Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

April 30, 2012

Budget Season – April 30, 2012 Cambridge City Council Agenda Highlights

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council,Comcast — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 1:59 pm

Budget Season – April 30, 2012 Cambridge City Council Agenda Highlights

The centerpiece of tonight’s meeting is the FY2013 Budget. The Budget Hearings of the Finance Committee will commence this week. See schedule below.

Manager’s Agenda #2. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board petition to amend the Zoning Map of the City of Cambridge for an area along North Massachusetts Avenue.

From the report: "The petition amends the Zoning Map by changing the zoning of an area in the vicinity of Trolley Square and Linear Park from Business A-2 to Residence C-2B. This will allow a similar density to the current Business A-2 zoning district, but is limited to residential uses and provides increased setback and open space standards. The proposed map change is complementary to the proposed zoning text changes to the Mass. Ave. Overlay District previously submitted to the Council."

The meatiest items on the agenda are the annual Big Capital items to be financed by bonds. These are always introduced around the time of the submission of the annual budget. Here are this year’s Big Ticket items:

Manager’s Agenda #3. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to an order requesting the appropriation and authorization to borrow $2,100,000 to provide funds for the replacement of the slate roof on City Hall and additional funds for the replacement of the roofs on the Ryan Garage and Simard Buildings at Public Works.

Manager’s Agenda #4. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to an order requesting the appropriation and authorization to borrow $5,000,000 to provide funds for improvements to the Kendall Square area including Main Street between Broadway and Ames Street including the reconstruction of streets and sidewalks and the installation of new pedestrian-scale public lighting, street furniture, trees, and other beautification measures.

Manager’s Agenda #5. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to an order requesting the appropriation and authorization to borrow $1,245,000 to provide funds for the acquisition of a ladder truck and pumper to replace vehicles that have been in service since 1994 and 1991, respectively.

Manager’s Agenda #6. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to an order requesting the appropriation and authorization to borrow $1,540,000 to provide funds for the design, regrade, drainage, and installation of new synthetic field surfaces on the soccer fields at Danehy Park.

Manager’s Agenda #7. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to an order requesting the appropriation and authorization to borrow $7,557,670 to provide funds for construction of sewer separation, stormwater management and combined sewer overflow reduction elimination improvements within the City’s Alewife watershed.

The central item on tonight’s agenda is the Budget Overview (672 KB PDF). It is always informative and usually very responsive to most of the concerns expressed by councillors during the months leading up to the submission of the budget. The Manager’s presentation is invariable followed by well-deserved praise from most of the councillors. Indeed, their jobs are made so much easier because of the efforts of the City Manager’s Office and the Finance Department to plan and provide adequate funding for all the services and programs that Cambridge provides. [Download the entire FY2013 Budget Book (18.2MB PDF)]

Unfinished Business #6. That the FY2013 City Budget be referred to the Finance Committee, with the exception that the Budget Overview be postponed to … the Apr 30, 2012 City Council meeting … at which time the City Manager will give an overview of the 2013 City Budget….

Then there’s this:

Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to report to the City Council on appropriate regulation of satellite dishes, possibly through an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance.   Mayor Davis

I don’t suppose anyone likes the idea of satellite dishes decorating the exterior of many residential buildings in Cambridge, but this is the consequence of the predatory pricing of Comcast’s Evil Empire. If the City Council acts in such a way as to make it difficult to find an affordable alternative to the Evil Empire, then they have indeed gone over to The Dark Side. – Robert Winters

Comments?


Schedule of Budget Hearings:

Wed, May 2

9:00am   The City Council’s Finance Committee will conduct a public hearing on the FY2013 City Budget. This hearing to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mayor’s Office
Executive
City Council
City Clerk
Law
Finance Admin.
Budget
Personnel
Assessing
Purchasing
Auditing
Treasury/Revenue
Information Technology
Employee Benefits
General Services
Election Commission
Public Celebrations
Reserve
License Commission
Animal Commission
Fire Department
Police Department
Traffic, Parking & Transportation
Inspectional Services
Weights & Measures
Electrical
Emergency Communications
Cable TV

Wed, May 9

9:00am   The City Council’s Finance Committee will conduct a public hearing on the FY2013 City Budget. This hearing to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Public Works
Cambridge Health Alliance
Water
Community Development
Historical Commission
Conservation Commission
Peace Commission
Police Review & Advisory Board
Debt Service
Library
Human Services
Women’s Commission
Human Rights Commission
Veterans
MWRA
Cherry Sheet
Summaries Section
Revenue Section
Public Investment

Date changes for individual departments may occur.

Wed, May 16

6:00pm   The City Council’s Finance Committee will conduct a public hearing on the FY2013 School Department Budget. This hearing to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

8 Comments

  1. I really hope that some of the $5M being talked about for Kendall Square includes some cash to help clean up the Old 6th St walkway. The benches and trash cans all need to be replaced and the lights need to be cleaned up.

    Comment by Joe Aiello — April 30, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  2. This is not included in the current capital budget request, but I just spoke with DPW Commissioner Lisa Peterson and it is now on their radar. Any really major improvements there may naturally occur along with future plans at the adjacent Volpe site.

    Comment by Robert Winters — April 30, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

  3. Thank you, Robert. Most of us in East Cambridge use that path everyday and it would be nice to see it cleaned up. It might even be used more if the city did something with it.

    Comment by Joe Aiello — April 30, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

  4. The Sixth Street walkway is apparently DCR property, so you should expect that some effort may be required to overcome the usual obstacles.

    Comment by Robert Winters — April 30, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

  5. The city councillors are all speaking (very emotionally) now about the deaths of both Les Kimbrough and Charles Stead on the same day this past weekend.

    Comment by Robert Winters — April 30, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

  6. I just learned that Mr Stead suffered a massive heart attack over the weekend and had open heart surgery at Mass General. However, he is still very much alive and will be cheered to hear of the outpouring of respect for his years of service.

    Comment by Minka vanBeuzekom — May 1, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

  7. Wow. That’s an interesting reversal of fortune.

    Comment by Robert Winters — May 1, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

  8. As someone who lives near the Inman fire station (and Cambridge City Hospital), I hope that the new fire trucks will obey the same clean air restrictions as do modern UPS & FedEx delivery trucks. Fire & rescue trucks, ambulances, and tow trucks contracted by the city emit blue black choking smoke.

    Comment by JChase — May 1, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

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