The Eve of Decision – Nov 2, 2015 Cambridge City Council agenda
The City Council meets this week on the eve of the November 3 municipal election. [Tune in to CCTV any time after 8:00pm Tuesday for the live Election Night broadcast hosted by Susana Segat and Robert Winters.] Here are a few items of interest that our nerve-wracked city councillors will be considering as their thoughts drift toward the following day:
Manager’s Agenda #3. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 15-18, regarding a report on renaming the Area IV Youth Center as the “Dr. Robert and Janet Moses Youth Center.” [attachment]
It would be an even greater honor if "The Algebra Project" so closely associated with Dr. Robert Moses could be promoted and continue forevermore at the Youth Center soon to be renamed in honor of Dr. Robert and Janet Moses.
Applications & Petitions #3. A zoning petition has been received from the Friends of MAPOCO, to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance by a new sub-district of the Massachusetts Avenue Overlay District along Massachusetts Avenue between Porter Square and Cambridge Common.
The delicious irony of this zoning petition filed on the eve of the municipal election is that one of the signers is Councillor Dennis “Not ’til there’s a Master Plan” Carlone.
Applications & Petitions #4. An application was received from the Boston Ballet, 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, requesting permission to hang twenty-three temporary banners on electrical poles on in Harvard Square. These banners will promote the Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. The temporary banners will be hung from Nov 23 to Jan 4, 2016. Approval has been received from the Electrical Department.
One has to marvel at the plans of the Boston Ballet to hang "Nutcracker" banners directly in front of the Jose Mateo Ballet Theater in Cambridge which also stages its own annual performances of "The Nutcracker".
Resolution #7. Happy 100th Birthday wishes to Floyd Freeman. Councillor Simmons
Floyd Freeman was my favorite neighbor for a quarter century on our block of Broadway – until the night his house burned down and he was forced to move closer to his son and daughter. Many a day I headed down the street on the way to somewhere and never made it because it was just so much more interesting to talk with Floyd. On November 7 he will turn 100 years old and is still playing music and is as sharp as ever. I won’t be able to make it to Detroit for his birthday celebration next weekend, but I plan to honor him in other ways. Happy birthday, Floyd. You really are the best.
Happy birthday, Floyd!
This photo was taken at Floyd Freeman’s 90th birthday party ten years ago.
Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the Community Development Department and other appropriate City departments to determine the feasibility of establishing an online database of “problematic landlords” modeled upon the databases of Chicago and New York, to determine what the criteria for establishing this designation would be, and to report back to the City Council on when such a database could be up and running in a timely manner. Councillor Simmons
Why stop there? Perhaps we should also draft a list of "problematic tenants" who nobody would ever want to live in their building. Shop owners could team up to draft a "problematic customer" list. It’s not unreasonable to want to have such lists and I’m sure there are people who would be more than happy to gather the data and pass judgment. However, it may not be the wisest choice for a municipality to do this except in the most egregious cases.
Communications #15. A communication was received from Kim Courtney and Xavier Dietrich, regarding a package store with an invalid liquor license.
Order #8. That the City Clerk, in consultation with the City Solicitor, draft a response regarding the attached Open Meeting Law complaint for the City Council’s consideration, so that the draft response may be considered and voted on by the City Council at its next regular business meeting of Nov 9, 2015. Mayor Maher
Communications & Reports from City Officers #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting an Open Meeting Law Complaint filed by Kim Courtney and Xavier Dietrich, 955 Massachusetts Avenue #259, Cambridge, regarding the Minutes of the City Council meeting of Aug 10, 2015.
Perhaps it’s time to present Cambridge’s First Annual Dirty Diaper Award to this dynamic duo of litigious, misinformed, and thoroughly annoying wannabe City Council candidates. They can hang it on the wall of the wine bar they may one day open after their retirement from political life. – Robert Winters