call a news aggregator (as opposed to a content provider), our good pal Saul is a pretty damn good content provider as well. Check out Saul’s CCTV site for a sample.

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Election Commission and Information Technology Department on the feasibility of passing an ordinance that requires landlords to provide new tenants with a voter registration form when they move into a property in the City of Cambridge.   Councillor Cheung

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Election Commission and Information Technology Department on the feasibility of providing a service in which residents are able to look up their voter registration status online.   Councillor Cheung

Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Election Commission regarding the feasibility of including voter registration forms in the annual census mailings.   Councillor Cheung

These are highlighted because of all the recent interest in elections – not just this year’s municipal election but the game of musical chairs that has been set off by the exit of Senator John Kerry to become Secretary of State. Because Massachusetts is effectively a one party state with the custom of Democrats not challenging incumbent fellow Democrats, it becomes a cascading free-for-all whenever a vacancy occurs. I have no idea whether Markey or Lynch will get the party blessing to become Senator, but if and when one of them is elevated another vacancy for a U.S. Congress seat will then occur. That’s when things could get very interesting. Will one of our State Reps. or State Senators go for the seat? Yes. Maybe one of our city councillors? If a State Rep. or State Senate seat opens up, perhaps a city councillor will go for it (and maybe create a City Council vacancy). In Massachusetts, we get a cascade of vacancies and special elections instead of actual contested elections like you might have in a two-party state. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Order #9. That the City Council schedule a roundtable/working meeting for Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 5:30pm in the Sullivan Chamber to discuss the Central Square Advisory Committee Report.   Mayor Davis

It’s about time. Remember that the Central Square Advisory Committee Report is ultimately just a collection of good ideas and suggestions. The Community Development Department is now drafting actual proposed zoning language that should enter the public arena sometime this summer.

Order #12. That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to instruct the City Solicitor and the appropriate city staff to evaluate the feasibility of revising the PTDM ordinance to include Parking and Transportation Demand Management Plans for "residential developments."   Councillor vanBeuzekom

I’m not really sure what Councillor vanBeuzekom is looking for here. Housing development generally has a relatively low impact on vehicle trips compared to most commercial development. I suspect this may be part of the budding anti-housing movement currently being pushed by people who paradoxically call themselves housing activists.

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Leland Cheung, Chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning Committee, for a public hearing held on Feb 14, 2013 to conduct a follow-up meeting on the development in Kendall Square.

This was an incredibly interesting meeting held in the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) in Kendall Square. I have to confess that it was my first visit to the CIC. When you arrive you enter your name into a computer and are issued a printed name tag that has a number corresponding to how many times you’ve been there. I had a #1 on my badge, but it looked especially appropriate to see the badge of current Council candidate Tom Stohlman #1. I believe Leland Cheung had a #37 next to his name – not so good in a municipal election year.

It was fascinating to see the beehive of activity in the CIC – almost like a flea market of entrepreneurs busy as can be in chaotic productivity. I may just have to go back there one of these days. – Robert Winters

Kristen von Hoffmann announces candidacy for Cambridge City Council

Filed under: 2013 Election,Cambridge — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 2:34 pm

Feb 24, 2013 – Kristen von Hoffmann announces candidacy for Cambridge City Council

Kristen von HoffmannCambridge resident Kristen von Hoffmann has formally announced her candidacy for Cambridge City Council.

Von Hoffmann, who currently works as the Sustainability Manager for the Cambridge Public Schools, plans on bringing her experience in sustainable practices, financial savings, and education to the municipal government.

Kristen previously taught 5th grade for several years in the area and also founded a local 501(c)(3) non-profit, Greenfox Schools, Inc., that has taught environmental science and math curriculums in Cambridge Public Schools. She was hired in 2010 as the first Sustainability Manager for the Cambridge Public School District. Notably, while she has served as Sustainability Manager, initiatives launched by her office saved the school district $300,000 in under two years.

In regards to her campaign, she states, "I look forward to spending this year listening to the residents of Cambridge, engaging in conversations that explore our values, and using our skills and experience together to improve the well-being of our city."

Janie Katz-Christy, Director of the Green Streets Initiative and a local Cambridge parent says, "I’ve known Kristen for many years now, as a colleague and friend, and have been impressed with her effectiveness, intelligence, and ability to collaborate. I am confident she will be a force for the best interests and overall well-being of the City of Cambridge."

Election Day is on Tuesday, November 5th. For more information about Kristen and her campaign, please visit www.kristenforcambridge.com or email info@kristenforcambridge.com.

Kristen’s Candidate Page can be found at http://vote.cambridgecivic.com/vonhoffmann.htm.
All of the announced and prospective candidates can be found on the 2013 Cambridge Candidate Pages.

February 22, 2013

Proposed City Manager Contract between City of Cambridge and Richard C. Rossi

Filed under: Cambridge government,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 1:38 am

EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT
BETWEEN
THE CITY OF CAMBRIDGE
AND
RICHARD C. ROSSI
February 2013

THIS EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT ("this Agreement"), pursuant to Chapter 41, Section 108N of the Massachusetts General Laws, is made this __ day of February, 2013, by and between the CITY OF CAMBRIDGE (the "City"), acting by and through its City Council, with a principal place of business at 795 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, and RlCHARD C. ROSSI (hereinafter referred to as "Mr. Rossi" or the "City Manager"). This Agreement supersedes all prior agreements between the City and Mr. Rossi, except as otherwise provided herein, and except for Appendix A and the Deputy City Manager’s contract expiring on July 1, 2013.

WHEREAS, Mr. Rossi has been the Deputy City Manager for the City since August, 1982; and

WHEREAS during Mr. Rossi’s tenure as the Deputy City Manager, Mr. Rossi has performed the duties of the City Manager in the City Manager’s absence;

WHEREAS, the City wishes to employ Mr. Rossi as the City Manager effective July 1, 2013;

NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises contained in this Agreement and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties agree as follows:

SECTION 1 – EMPLOYMENT OF MR. ROSSI

1.1   The City, pursuant to applicable provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 41, Section 108N, and the City Charter, hereby employs Mr. Rossi as the City Manager for the City effective July 1, 2013 and Mr. Rossi hereby accepts such employment under the terms and conditions in this Agreement and the City Charter.

1.2   Mr. Rossi agrees to continue his employment with the City as the Deputy City Manager through June 30, 2013, which is the subject of a separate agreement, as amended, between Mr. Rossi and the City. Mr. Rossi and the City agree that there shall be no break in his service as the Deputy City Manager and his employment as the City Manager.

1.3   Mr. Rossi shall devote his full working time to his duties as the City Manager and shall not engage in any business activity during the terms of this Agreement except with the advance written consent of the City Council.

SECTION 2 – SERVICES

2.1   Mr. Rossi will exercise the full authority and perform all the functions, duties and responsibilities of the City Manager as specified in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 43, Sections 93 through 108 inclusive and shall perform other legally permissible and proper duties and functions as the City Council may from time to time assign to him. The City acknowledges him as the Chief Executive of the City government.

2.2   The City Council may, from time to time and in consultation with Mr. Rossi, establish policies, subject to the City Charter, and the City Manager shall carry out those legislative policies in accordance with the City Charter. The failure by the City Council to establish any specific policies shall in no way and to no extent relieve Mr. Rossi from any of his obligations pursuant to Section 2.1, above.

2.3   The City Council shall review and evaluate the performance of the City Manager at meetings scheduled by the Government Operations Committee of the City Council. Said review and evaluation shall be done in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 30A, Sections 18-25 ("the Open Meeting Law").

SECTION 3 – TERM

3.1   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent, limit, or otherwise interfere with the right of the City Council to terminate the services of Mr. Rossi and this Agreement at any time subject to the provisions of Section 5 of this Agreement.

3.2   Subject to the provisions of this Agreement, Mr. Rossi shall be employed as the City Manager for the City commencing July 1, 2013 and ending on June 30, 2016.

3.3   Mr. Rossi shall undertake his duties promptly upon the commencement of this Agreement and shall diligently and faithfully perform those duties in a professional manner.

3.4   If the City intends to continue Mr. Rossi’s employment beyond June 30, 2016, it shall give written notice to Mr. Rossi on or before March 1, 2016, and initiate negotiations for a successor employment contract, which contract, if agreed to, shall become effective July 1, 2016. Absent agreement on a successor employment contract, this Agreement shall terminate on June 30, 2016.

SECTION 4 – COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

4.1   Mr. Rossi has separately and voluntarily agreed to amend his Deputy City Manager Employment Agreement to remove the sick leave and compensatory time buy back provisions in Section 3, Paragraph A of such Deputy City Manager Employment Agreement, thereby extinguishing the contractual buyout provision for compensatory time and the contractual buyout provision for sick leave accrued during the course of his employment with the City, the total of which is estimated to have a current value of approximately $615,000.00 under his contract as Deputy City Manager. The City Council recognizes the unique and invaluable experience and familiarity with the City’s operations and needs that Mr. Rossi has acquired in his more than 40 years of employment with the City, including his 31 years of service as the Deputy City Manager. The City Council further recognizes the value to Mr. Rossi of the compensatory time and sick leave buyout provisions in Mr. Rossi’s Deputy City Manager Employment Agreement and has considered the extinguishment of such compensatory time and sick leave buyout in setting the salary for Mr. Rossi as City Manager. As compensation in full for the services Mr. Rossi is to perform as City Manager for the City, subject to this Agreement and Appendix A, Mr. Rossi’s annual salary shall be three hundred thirty thousand dollars ($330,000.00) per contract year. For purposes of this agreement, each contract year shall commence on July 1st and end the following June 30th and for the term of this Agreement the contract years shall be as follows:

Contract Year Dates Salary per Contract
Contract Year 1 July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014 $330,000.00
Contract Year 2 July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 $330,000.00
Contract Year 3 July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016 $330,000.00

In the event that Mr. Rossi serves for less than a full contract year, in accordance with this Agreement and the City Charter his salary shall be prorated for the portion of the contract year actually served. The City Manager’s salary shall be subject to withholdings and deductions in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. The City Manager’s per diem rate shall be calculated by dividing the salary for the contract year by 261.

4.2   The City Manager acknowledges that he is an exempt employee under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and Massachusetts overtime provisions, including provision providing for compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay, and that he is not entitled to any overtime pay or compensatory time pursuant to the FLSA, provisions in the Massachusetts General Laws, or provisions in City ordinances, except for compensatory time provided for under this Agreement and Appendix A.

4.3   The City Manager shall be entitled to all medical, dental, vision, hospital, life insurance, and other benefits not otherwise covered by this Agreement, including those provided in Appendix A to this Agreement, and those generally available to other non-union managerial personnel employed by the City on the same terms, conditions, and limitations as such benefits are generally available as a matter of uniform City policy to all other non-union managerial personnel employed by the City. He shall be eligible for the same holiday, personal and administrative leave benefits, and all such other benefits of employment, including but not limited to deferred compensation, flexible spending, longevity, management allowance, sick leave incentive pay, and tuition reimbursement, as are provided to other non-union management employees of the City, excluding any benefits which are provided only as a matter of individual employment contract with other employees.

4.4   The City Manager shall be entitled to twenty-five (25) working days of vacation per contract year, exclusive of legal holidays. Such vacation shall be awarded at the beginning of each calendar year, as is the practice with other managerial employees. Subject to the second paragraph of this Section, the City Manager may carry over up to and including five (5) days of accrued unused vacation time from one contract year to the subsequent contract year, but in no event shall the City Manager carry forward more than five days of vacation in any one contract year.

The parties agree that Mr. Rossi has accrued unused vacation days on June 30, 2013 from his service as the Deputy City Manager, the amount of which shall be determined as of June 30, 2013. The parties agree that Mr. Rossi will be entitled to carry over no more than fifteen (15) days of such accrued, unused vacation time and that he shall be eligible to buy back all such accrued, unused vacation days earned as Deputy City Manager at the time of his retirement or termination or in accordance with this Section. The buyback of the total of such accrued, unused days, minus the fifteen (15) carried-over days, shall be at his rate of pay as Deputy City Manager. Mr. Rossi may also exercise the option to buy back all or a portion of the balance of such accrued Deputy City Manager vacation at any time during each of the three years of this Agreement. The total accrued, unused vacation days which are subject to this buyback shall be determined as of June 30, 2013.

The parties further agree that at the time of his retirement or termination, Mr. Rossi shall be eligible to buy back, at his then existing rate of pay, all his accumulated vacation, personal, compensatory and administrative leave that remained unused at the time of retirement or termination and that was earned by him in the position of City Manager, and any remainder of the fifteen (15) days carried over from his service as Deputy City Manager.

4.5   The City Manager shall be entitled to fifteen (15) days sick leave awarded at the beginning of each calendar year, as is the practice with other non union managerial employees. Sick leave shall accumulate unlimited, year to year. The parties agree that Mr. Rossi has accrued substantial unused sick leave from his many years of employment with the City and such accrued, unused sick leave shall be carried over upon the commencement of this Agreement on July 1, 2013. Any sick leave buyback upon the termination of this Agreement shall be limited to the cap established by the City for other non-union management employees at the time of such termination.

4.6   The parties recognize that Mr. Rossi received certain benefits during his employment as the Deputy City Manager and that while such benefits would not be available to other individuals who may some day serve as the City Manager, the City Council agrees that the continuation of such benefits for Mr. Rossi is, in part, an inducement to Mr. Rossi to accept employment as the City Manager for the City and waive certain sick leave benefits. Therefore, the benefits provided for in Appendix A, attached to this Agreement, are hereby incorporated into this Agreement by reference.

SECTION 5 – REMOVAL AND TERMINATION; SUSPENSION

5.1   Mr. Rossi may terminate this Agreement and his employment with the City at any time by giving the Mayor and City Council written notice at least 4 (four) months prior to the effective date of termination. With the exception of payment for accrued unused vacation, sick leave buyback as provided in paragraph 4.5 above, and other benefits, as provided in paragraphs 4.3 and 4.4 above, as well as the compensatory time and supplemental retirement benefits provided in Appendix A of this agreement and other accrued benefits as are due to Mr. Rossi under the terms of this Agreement, including Appendix A, Mr. Rossi shall not be entitled to receive any other compensation or benefits after the date of termination under this Section 5.1.

5.2   Mr. Rossi may be suspended and/or removed as the City Manager, and this Agreement terminated, for "Cause" by a majority vote of the City Council. For the purposes of this Agreement, the term "Cause" shall mean conviction of a felony; serious conduct unbecoming a City Manager; repeated inefficiency or incompetency in the performance of his duties as City Manager, provided that the City Council has given written notice to Mr. Rossi of such inefficiency or incompetency and thirty (30) days to cure; and incapacity, subject to the ADA. With the exception of payment for accrued unused vacation, sick leave buyback as provided in paragraphs 4.4 and 4.5 above, and other benefits, as provided in paragraph 4.3 above, as well as the compensatory time and supplemental retirement benefits provided in Appendix A of this agreement, and other accrued benefits as are due to Mr. Rossi under the terms of this Agreement, including Appendix A, Mr. Rossi shall not be entitled to receive any other compensation or benefits after the date of termination under this Section 5.2.

5.3   Mr. Rossi may be removed as City Manager, and this Agreement terminated at any time for any reason by majority vote of the City Council. If such termination is not for "Cause" pursuant to Section 5.2 of this Agreement, and Mr. Rossi is willing and able to perform his duties under this Agreement, in addition to the other payments specified in Sections 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 and Appendix A of this Agreement, the City shall pay him an early termination payment in a lump sum minus withholdings required by law or authorized by Mr. Rossi, as follows: if such early termination occurs within the first Contract Year, in the gross amount of twelve (12) months of salary at the annual rate specified in Section 4.1, above; if such early termination occurs within the second Contract Year, in the gross amount of nine (9) months of salary at the annual rate specified in Section 4.1, above; if such early termination occurs within the third Contract Year, the gross amount of six (6) months of salary at the annual rate specified in Section 4.1, above.

SECTION 6 – INDEMNIFICATION

6.1   To the fullest extent permitted by law, the City shall (1) defend, save harmless and indemnify the City Manager against any tort, professional liability, claim or demand, or other legal action, whether groundless or otherwise, arising out of an alleged act or omission occurring in the performance of his duties as City Manager, even if said claim has been made following his termination from employment, provided that the City Manager acted within the scope of his duties, and (2) shall pay the amount of any settlement or judgment rendered thereon. The City may compromise and settle any such claim or suit and will pay the amount of any settlement or judgment rendered thereon without recourse to the City Manager.

The City shall reimburse the City Manager for any attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the City Manager in connection with such claims or suits involving the City Manager in his professional capacity.

This indemnification shall also apply to the City Manager after he leaves the employment of the City.

Indemnification of Mr. Rossi shall not apply to any proceeding to terminate his employment as the City Manager pursuant to statute, this Agreement or otherwise. Mr. Rossi agrees to cooperate fully with the City and the City’s attorney in any claim, suit, or matter in which the City is indemnifying Mr. Rossi. Mr. Rossi shall be paid the existing daily rate for his position at the time of his retirement or other end of his service for time spent for testimony or consultation by or on behalf of the City in defense of such claims or actions. This Section 6.1 also applies with respect to claims, suits, or matters which arise out of Mr. Rossi’s performance of his duties as Deputy City Manager.

The City agrees to review purchasing "Directors and Officers" liability insurance from an outside insurance company for the City Manager as to coverage and cost. If the City Manager and the City Council agree on the purchase of such insurance after the City’s review, the City shall purchase such coverage at the City’s expense for the City Manager.

This Section shall survive the termination of this Agreement.

SECTION 7 – GENERAL PROVISIONS

7.1   This Agreement and Appendix A, attached, constitutes the entire agreement between the City and Mr. Rossi regarding the subject matter hereof and may be changed (amended, modified, or terms waived) only if mutually agreed to by the parties and set forth in a writing approved by majority vote of the City Council and signed by the Mayor and by Mr. Rossi, subject to the City Charter.

7.2   Any notices pursuant to this Agreement shall be directed to Mr. Rossi at his residence as identified in the City’s personnel records for Mr. Rossi and made by in-hand delivery or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Any such notices shall be directed to the City and made by certified mail return receipt requested to the office of
the Mayor.

7.3   This Agreement is governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City Charter.

7.4   Unless the parties expressly agree in writing to extend or renew the employment relationship between the City and Mr. Rossi subject to the City Charter, such employment relationship between the City and Mr. Rossi shall terminate on June 30, 2016.

7.5   If any portion or provision of this Agreement is held unconstitutional, invalid, or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of the Agreement will be considered severable, will not be affected, and will remain in full force and effect. The language of all parts of this Agreement shall be construed as a whole, according to its fair meaning, and not strictly for or against either party.

7.6   Subject to this Agreement, and Appendix A, all other general provisions of the City’s ordinances, rules or policies relating to uniwriform benefits for non-union management employees shall also apply to the City Manager in addition to the benefits enumerated herein for the City Manager.

 

In witness whereof, the City Council of the City of Cambridge has voted that this agreement be entered into as duly attested by its City Clerk and Mr. Rossi has signed and executes this Agreement this __ day of 2013.

CITY MANAGER

 _____________________________
Richard C. Rossi

_____________________________
City Clerk

_____________________________
Approved as to Legal Form
City Solicitor

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE

_____________________________
Mayor Henrietta Davis

_____________________________
Vice Mayor E. Denise Simmons

_____________________________
Councillor Leland Cheung

_____________________________
Councillor Marjorie C. Decker

_____________________________
Councillor Craig A. Kelley

_____________________________
Councillor David P. Maher

_____________________________
Councillor Kenneth E. Reeves

_____________________________
Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.

_____________________________
Councillor Minka vanBeuzekom

 

APPENDIX A
TO THE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT
BETWEEN
THE CITY OF CAMBRIDGE
AND
RICHARD C. ROSSI, City Manager
February 2013

This Appendix A supplements the Employment Agreement between the City of Cambridge ("City") and Richard C. Rossi ("Mr. Rossi" or "City Manager") and is an integral part of that Employment Agreement, fully enforceable under the laws of the Commonwealth.

Whereas Mr. Rossi had certain benefits in his employment agreement as the Deputy City Manager and has certain benefits under his Employment Agreement; and

Whereas the City wishes to continue such benefits as an inducement for Mr. Rossi to enter into an employment agreement with the City to serve as the City’s City Manager;

Now Therefore, the City and Mr. Rossi agree to the following:

A.   Transportation. The City Manager shall be provided with the use of a City owned or leased automobile for the City Manager’s unrestricted use. Insurance, maintenance and repairs and gasoline in connection with the operation of said automobile shall be paid by the City. Upon termination of this Agreement and the City Manager’s employment with the City, he shall return the automobile to the City.

B.   Cellular Phone. The City Manager will be provided with a cellular phone, tablet, and other devices to be used in accordance with his duties for the City. It is understood that some moderate personal use will be permitted in recognition of the City Manager’s work schedule.

C.   Vacation and Compensatory Time. The City Manager acknowledges that he is frequently required or called upon to perform work outside of the normal office hours of the City and he commits to performing such work. The City Council recognizes that the City Manager’s hours require that he devote a great deal of time outside of the normal office hours of the City and the City shall permit the City Manager to earn and take up to three weeks of non-FLSA compensatory time off per year. One week of earned but unused compensatory time may be carried over from one Contract Year to the subsequent Contract Year, on a cumulative basis. Mr. Rossi shall be eligible to buy back up to three weeks of unused vacation time, earned as City Manager at his then existing rate, on an annual basis. If he elects to buy back such vacation time he shall not be eligible to carry over any of the vacation time awarded for that year into the next calendar year.

This provision is without prejudice to the vacation time owed to the City Manager from his Deputy City Manager’s contract.

This provision survives the termination of this Agreement.

D.   Life Insurance. The City Manager shall be covered by an insurance policy in the amount of $120,000 payable to the beneficiary/beneficiaries named by the City Manager. This insurance may include "whole life", "paid up" or "cash value" insurance at the discretion of the City Manager.

E.   Retirement. The City agrees that upon retirement, the City Manager shall be paid, in addition to any retirement benefits that he would be entitled to pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 32 of the Massachusetts General Laws, further supplemental retirement benefits pursuant to MGL Chapter 41, Section 108N. It is the intention of the City Manager, upon retirement, to select Option C as specified in MGL Chapter 32 Section 12, in order to provide a survivor benefit. The City agrees, pursuant to MGL Chapter 41, Section 108N to supplement the City Manager’s retirement benefit by paying to him a monthly payment equal to the difference between his actual monthly retirement allowance, under Option C, and the allowance he would receive had he selected Option A as specified in MGL Chapter 32 Section 12. These monthly payments shall begin with the date of his retirement and shall terminate with his death. These monthly supplemental benefit payments shall be payable from the non-contributory retirement account. If, for any reason, this is determined to be unenforceable, there shall be an affirmative duty on the part of the City to make such supplemental payments from the Employee Benefits Account or other appropriate account. It is understood and agreed that this contractual right to these supplemental retirement benefits is vested with the City Manager in the same manner and extent that his other pension rights are vested pursuant to Chapter 32, sections one to twenty-eight inclusive, of the Massachusetts General Laws, including as provided in Section 10 thereof. It is the intent of this Agreement that these supplemental pension rights vest with the City Manager immediately upon execution of this Agreement. This provision (Section E) shall survive the termination of this Agreement and his employment as City Manager.

The parties acknowledge that upon the effective date of the Agreement between Mr. Rossi and the City for Mr. Rossi to be employed as the City Manager for the City, Mr. Rossi’s employment contract as the Deputy City Manager, including Section 9 therein, shall be tenninated (without any consequences of termination as may be provided in that contract) and superseded by this Agreement on July 1, 2013, but without prejudice to his vacation leave as provided in this Agreement or Appendix A. The supplemental retirement benefits previously provided to Mr. Rossi under that Section shall be provided under the above Section E of this Appendix and not Section 9 of the Employment Agreement between the City of Cambridge and the Deputy City Manager.

 

In witness whereof, the City Council of the City of Cambridge has voted that this Appendix to the Employment Agreement between the City and Mr. Rossi be entered into as duly attested by its City Clerk and Mr. Rossi has signed and executes this Appendix A to this Agreement this __ day of February, 2013.

CITY MANAGER

 _____________________________
Richard C. Rossi

_____________________________
City Clerk

_____________________________
Approved as to Legal Form
City Solicitor

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE

_____________________________
Mayor Henrietta Davis

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Vice Mayor E. Denise Simmons

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Councillor Leland Cheung

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Councillor Marjorie C. Decker

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Councillor Craig A. Kelley

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Councillor David P. Maher

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Councillor Kenneth E. Reeves

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Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.

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Councillor Minka vanBeuzekom

 

February 11, 2013

Marijuana and More – Feb 11, 2013 Cambridge City Council Agenda highlights

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge Redevelopment Authority,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 12:41 am

Marijuana and More – Feb 11, 2013 Cambridge City Council Agenda highlights

Here are a few items that drew my wayward attention:

Manager’s Agenda #3. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation on the Medical Marijuana Interim Zoning Petition.

It would appear that Cambridge is approaching this with the same caution as many other Massachusetts cities and towns. It’s an interesting dilemma that marijuana sales may be legal at such dispensaries, but transporting it to the dispensaries may not be. It will be interesting to see how this evolves.

Manager’s Agenda #4. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to a zoning petition received from the Planning Board regarding bicycle parking modifications. [Report]

Accommodation of secure bicycle parking for residents and patrons should be required of all property owners. This zoning petition will essentially apply only to new buildings containing more than three units, but all property owners and managers should really be providing this. It’s a little bizarre that the report requires 38 pages to convey this simple idea. The proposal would be better if it also applied to existing residential and commercial buildings. I say this as a person who accommodates bicycles for tenants of my building, yet my two commercial/residential neighbors provided barely any such accommodation during recent renovations and, in fact, made their structures less inviting for bicycles.

Manager’s Agenda #5. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appointment of D. Margaret Drury to the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority for a 5-year term, effective Apr 12, 2013.

This is a great reappointment and certainly leads you to wonder what role the CRA will play in future Cambridge development.

Charter Right #1. That the City Manager is requested to work together with the appropriate city officials including the City Solicitor and report back to the City Council regarding modification of the ordinance (10.12.030) that links the awarding of a one yearlong Visitor Parking Permit per household to the purchase of a $25 Cambridge Resident Parking Permit. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Decker on Order Number Eight of Jan 28, 2013.]

This is a pretty simple idea and a fair one. The Resident Parking Permit fee was recently raised significantly with the acknowledgement that the $25 fee was still very reasonable for the right to park anywhere in Cambridge. At the time when the fee was raised, nobody talked about the fact that this would also apply to Visitor Parking Permits which are used infrequently and which only apply in the immediate neighborhood. It seems very reasonable that a lower fee (or perhaps no fee) should apply for getting only the Visitor Permit. It was a little strange to hear Councillor Decker at the previous meeting characterizing this proposal in terms of potential loss of revenue. Relatively speaking, this is pocket change.

Resolution #33. Resolution on the death of Andrew Jackson Spears.   Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons, Mayor Davis

Andrew Spears was the husband of former Election Commissioner Artis Spears. Together they operated the A.J. Spears Funeral Home, a community institution in the Riverside neighborhood of Cambridge. He was a friend to many Cambridge families.

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to meet with NSTAR company officials to establish a firm timeline for maintenance and replacement plans for the transformers and electrical systems that serve the city to ensure that local businesses and residential communities are fully serviced   Councillor Cheung and Councillor Reeves

It’s unusual to see City Council orders that speak so directly to potential limitations of the essential infrastructure of the city and the need to maintain and enhance this infrastructure in anticipation of future growth. I expect there are some people who would actively oppose this as a means of limiting growth – the same people who would likely advocate cobblestone roads to limit traffic. I recall not so long ago hearing someone speak against renovations of Cambridge’s water treatment facility because he thought this would only lead to more development and more people living in Cambridge.

Order #6. That the City Council call upon members of the Cambridge Congressional Delegation to reject any proposal that seeks to balance the federal budget at the expense of state and local governments.   Councillor Cheung and Mayor Davis

This Order refers to a truly frightening proposal to remove the tax exemption on municipal bonds. I can’t believe there are people in the U.S. Congress who would advocate such a city-killing idea.

Order #10. That the City Manager is hereby requested to appoint a special task force of real estate and engineering professionals to assess and evaluate the current condition of the Foundry property and projected capital needs as well as anticipated expenses of maintaining the building.   Councillor Toomey and Councillor Maher

The battle lines over the future of this building are being drawn with some very different points of view among city councillors. This is just the next round in a continuing tussle.

Order #11. That the City Manager is requested to work with the appropriate city staff to provide a report to the City Council detailing how the City of Cambridge working in conjunction with the DCR will insure that oversize vehicles not be allowed travel along Memorial Drive so that accidents similar to the sad crushing of the tour bus of prospective Harvard Students do not occur again.   Councillor vanBeuzekom

They can start by making sure those heavy rubber hanging mats are all in place as a warning system for oversized vehicles on these DCR roads. Needless to say, it doesn’t help when the bus driver is paying more attention to his GPS than to the road in front of him. This, of course, is a problem everywhere. We have become a nation of robots.

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public meeting held on Nov 20, 2012 to continue discussions on security cameras in the City.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public meeting held on Jan 23, 2013 to continue discussions on security cameras in the City.

I don’t expect to see anything sensible happening as a result of these hearings. It seems obvious to many of us that judicious use of cameras on major roads and potential problem areas is just common sense use of available technology.

Committee Report #4. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public meeting held on Jan 24, 2013 to discuss a zoning petition by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to amend the Zoning Ordinance and Map by creating a new Section 13.80 – Planned Unit Development 5 (PUD-5) District, which includes several parcels totaling approximately 26 acres in the area north of Memorial Drive, east of Ames Street and south of Main Street and Broadway, and would also include a parcel at One Broadway. The new Section 13.80 PUD-5 is intended to allow mixed use developments with increased development densities and heights.

I was recently on an MIT panel that addressed the substance of this petition. Some thoughts on Housing and the MIT/Kendall Petition can be found at http://cambridgecivic.com/?p=2436.

Committee Report #5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public meeting held on Jan 17, 2013 to discuss the zoning petition filed by Zevart M. Hollisian, Trustee of Garabed B. Hollisian Trust and L-Z Realty Trust and Seth D. Alexander, President, MIT Investment Management Company to amend the Zoning Ordinance and Map by extending the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District from Green Street out to Massachusetts Avenue in the area adjacent to Blanche Street; said petition includes a map and a commitment letter.

Committee Report #6. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Administrative Assistant, Office of the City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public meeting held on Jan 30, 2013 to continue discussions on a zoning petition filed by Zevart M. Hollisian, Trustee of Garabed B. Hollisian Trust and L-Z Realty Trust and Seth D. Alexander, President, MIT Investment Management Company to amend the zoning Ordinance and Map by extending the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District from Green Street out to Massachusetts Avenue in the area adjacent to Blanche Street; said petition includes a map and a commitment letter.

The Planning Board delivered its report at the last Council meeting and now the City Council has the report from the Ordinance Committee. The City Council may now be in a position to pass the petition to a 2nd Reading and get this petition in the queue for ordination in a few weeks. All the ducks appear to be in a row, but election year politics could still be a problem. Those of us who have followed all of the Central Square conversations over the last couple of years know that the really interesting zoning deliberations are yet to come. This petition was never more than a minor revision to the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District (CRDD) with the potential to improve a long-neglected block of Mass. Ave. It will be good to get a few other benefits out of the process, but this is really just a warm-up to something much more interesting. – RW

Post-meeting update: The City Council passed the Forest City petition to a 2nd Reading at this meeting on a 7-2 vote with Councillors vanBeuzekom and Kelley voting NO while saying this would be "premature". It was Councillor Reeves who then correctly noted that this is the 2nd time the petition has been submitted and that it’s been batted around now for nearly a year. There’s no way to logically conclude that advancing this petition is "premature". The petition could come to a final vote as soon as Mon, Feb 25.

February 10, 2013

Housing and the Kendall Square/MIT Petition

Filed under: Cambridge,Kendall Square,MIT,planning — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 6:19 pm

Housing and the Kendall Square/MIT Petition

There was a forum at MIT on Wed, Feb 6 hosted by the MIT Graduate Student Council that addressed some of the issues associated with the current MIT/Kendall Sq. zoning petition now before the Cambridge Planning Board and the Cambridge City Council. This forum was intended for an MIT audience, and only MIT affiliates were invited. It was an honor to have been asked to be a panelist at this forum. The forum was very well attended and required an overflow room to accommodate all the graduate students, undergraduates, post-docs, faculty, staff and administration who came to hear the plans and ask questions.

The good folks of the MIT GSC know how to run a very good meeting that showcases multiple viewpoints while refraining from advocacy. Special acknowledgement goes to GSC President Brian Spatocco who deserves to one day be the mayor or governor of somewhere, somehow, based on his ability to be so informative, fair, and objective.

After the introductions, the forum opened with Israel Ruiz (MIT Executive Vice-President & Treasurer) and Steve Marsh (Managing Director of Real Estate, MIT Investment Management Corporation – MITIMCo) explaining the elements of the zoning petition and its purpose. The panelists were Martin Schmidt (Associate Provost & Prof. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Linda Patton (Asst. Director of Off-Campus Housing), Bob Simha (Director of Campus Planning, 1960-2001 and DUSP Lecturer), Jonathan King (Prof. of Biology), Robert Winters (mathematics lecturer, editor of Cambridge Civic Journal), Ruth Perry (Prof. of Literature), and Thomas Kochan (2030 Faculty Task Force & Professor of Management).

Though the organizers were aware of which panelists might speak favorably or unfavorably about the zoning petition (so that they could provide balance), there were no conditions on what specific topics each panelist could address. I chose to focus on the context of housing for graduate students and on the affordability of housing in general. I tried to look at things from my point of view as someone who was an MIT graduate student starting in 1978 and who bought a three-family house in 1985 where I continue to live today. Though I may have skipped a point or two, here are the points I tried to make during my presentation:

The situation as it used to be (circa 1978):

1) There was a significant supply of multi-family housing stock in Cambridge.

2) Rent control was the law for much of the housing stock.

3) The great majority of graduate students preferred to live off-campus rather than in MIT dormitories.

4) Most graduate students were content to live in housemate situations, often with 3 or 4 or more to an apartment. Luxury accommodations were not in demand.

5) There were relatively few post-docs.

6) Kendall Square as a job generator did not really exist.

What happened? (the perfect storm)

1) Rent control ended as a result of a 1994 statewide initiative petition.

2) Much of the multi-family housing stock was converted to (high-end) condominiums.

3) Kendall Square and elsewhere was developed without concurrent housing – greatly increasing the pressure on existing local housing stock for both rental and ownership opportunities.

4) There was a significant increase in post-doc opportunities (in lieu of tenure-track faculty opportunities) – significantly increasing the grad/post-doc pool of people competing for housing.

5) Changing expectations – grad students/post-docs are demanding much higher quality housing, often shunning housemate situations.

6) Among some grads/post-docs, there is a greater need to be close to their labs.

7) There has been a national shift toward people preferring to live in urban environments, reversing the earlier pro-suburban movement among faculty, professional people, and seniors.

8) Any new housing built in and around Kendall Square will also be occupied by people who work in Boston and elsewhere.

The Net Effect:

All of these factors (and more) affect the availability and affordability of housing in and around Cambridge – not just for graduate students but for everyone. The problem is pervasive and is compounded by the resistance by many existing residents toward the construction of new housing in Cambridge and elsewhere. The isolated construction of a limited amount of housing anywhere in Cambridge will have a negligible effect on the overall housing problem. Indeed, it can even paradoxically have the opposite effect by attracting people toward this limited supply of new units who will then bid up the price to create a local "bubble" in the price of housing.

Indeed, the only way to reverse this "perfect storm" is to advocate for significant amounts of new housing in Cambridge, in Somerville, in Allston, in Charlestown, and elsewhere in the greater Boston area. Only when there is a range of housing choices at various rents and locations will any kind of rental housing market be restored in which people can make rational economic choices such as living a little further away or in less luxury in exchange for paying less rent. Trying to create a smattering of "affordable housing" units via inclusionary zoning or government subsidy will never have more than a limited effect on the essential problem. There are just too many factors conspiring to make housing unaffordable. If graduate students really want affordable housing, they should be clamoring for many thousands of housing units to be built everywhere in the area – and not just in Kendall Square and Cambridge.

Locally, it may well be that condominium conversion has had the greatest impact on this loss of affordability. Where once there were streets lined with two-family houses and triple-deckers that provided affordable housing for a resident owner AND for the other tenants in a building (including many graduate students), there are now luxury condominiums where the prices have been bid up to the point of unaffordability except for those in the upper income echelons. The only "working class" residents remaining are those who bought their housing long ago, inherited it, married well, or those with some expertise in benefiting from government-subsidized housing and related programs.

There are also people like me who bought their homes and continued to rent apartments to graduate students, post-docs, and others and who managed to pay off their mortgages without ever excessively raising rents. My affordable housing continues to provide the affordable housing for two other families who were graduate students when they first arrived. Cambridge would be a better place today if more of its two- and three-family homes had never been turned into luxury condominiums. Failure to put some limits on that condominium conversion may be the single greatest reason why MIT graduate students can no longer find affordable housing opportunities in Cambridge. This is also one of the greatest public policy failures by Cambridge elected officials who put all their faith in rent control. Building "affordable housing" today really is like closing the stable doors long after the horses have run away.

The MIT/Kendall Petition

This petition basically redefines the upper limits (heights, density) of what might be constructed in the area east of Ames Street, south of Main Street (plus the area around One Broadway to Broad Canal), and down to Memorial Drive. This petition is both timely and appropriate. This area has always had a mix of uses, including industrial uses. It’s also located at a major Red Line T station, and virtually all planning professionals agree that it’s best to concentrate density close to public transportation. The petition would only define the envelope of what could be built and not precisely what will be built.

Any debate regarding the appropriateness of commercial buildings vs. academic buildings vs. residential buildings in the petition area should really not be taking place before the Cambridge Planning Board or the Cambridge City Council (though this may affect how the petition is received by these respective bodies). This debate is properly one that must occur within the MIT community – administration, real estate investment people, faculty, staff, and students – and preferably also among those who live and work in the surrounding area.

MIT/Kendall plan - courtesy of Israel Ruiz
photo from MIT’s The Tech

Text of MIT/Kendall Petition

Jan 11, 2013 Memo from Community Development Dept. (CDD)

Regarding the graduate student housing issue

MIT can provide a good "Plan B" option for graduate students and post-docs by having ample on-campus and near-campus MIT-owned residential properties (especially for those who need to be close to labs, etc.), but this will barely make a dent in the larger problem. Many, perhaps most, graduate students and post-docs will continue to seek housing options off-campus – preferably within walking or bicycling distance. The focus has to be on increasing housing options within a reasonable distance of the MIT campus and not just on building housing within the MIT campus. Unfortunately, this is not something that MIT can unilaterally accomplish. It also requires action by local and state government AND by the developers who will ultimately build sufficient housing to restore some kind of viable housing market. Building "affordable housing" is fundamentally just politically expedient window-dressing.

A note on transportation

People really are choosing to be less reliant on automobiles, so public transportation infrastructure has to grow and to provide more frequent service and more reliable connections, and the entire system has to evolve from a hub-and-spokes model to more of a regional network. Otherwise we will be forever limited by the capacity of the hub in Boston. In the coming decades it will be very advantageous if a variety of new transit lines can be developed that do not require passing through the hub of Boston.

Etcetera

Whatever comes of the MIT/Kendall petition and of future plans for the petition area, it is essential that the results should not be boring. There really is a place for food trucks, diners, bumper cars, miniature golf, and other things that will have great appeal to many people – especially to MIT affiliates who have always had a love for things eclectic, entertaining, and affordable. There’s a reason why those food trucks are so popular. Those whose memories go back several decades understand that those food trucks are modern versions of the old F&T Diner. There has to be a place in the future East Campus where modern-day memories will be created – the 21st Century incarnations of the F&T, Pritchett Lounge, and the Muddy Charles Pub. People can reasonably debate the relative merits of housing vs. academic buildings vs. commercial buildings that will help finance long-overdue renovations of existing MIT buildings. However, if the future is boring and pathetically predictable, that will be unforgivable. – Robert Winters

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