Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

January 6, 2014

Jan 6, 2014 – Inauguration Day

Filed under: 2013 Election,Cambridge,Cambridge government,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 12:40 am

Jan 6, 2014 – Inauguration Day

The Inauguration of the 2014-2015 Cambridge City Council will take place today at City Hall beginning at 10:00am. After the ceremonial activities and the oaths of office, there will be just two items of business – the adoption of the Rules for the 2014-2015 City Council (usually just the formal adoption of the rules in effect for the previous Council) and the Election of a Mayor. The meeting will be conducted by City Clerk Donna Lopez until a Mayor is elected. If a Mayor is not elected at the Inaugural Meeting, the most senior member of the City Council, Tim Toomey, will serve as Acting Mayor until such time as a Mayor is elected.

There is a relatively good chance that a Mayor will be elected at the Inaugural Meeting this year. The major contenders are rumored to be Leland Cheung, David Maher, and Denise Simmons. If a Mayor is elected, the City Council will then proceed to the election of its Vice Chair (customarily referred to as the Vice Mayor).

Later in the day (6:00pm), the 2014-2015 Cambridge School Committee will be inaugurated with the Mayor presiding.

Dennis Benzan
Benzan
Dennis Carlone
Carlone
Leland Cheung
Cheung
Craig Kelley
Kelley
David Maher
Maher
Nadeem Mazen
Mazen
Marc McGovern
McGovern
Denise Simmons
Simmons
Tim Toomey
Toomey

It’s Mayor Maher

It was a rollercoaster of a mayoral vote this morning, but the new City Council finally did get the job done. Here’s a rundown (using the initials of councillors and mayoral candidates in the tally):

EVENT DB DC LC CK DM NM MM DS TT RESULT
Ballot #1 DM LC LC DS DM DS DM DS DM Maher 4, Simmons 3, Cheung 2
Ballot #2 DM LC LC LC DM LC DM DS DM Maher 4, Cheung 4, Simmons 1
Simmons switch to Maher DM LC LC LC DM LC DM DM DM Maher 5, Cheung 4
Cheung switch to Simmons DM LC DS LC DM LC DM DM DM Maher 5, Cheung 3, Simmons 1
Kelley switch to Simmons DM LC DS DS DM LC DM DM DM Maher 5, Cheung 2, Simmons 2
Carlone switch to Simmons DM DS DS DS DM LC DM DM DM Maher 5, Simmons 3, Cheung 1
Mazen switch to Simmons DM DS DS DS DM DS DM DM DM Maher 5, Simmons 4
Simmons switch to Simmons DM DS DS DS DM DS DM DS DM Simmons 5, Maher 4
Benzan switch to Simmons DS DS DS DS DM DS DM DS DM Simmons 6, Maher 3
Mazen switch to Kelley DS DS DS DS DM CK DM DS DM Simmons 5, Maher 3, Kelley 1
Carlone switch to Kelley DS CK DS DS DM CK DM DS DM Simmons 4, Maher 3, Kelley 2
Ballot #3 DM LC LC DS DM DS DM DM DM Maher 5, Cheung 2, Simmons 2
Cheung switch to Simmons DM LC DS DS DM DS DM DM DM Maher 5, Simmons 3, Cheung 1
Carlone switch to Simmons DM DS DS DS DM DS DM DM DM Maher 5, Simmons 4

It is worth noting that at the end of Ballot #3, Denise Simmons could have once again changed her vote to herself (giving her a majority) but chose not to do so – perhaps due to the belief that this would lead to just another cycle of vote changes.

After Mayor Maher took the oath of office, the City Council then proceeded to the vote for Vice Chair. Though not initially unanimous for Dennis Benzan, Denise Simmons moved that the vote be made unanimous and there was no objection.

Congratulations to Mayor David Maher and to Vice Mayor Dennis Benzan! – RW

12 Comments

  1. Compare other local municipal governments neighboring Cambridge, for example Inauguration of Boston Mayor
    at
    http://cityofboston.gov
    http://www.ustream.tv/user/BostonCableOffice

    and Boston City Council members
    http://cityofboston.gov/citycouncil
    http://www.cityofboston.gov/citycouncil/live.asp

    Somerville Board of Aldermen
    http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/board-of-aldermen
    http://somervillecityma.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx

    Brookline Board of Selectmen
    http://www.brooklinema.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16&Itemid=679

    ArlingtonBoard of Selectmen
    http://www.arlingtonma.gov/Public_Documents/ArlingtonMA_Selectmen/index

    Belmont Board of Selectmen
    http://www.town.belmont.ma.us/Public_Documents/BelmontMA_BComm/BOS/index

    Comment by theszak — January 6, 2014 @ 7:34 am

  2. It’s Mayor Maher.

    Comment by Robert Winters — January 6, 2014 @ 11:25 am

  3. Excellent choice for Mayor. Congratulations, David.

    -FRED BAKER

    Comment by FRED BAKER — January 6, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

  4. I agree that this was a good choice, but I would have been quite happy with any of the three contenders.

    It is perhaps noteworthy that at one point Denise Simmons actually had 6 votes, but then Nadeem Mazen and Dennis Carlone changed their votes to prevent Denise Simmons from being elected.

    Comment by Robert Winters — January 6, 2014 @ 2:27 pm

  5. The Mazen/Carlone switch to Kelley (after they had both voted for Simmons) was confusing and infuriating.

    Comment by Joseph "Slugs" Aiello — January 6, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

  6. I suppose.
    You don’t have a strong Mayor in Cambridge anyway so it matters less than elsewhere.
    Aside of making Committee appointments, chairing Council meetings and being the head
    of the School Committee (and cutting ribbons and other mayor-ish bologna) it doesn’t matter
    much. The Mayor can’t really block legislation any more than another Councillor can.
    And I prefer it that way to, say, Boston, where the Mayor is essentially a dictator.

    -FRED BAKER

    Comment by FRED BAKER — January 6, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

  7. How long did the whole process of voting for Mayor itself take?

    -FRED BAKER

    Comment by FRED BAKER — January 6, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

  8. Thanks Rob for providing a clear summary of the vote this morning.
    To me the really confusing bit was at the end of ballot 2, when Mazen and Carlone switch their votes.
    Anyone have any insights?
    While the city manager does take some of the administrative teeth out post of Mayor does involve setting the overall agenda for the city government.

    Comment by Nick Gross — January 6, 2014 @ 10:03 pm

  9. For those who missed it, the inaugural video can be found at
    http://ec4.cc/ad48c438
    The vote for mayor begins about 45 minutes in.
    Councilor Simmons gives her initial leadership speech at about minute 51. It all goes sideways right after that.

    Comment by Nick Gross — January 6, 2014 @ 10:21 pm

  10. I can’t really explain the Carlone/Mazen double switch – first for Denise Simmons, and then to prevent her from becoming Mayor all during the same ballot. On its face, it’s inexplicable. I can only guess that they were using Councillor Simmons as a pawn in a larger game. In any case, the Clean Slate used its first public vote to throw filth all over themselves. It will take some time before they regain any respect from their new colleagues.

    The next mystery is how the Mayor will make committee appointments. I can think of two new councillors who will likely not be thrilled with their committee assignments.

    Comment by Robert Winters — January 6, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

  11. On the face of it, I think Rob is correct in that the “clean slate” candidates seemed just as capable of playing the game as anyone else. (Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss). The only clue I would point to is that just before Carlone and Mazen switch their votes in the second ballot, Chueng makes an appeal for putting off the decision till next week. It is possible to read the Mazen/Carlone switch as a way to keep the discussion live again.

    I would add that a number of external factors added to the drama. The meeting chaired by a new City Clerk who took on the task of scribe as well as chair caused some confusion. (Isn’t there usual a separate chair and scribe?) That said she showed significant poise once she realized her mistake and did and nice job recovering from it at the end of the 2nd ballot. A review of the pod cast shows that ultimately everyone was recorded as they should have been. Having this play out in front of a vocal but uninitiated crowd led to the “12th man” (or in this case “10th man”) effect more suitable to a sporting event rather then a public meeting.

    Comment by Nick Gross — January 7, 2014 @ 10:12 am

  12. Mazden and Peal Harbor working in tandem makes me a bit queasy. That being said I’m pleased that Mayer Maher is Mayor once Maher.

    Comment by Patrick Barrett — January 7, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

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