Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

January 27, 2020

Notable Items on the Jan 27, 2020 Cambridge City Council Agenda

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , , , , — Robert Winters @ 12:42 am

Notable Items on the Jan 27, 2020 Cambridge City Council Agenda

Here’s my first pass at the interesting stuff ("interesting", of course, being a relative term):

Manager’s Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the recommendation to reappointment of Gerard Clark as a member of the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) Board of Commissioners for a term of 5-years.

Manager’s Agenda #2. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following person as a new member of the Affordable Housing Trust Board for a term of three years, effective Jan 22, 2020: Elaine DeRosa

Manager’s Agenda #3. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the reappointment of the following members of the LGBTQ+ Commissioner for a term of three years, effective Feb 6, 2020: Mal Malme, Robert Parlin, Aren Stone, Catherine Grams, Noelani Kamelamela, Gregory MacDonough and Britt Huhmann

Many board appointments this week. The City Manager is "the appointing authority" under the City Charter, but there are two boards for which City appointments require City Council confirmation – the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority and the Cambridge Housing Authority – so the CHA appointment will likely be referred to the Housing Committee for a formal hearing. [Members of Cambridge Boards & Commissions (updated Jan 24, 2020)]

Manager’s Agenda #4. Transmitting communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $46,000 from Free Cash to the General Fund Elections Department Salary and Wages account ($6,145) and to the General Fund Elections Department Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($39,855) which will be used to cover the additional costs associated with recently approved early voting for the Presidential Primary, Mar 3rd, 2020.

Early Voting for the Presidential Primary will be available Feb 24 through Feb 28 at 6 locations [www.CambridgeMA.gov/EarlyVoting]. Election Day is Mar 3, 2020.

Unfinished Business #3. Fuel pump warning labels [Passed to Second Reading on Jan 13, 2020 to be ordained on or after Jan 23, 2020.]

I expect this perfectly meaningless gesture will be ordained unanimously.

Resolution #2. Congratulations to Sydney Cox for 45 Years at DPW.   Councillor Simmons

One of the best things about being involved in recycling and composting promotion in Cambridge was the opportunity it afforded me to meet so many of the really great people at the Department of Public Works – many of whom, including Sydney Cox, have careers with the City spanning many decades. The annual DPW Commissioners Awards Ceremony in the spring has always been one of my favorite City events (and not just for the cookout!).

Resolution #11. Resolution on the death of Richard B. Griffin.   Vice Mayor Mallon, Councillor McGovern, Councillor Simmons

Richard was one of the most decent people I ever met in Cambridge civic life. Perhaps the most moving tribute I have seen is this editorial by Cambridge Chronicle editor Amy Saltzman: Richard Griffin, longtime Chronicle columnist, dies at 91

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City Departments, and, where relevant, the MBTA and counterparts in other municipalities for routes not wholly in Cambridge, on the feasibility of instituting and funding a fare-free pilot bus program.   Vice Mayor Mallon, Councillor Sobrinho-Wheeler, Mayor Siddiqui

The chance of doing this just within the boundaries of Cambridge is very low. The idea, however, is not crazy. If done more broadly it could be transformative, but the cost would not only be in lost fare revenue. Ridership would likely jump, and more buses (and drivers) would have to be added with greater frequency of buses (shorter headways). This would also likely lead to demands for more routes as well.

Order #9. That the Cambridge City Council amend the Municipal Ordinances of the City of Cambridge to insert a new Chapter 2.129, entitled WELCOMING COMMUNITY ORDINANCE.   Councillor Carlone, Councillor McGovern, Councillor Zondervan, Mayor Siddiqui

Sanctuary City Rebranded

Banned!Committee Report #1. Report of the Ordinance Committee – Dec 11, 2019, 2:00pm (Natural Gas Ban)

Committee Report #2. Report of the NLTP Committee – Dec 19, 2019, 5:30pm (Cambridge Carnival)

Committee Report #3. Report of the Health & Environment Committee – Jan 22, 2020, 2:30pm (Tree Protection Ordinance)

There are more effective strategies than an outright ban on new gas hookups. Hopefully the various "stakeholders" can make their case, but it’s likely that this will be just one more step down the Road To Ban Everything. As for where the "Tree Protection Ordinance" is headed, I’m sure those trees will be lining The Road To Ban Everything. Any notion that the eventual permanent version of the Tree Protection Ordinance will allow reasonable people to do reasonable things is likely pure fantasy. – Robert Winters

1 Comment »

  1. Your comments are what makes this enjoyable. 🙂

    Comment by Alison Woodman — January 27, 2020 @ 10:06 am

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