Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

March 11, 2016

Cambridge City Manager Richard Rossi to retire later this year

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 11:08 am

Cambridge City Manager Richard Rossi to retire later this year

Richard C. RossiCity Manager Richard C. Rossi informed the City Council on Friday, March 11 at the Government Operations, Rules, and Claims Committee meeting that he will retire when his contract expires on June 30, 2016.

Mr. Rossi has worked for the City for over four decades – including serving as Deputy City Manager from August 1982 through June 2013 and as City Manager since July 2013 when he succeeded Robert W. Healy.

Mr. Rossi explained that after working so long in the service of the city of his birth, he felt like it was time to dedicate more of his time to his family and other interests.

Though the departure of Mr. Rossi will be a substantial change, one of the hallmarks of the Cambridge City administration in recent years has been its remarkable bench strength – department heads and all those involved in maintaining the fiscal health of the City. There are more than a few people in the City administration who could step up to fill Mr. Rossi’s shoes or, at the very least, serve essential roles in the administration of any new City Manager.

In a city where various political factions have often clashed, Richard Rossi has long been viewed a "someone we can work with" by people on all sides. During his tenure as City Manager he has responded to concerns about vacancies on City Boards and Commissions by methodically reviewing all of the boards and deliberately making appropriate reappointments and new appointments to many of these boards. During his time as Deputy City Manager, Mr. Rossi was often seen as the "point man" on significant capital projects, and he earned the trust and admiration of the great majority of residents who had an interest in getting the best outcomes for projects that include renovations of the Cambridge Hospital, the Walter Sullivan Water Treatment Plant, City Hall Annex, the new Main Library, and various school renovation and reconstruction projects. Indeed, one of the things that both Robert Healy and Richard Rossi will be remembered for decades from now is their relentless focus on renewing the infrastructure of the city and its public buildings while maintaining the City’s fiscal health through it all. This is no simple task.

Speaking personally, Richard Rossi was our greatest ally during 1989-1991 when we were getting the City’s recycling program off the ground – long before environmental initiatives like this became a core part of the City’s play book. Deputy City Manager Lisa Peterson was our other great ally, and she has not wavered in her support during the more than two decades that followed. Rich Rossi earned my respect and friendship through those recycling initiatives as well as during the work of the Library 21 Committee and the Green Ribbon Open Space Committee. Any hesitance by then City Manager Bob Healy to be actively engaged with the public was more than compensated for by the presence of Rich Rossi.

On more than one occasion Rich Rossi has marveled to me in conversation about just how far we have come since those early days when were trying to figure out how best to create a citywide recycling program. That focus has now expanded to include transportation planning, energy conservation, and other initiatives. So many of the things we take for granted in City planning today evolved during the years with Robert Healy and Richard Rossi at the helm. I wish we could keep Richie in the Manager’s Office for another few years, but we will all be happy to simply express our gratitude for his dedication over these many years in helping to make Cambridge the city it is today. – Robert Winters

Full statement here

March 9, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 119-120: March 8, 2016

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge InsideOut — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 12:20 am

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 119 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Mar 8, 2016 at 5:30pm. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 120 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Mar 8, 2016 at 6:00pm. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

March 8, 2016

Nominations Sought for 2016 Outstanding City Employee Awards

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 2:00 am

Nominations Sought for 2016 Outstanding City Employee Awards

Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking nominations for the 2016 Outstanding City Employee Awards program which recognizes employees for exemplary performance and contributions that go above and beyond job requirements.

Cambridge city government is made up of dedicated employees who strive to provide a high level of quality services to all its citizens. The annual awards ceremony provides a special opportunity to give extra recognition to a few exemplary individuals. Winners will be recognized at a special awards ceremony on Friday, May 6, 2016.

Outstanding City Employee Awards are designed to recognize contributions that are above and beyond job requirements. Criteria for determining outstanding performance include:

  • City SealDemonstrated strong leadership and a high level of commitment to the City and its residents.
  • Demonstrated outstanding customer service to the public and/or fellow employees.
  • Developed an innovative or creative solution to a problem.
  • Made superior contribution to the success of a project, completing work on time and within budget.
  • Donated significant time to activities that benefit the Cambridge community.
  • Encouraged and valued community involvement.
  • Demonstrated an exceptional ability to work in a multicultural organization.
  • Consistently contributed to better City operations.

All City employees at all levels of the City workforce are eligible for nomination. Anyone who lives or works in Cambridge may nominate one or more city employees for recognition. Individuals are not limited as to how many employees s/he chooses to nominate but must submit a separate Nomination Form or letter for each employee. Employees may not nominate their supervisor or department head for recognition.

Online Nomination Forms can be accessed from this news story on the city’s website, A signed nomination letter may be submitted instead of the nomination form. Completed nominations must be submitted to the Personnel Department by Friday, April 8, 2016. In addition, you may email nominations to or fax to the Personnel Department at 617-349-4312. For more information, contact Maryellen Carvello at or 617-349-4301.

Magazine Beach Goes to the State House

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 1:57 am

Magazine Beach Goes to the State House: Exhibit & Associated Programs
How do we make decisions about the use of public land?

Location: State House, 4th floor, outside House Chambers
Exhibition dates: March 7-18
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm. (See it after 3pm on Monday.)

Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 9, 12-1pm. 4th floor. Free.

Lunchtime Panel: Saving Our Parks: Effective Partnerships between Government & Community Groups, Wednesday, March 16, 12-1pm. 3rd floor, Room 350. Free. Refreshments at both.

See Magazine Beach – A Place Apart at the Mass. State House, starting this Monday afternoon (March 7). While the exhibition focuses on the forces that have shaped the Cambridge park, it explores the broader question: How do we make decisions about the use of public land?

The show includes a new section, A Revitalized Park, featuring the latest landscape plans and renderings of the park and information about the Powder Magazine and DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program.

On Wednesday, March 16 starting at noon there will be a Lunchtime Panel featuring effective public/private partnerships. Legislators, DCR and three community groups will present case studies of how they have partnered successfully to protect and preserve green open spaces, critical to community well-being.

Projects featured include:

  • Magazine Beach Park in Cambridge, MA, where the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association (CNA) has partnered with the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to study and stabilize the Powder Magazine there and now redesign and improve the western part of the 15-acre park.
  • Upton State Forest in Upton, MA, where the Friends of the Upton State Forest has partnered with DCR, Upton, Preservation Mass. and Upton State Forest user groups to preserve the last remaining Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Mass.
  • Southeastern Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens, where the Pine Barrens Partnership (PBP) is networking municipal, state and federal agencies, Native American tribes, environmental organizations and businesses to conserve this globally rare eco-region covering 26 towns and 100,000 acres.

Arrive early to pass through security and to see the exhibit. For further information, go to Questions? Contact Cathie Zusy at or Caitlin Duffy at

Magazine Beach

Local Political Rumblings – State Representatives and State Senators (March 2016)

Filed under: elections — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 1:53 am

Local Political Rumblings – State Representatives and State Senators

Mar 8 – Cambridge has 3 State Senate districts and 5 State representative districts. Of these, only one district (Rep. Marjorie Decker) lies wholly within the City of Cambridge. All 40 State Senate seats and all 160 State Representative seats are up for reelection this coming November (and every even year), though many of these seats are uncontested (a sad state of affairs). So what’s the current status for this year’s state elections? Here are a few facts (and a rumor or two):

First, Sen. Anthony Petruccelli announced that he is resigning his First Suffolf and Middlesex Senate seat and a Democratic primary election is scheduled for Tues, April 12 to fill the vacancy. In the primary there are 7 Democratic candidates seeking this State Senate seat (and the eventual winner will still have to face reelection in November). The candidates are State Rep. Jay Livingstone (Beacon Hill) who has garnered the endorsement of all of Cambridge’s city councillors, Joseph Boncore (Winthrop), Lydia Edwards (East Boston), Diana Hwang (East Boston), Steve Morabito (Revere), Dan Rizzo (Revere), and Paul Rogers (East Boston). The general election, likely a formality with the only non-Democrat being Donald Logan Willyard (R-Revere), is scheduled for Tues, May 10.

It is rumored that City Councillor Leland Cheung may challenge Sen. Pat Jehlen for her Second Middlesex Senate seat this fall.

I have not yet heard of any potential challengers to Sen. Sal DiDomenico for his Middlesex and Suffolk Senate seat.

State Senate Districts - Cambridge

On the State Representative side, City Councillor and State Rep. Timothy J. Toomey will be seeking reelection to his 26th Middlesex State Rep. seat. He will be challenged by activist Mike Connolly who ran unsuccessfully against Toomey several years ago. In the interim, Connolly ran unsuccessfully for Cambridge City Council last November.

State Rep. Marjorie Decker will likely again be challenged by perennial candidate Lesley Phillips for the 25th Middlesex seat.

I have not yet heard of any challengers to Rep. David Rogers (24th Middlesex) or Rep. Jonathan Hecht (29th Middlesex), though I’m sure there are some potential candidates at least thinking about it. As for the 8th Suffolk State Rep. seat currently occupied by Jay Livingstone, that all depends upon how he fares in the April 12 primary. If he is successful, that would open up his State Rep. seat and we’ll have to wait and see who expresses interest in that seat. If unsuccessful, Rep. Livingstone could try again for the Senate seat in the fall or seek reelection to his current State Rep. seat.

If anyone knows of any other emerging candidates for the fall elections, please let me know. – Robert Winters

State Rep. Districts - Cambridge

Meet the Senate Candidates – March 8th (Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association meeting)

The Democratic and Republican primaries for Anthony Petruccelli’s open Mass. Senate seat is April 12; the election will be May 10th.

On Tuesday, March 8, the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Assn. will host a Meet the Candidates as part of their March meeting at the Central Square Library. From 6-6:30pm there will be time to mingle with the candidates; from 6:30-7:30pm candidates will present short statements, followed by a short Q&A.

Attending will be: Joe Boncore, Lydia Edwards, Diana Hwang, Jay Livingstone, Steve Morabito, and Dan Rizzo.

At 7:30pm, City Arborist David Lefcourt and Maggie Booz, Co-chair of the Cambridge Committee on Public Planting, will speak about the care of young City trees. A short update about Magazine Beach and the listserv will follow.

The meeting will be in the 2nd floor Community Room at the Central Square Library at 45 Pearl Street. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

Sidewalk Poetry Returns to Cambridge!

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 1:48 am

Sidewalk PoetrySidewalk Poetry Returns to Cambridge!

Are you a poet? Or might you be a poet, but you don’t know YET because you’ve never done it? Or are you a student, electrician, shop owner, or athlete, or someone of any other profession, who also happens to write poems occasionally? We would like to hear from you in the next three weeks! This is the second year of the Cambridge Sidewalk Poetry Contest, designed to select poems written by Cambridge residents for imprinting in City sidewalks in 2016.

Cambridge residents of any age are invited to submit one poem of their own work to the 2016 Sidewalk Poetry Contest, March 1-20, 2016. The inaugural contest attracted over 300 submissions from residents from 4-95 years, demonstrating the ageless appeal of poetry. The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm on Sunday, March 20, 2016.

For more information and to submit a poem, please visit

March 2, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 117-118: March 1, 2016

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge InsideOut,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 12:03 am

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 117 (Part 1) – Super Tuesday

This episode was broadcast on Mar 1, 2016 at 5:30pm. In this episode we talked about Super Tuesday and where the presidential primaries stand. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 118 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Mar 1, 2016 at 6:00pm. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

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