Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

November 26, 2018

A Quick One! Nov 26, 2018 Cambridge City Council meeting

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 12:24 am

A Quick One! Nov 26, 2018 Cambridge City Council meeting

Though a short agenda does not guarantee a short meeting, hope springs eternal. Below are the handful of items of potential action or interest, but first a word or two about The Who.A Quick One

I understand that many people these days may not even know what a radio or a record is, and the term "long playing" (or LP) may now refer only to how long somebody spends on their video games. However there once was a pretty great band called The Who that was known by many as the raucous band that destroyed their equipment at live shows. They also produced some pretty great studio albums – one of which was the nifty 1966 record (their second) called "A Quick One". All the band members wrote songs for this one, e.g. "Run, Run, Run" (Pete Townsend), "Boris the Spider" (John Entwistle), "I Need You" (Keith Moon), and "See My Way" (Roger Daltrey). I have a particular fondness for "Boris the Spider".

Anyway, whenever I say or think of the phrase "A Quick One" it reminds me of this really great record.

Now back to less interesting stuff.

Manager’s Agenda #1. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the an order requesting the appropriation and authorization to borrow $3,000,000 to provide funds for the planning and feasibility of improvements to 831 Massachusetts Avenue and 3 Bigelow Street buildings, and the design and construction of improvements at City Hall.

I really hope one of the city councillors asks what the total cost now is for rehab of these two buildings (831 Mass. Ave. and 3 Bigelow Street.). As for City Hall, how much of the cost is for the ever-growing coddling budget for city councillors?

Manager’s Agenda #2. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to an order requesting the appropriation and authorization to borrow $3,000,000 to provide funds for the design and reconstruction of the Fire Station Headquarters building.

I’m glad to see the City’s firehouses getting some long-overdue attention.

Unfinished Business #5. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-85, regarding a report on the feasibility of appointing an advisory committee to work through resilience elements raised during the Envision process and through the Brown Petition.

The discussion on this last week was illuminating, especially the objections to there being four city councillors on the committee. Apparently this flies in the face a several Open Meeting Law quorum restrictions. It’s also unprecedented to have an advisory committee with four city councillors, but such is the price of political accommodation.

Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the Community Development Department, the Cambridge Public Health Department, and any other appropriate departments to provide a timeline outlining when the City Council can expect to receive draft zoning and public health regulations for urban farming.   Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Zondervan

Other than beekeeping and perhaps legalizing a few stray hens, I’m still at a loss to explain why this is even an issue or why it has been batted around for so long. Do we really need an ordinance to regulate the sale of some stuff grown in our gardens?

Order #2. That the City Manager work with the Economic Development Department, Business Associations, and Cambridge Local First to create a Small Business Saturday strategy that increases traffic to our local businesses during the 2019 holiday season.   Councillor Mallon, Councillor Siddiqui

I personally spent Black Friday at home and will let Cyber Monday pass without spending a dime. As for a strategy to increase traffic to our local businesses, I suggest lowering prices and, of course, selling some really cool stuff. – Robert Winters

4 Comments »

  1. Now I have to go dig through my Dad’s albums and play The Who when I get home tonight. Thanks.

    Comment by Liza — November 26, 2018 @ 9:56 am

  2. On the $3 mii for the two city buildings. Why isn’t it a more reasonable amount for the planning, and then when details are known a request for the money to do the construction?
    And is there a statement of what problems they are trying to solve?

    Comment by John W Gintell — November 26, 2018 @ 10:04 am

  3. My concern about the cost stems from the fact that there have already been a number of appropriation orders related to the old Chamber of Commerce building (831 Mass. Ave.), including the cost of the taking.

    Comment by Robert Winters — November 26, 2018 @ 11:02 am

  4. On the urban farming topic – farming is gardening at scale – I wonder what your local grocer might say about the challenges of selling fresh food?

    Comment by Sara Coyle — November 30, 2018 @ 10:00 am

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