Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

August 9, 2015

On Tap at the Aug 10, 2015 City Council Midsummer Meeting

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 3:03 am

On Tap at the Aug 10, 2015 City Council Midsummer Meeting

People's RepublicThis is usually the biggest agenda of the year. Here are a few highlights:

Manager’s Agenda #11. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of Karen Kosko as a member of the Cambridge Library Board of Trustees effective Aug 1, 2015 for a term of three years.

Manager’s Agenda #12. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of Gary Dmytryk as a member of the Commission for Persons with Disabilities for a term of three years, effective July 1, 2015.

Manager’s Agenda #13. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments of the following persons as members of the Kids’ Council effective Aug 10, 2015: Bridget Rodriguez, Rabeya Akther, Michelle Lower, Ron Benham, Neal Michaels, Liz Hill, Claude Jacob, Geeta Pradhan

The appointments to City Boards & Commissions continues (more to come!).

Manager’s Agenda #19. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to approve the Incentive Zoning Petition.

Committee Report #5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on July 14, 2015 to discuss proposed amendments to Section 11.200 entitled Incentive Zoning Provisions and Inclusionary Housing Provisions.

The proposal as amended is ready to be Passed to a 2nd Reading and ordained at the first City Council meeting in September. No doubt some people will continue to clamor for even higher fees to be exacted, but the current amended proposal is the best compromise and is long overdue.

Manager’s Agenda #24. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, requesting approval of the discontinuance of an approximately twenty (20) foot wide, 8,660 square foot parcel of City owned land along the eastern edge of Ames Street between Broadway and Main Street (the Ames Street Parcel) in connection with the disposition of this parcel that the City Council previously approved. [Map Plan]

The sale of this narrow strip will facilitate the development of a 200,000 square foot multi-family residential project with up to 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail and an improved Ames Street. This disposition is consistent with previous actions approved by the Planning Board and the City Council.

Applications & Petitions #9. A petition has been received from Cambridge Redevelopment Authority to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance in the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan (KSURP) and to amend the current zoning for the MXD district in Kendall Square to reflect the proposed changes to the Plan. [Text of Petition]

No comments are necessary other than to suggest that you read the petition (93 pages). The proposed changes are consistent with much of the discussions regarding Kendall Square in recent years.

Resolution #23. Resolution on the death of retired Chief of Police of the City of Cambridge Anthony G. "Tony" Paolillo.   Councillor Toomey and Mayor Maher

According to his obituary in the Belmontonian, Chief Paolillo was hired as a patrol officer, worked his way to captain before being named acting chief in 1982, and was sworn in as chief a year later. He retired from the post in 1991, after which the city appointed a police commissioner to run the department. The Anthony Paolillo Tot Lot on Pine Street is named for him. He was quite "progressive" as a Chief, embracing the earliest concepts of "Community Oriented Policing".

Resolution #28. Congratulations to the Preservation of Affordable Housing on its acquisition of the Briston Arms Apartment and thanks for their commitment to affordable housing in Cambridge.   Councillor Toomey

According to the City’s press release: "This acquisition by Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) will continue its use as a mixed-income community and make renovations which will help preserve and ensure its affordability for years to come. The mix includes Section 8 Housing Assistance rental subsidies for 73 of the apartments and new rental assistance subsidies for an additional 46 apartments. Thirty five of the apartments will continue to be offered at market rates. Briston Arms was at risk of losing its affordability when the subsidy restrictions were due to expire in 2018. Cambridge and Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust provided more than $4 million in loans to help preserve these apartments as affordable housing."

Resolution #67. That the City Council declare Sun, Aug 9, 2015 to be proclaimed as "Mike Brown Day" in the City of Cambridge.   Councillor Mazen

It’s worth reading this: US Dept. of Justice Report on Ferguson incident

Order #1. That the City Council amend Policy Order #11 of June 22, 2015 attached.   Councillor Simmons

The Order seeks to amend the phrase "all lives matter and all lives are precious" to read "all lives matter and all lives are precious, and we must take actions to affirm that Black Lives Matter".

Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the appropriate City personnel to determine the effectiveness of the policy of ticketing and towing vehicles that obstruct street cleaning, to determine whether modifying this policy to exclude towing vehicles would have a negative impact on the City’s ability to maintain clean streets.   Councillor Simmons

Is the primary purpose of street cleaning to collect fines or to clean the streets? Perhaps a better alternative would be to fine the offending vehicle and tow it a half-block away to a parking spot that was just cleaned. Cars with alarms can be crushed.

Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the Community Development Department and other appropriate City personnel to compile a report of the housing and financial assistance options the City and its community partners offer to seniors living on fixed incomes in order to help them remain housed in their current units and to estimate how many seniors on fixed incomes are in danger of being priced out of their units in the coming half-decade to determine whether additional City resources are needed to assist these seniors.   Councillor Simmons

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Housing Committee, for a public hearing held on July 9, 2015 to discuss whether there are measures the City and local housing agencies and advocates can take to assist the soon to be displaced tenants of 295 Harvard Street.

Amidst all the advocacy for affordable housing, there should be additional emphasis on taking care of our older residents with limited resources who have fewer options than younger residents and newcomers. This is especially true now with outside investors looking to swoop down and buy properties at stratospheric prices.

Order #7. That the City Manager consult with the Community Development Department and other appropriate City personnel to determine what kinds of incentives could be provided to landlords who choose to refrain from increasing the rents on their tenants, and to report back to the City Council in a timely manner.   Councillor Simmons

Where do I sign up for my incentives? I love the intention, but I expect there’s nothing that can be offered to kindhearted landlords other than a good handshake and a heartfelt "thank you".

Order #10. That the City Manager develop a program to offer home electricity monitors to residents at cost, in a program similar to the distribution of rain barrels through the Department of Public Works.   Councillor Cheung

I seem to recall that there was already a plan to do this at some point – perhaps as a checkout at the library. The monitors are relatively cheap, however, and there’s no reason why residents can’t just buy a few monitors and loan them around to their friends and neighbors. You only need to use them for a little while to determine how much power is being drawn by various devices.

Order #16. That the appropriate City departments in conjunction with other stakeholders, such as the Salvation Army, Cambridge Overcoming Addiction, and other non-profits conduct a survey of opioid-related deaths and persons struggling with the epidemic that are frequenting our squares, particularly Central Square.   Vice Mayor Benzan and Councillor McGovern

This is a very detailed Order well worth reading. Vice Mayor Benzan and Councillor McGovern should be applauded for their initiative. This is a BIG problem.

Order #17. That the City Manager confer with the Acting Assistant City Manager for Community Development with a mind towards informing new property owners of the desire, based on planning studies, to expand Ahern Field and for planning staff to keep these desires in mind as a vision for this site is developed by the owners, and report back to the City Council.   Councillor Toomey

I am reminded of one of our recommendations about 15 years ago from the Green Ribbon Open Space Committee that called for, when feasible, closing inessential city streets adjacent to existing parks as a means to create contiguous park space. I don’t know if the property in question is well-suited for this purpose coupled with some reconfiguration of Fulkerson Street, but it certainly would provide a means to widen the Grand Junction RR corridor consisted with recent proposals for rail with trail.

Order #15. That the City Council hereby goes on record urging Governor Baker and the State Legislature to move expeditiously in issuing guidelines and regulations that will ensure that taxi services and ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are able to operate on a fair and even plane throughout the Commonwealth.   Councillor Simmons and Vice Mayor Benzan

Order #18. That the City Manager confer with the appropriate City Departments about the feasibility of placing an immediate moratorium on any fees paid by the Taxicab industry to the City of Cambridge until: 1) the State has enacted ridesharing regulations; and/or 2) action is taken by the City to deregulate the Taxicab industry following the Mayor’s Roundtable on this matter.   Vice Mayor Benzan and Councillor Cheung

Order #24. That the Cambridge City Council go on record urging the Massachusetts House and Baker administration to move swiftly in clarifying new law and associated regulation, taking into account the needs of municipalities in flux, and ultimately act with the intention of achieving parity and safety amongst transit operators of all kinds.   Councillor Mazen

Other than stating my personal preference that town-by-town issuance of taxi medallions be replaced by a state licensing system applicable to all services that pick up passengers (regardless how the car is hailed), it is worth noting how much attention is being paid to this issue of late. Ideally, cars and vans for hire should supplement the public transit system at rates that are not exorbitantly more expensive than transit. The fact that someone might have to pay $50 for a ride to the airport with the taxi forbidden to pick up passengers on the return trip is absurd. I’ll also note how fondly I remember my friend Arthur Santoro who did wonders for the Cambridge taxicab industry back in the days before human beings were transformed into robots with twitching thumbs habitually staring into small rectangles.

Order #19. That the City Council goes on record refiling as of Sept 16, 2015, the attached proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance to amend Article 6.000 of the zoning ordinance to create a new section 6.24 Carsharing Provisions which will create a definition and general provisions for carsharing and allow limited use of parking spaces for carsharing as a means to provide mobility options for Cambridge residents, employees and visitors.   Councillor Cheung

Some version of this will likely eventually pass. Some reassurances to neighbors and appropriate restrictions are in order, but this is basically a good idea – kinda like Hubway with engines.

Order #22. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments with an update for plans for the creation of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) coordinating office, including any financial pledges from the City to implement the STEAM working groups recommendations.   Vice Mayor Benzan and Councillor Cheung

Committee Report #7. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen, Chair of the Neighborhood & Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts & Celebration Committee, for a public meeting held on July 15, 2015 to discuss how emergent out of school time programs recruit underserved youth in innovative ways, how programs engage youth in advanced research or professional skills building, and how these programs may present exciting models for other organizations seeking to impact socio-economic and educational equity in Cambridge.

When Vice Mayor Benzan was Candidate Benzan two years ago he emphasized his goal of connecting people in the neighborhood in which he grew up with potential nearby job opportunities in places like Kendall Square. There have been countless meetings over the last year or so about ways to realize this and similar goals. It will be interesting to see if anything really tangible and lasting comes of this. Most of the reports I’ve read seem to focus on creating new staff positions which might facilitate results, but until we get to see some real success stories much of this remains just good intentions. Most of the Kendall Square jobs that have been created in the last few decades still require significant academic credentials and actual skills – and you really can’t just output those on a 3D-printer or other gadget. As a practitioner of the M part of STEAM, I would like nothing more than to see local Cambridge kids develop the mathematical skills and other skills needed to better connect to the potential of the Cambridge economy.

Order #23. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments to setup the most effective voting method that maximizes community participation for the renaming of Area IV.   Vice Mayor Benzan

Ranked Choice Voting anyone?

Order #25. That the City Council go on record petitioning the Massachusetts General Court to enact the attached Home Rule Petition entitled "AN ACT TO ENABLE CERTAIN NON-CITIZEN RESIDENTS OF CAMBRIDGE TO VOTE IN SCHOOL COMMITTEE AND CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS".   Councillor Mazen, Councillor Simmons and Councillor Cheung

Some version or another of this comes up every few years – and usually in the months leading up to a municipal election. I’ll just restate my own view that citizenship and voting rights are closely intertwined and that’s the way it should remain. Someone who is currently a citizen of another country but residing in the United States can generally still vote in the country of their citizenship, and many continue to do so. Inventing a new term like "pre-citizen" as is done in this petition actually seems to be unwittingly acknowledging the connection between citizenship and the right to vote. I hope this Order does not pass and, if it does, I hope that the State Legislature rejects it as they have done in the past. There should be uniformity in voting requirements across all cities and towns in Massachusetts. The fact that all cities and towns subscribe to a common statewide voter database is just one example of this principle in action.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a joint public hearing with the Planning Board on June 29, 2015 to discuss a petition by the Planning Board to amend Section 13.10 of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance so as to change the development controls applicable in the Planned Unit Development at Kendall Square (PUD-KS) Overlay Zoning District.

This is arguably one of the hottest issues these days – at least among residents in East Cambridge and other neighborhoods close to the Volpe Center property. There is some pressure to gaze into the crystal ball and decide on the best zoning regulations consistent with the constraints associated with the disposition of the Volpe Center, but there are some councillors who feel that kicking this can down the road is a reasonable option. – Robert Winters

August 4, 2015

Cambridge Broadband Matters, Episode 1

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 4:59 pm

Cambridge Broadband Matters, Episode 1

CCTV logoCambridge Broadband Matters is scheduled to play on CCTV:

Saturday, August 8 on Channel 9 at noon [live stream]
Tuesday, August 11 on Channel 96 at 1:00pm [live stream]
Thursday, August 13 on Channel 96 at 9:00pm [live stream]
Friday, August 14 on Channel 9 at 7:00pm [live stream]

Cambridge Broadband Matters is a series that explores the relationship among people, public institutions, non-profit organizations, businesses, and broadband in Cambridge. This series will serve as an educational and community engagement companion to broadband planning and action already underway in Cambridge, including through the city of Cambridge Broadband Taskforce and the efforts of elected officials.

In this episode, Jay Leslie, Susan Flannery, Georgiana Chevry, and Anne Schwieger discuss how broadband enters the spheres of their work and the impact broadband has on the community members who engage with their respective organizations.

July 29, 2015

Work at the Polls on Election Day!

Filed under: 2015 Election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 7:36 pm

Work at the Polls on Election Day!

Red Line

Election Workers

The City of Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners is seeking applications from individuals who are registered to vote in Massachusetts to work at polling locations throughout the city. On Election Day 200+ election workers are on hand to assist our citizens with a positive voting experience. Dedication, efficiency, patience and friendliness are assets.

  • Election workers are compensated at an hourly rate of $14.95- $16.95 depending the position assigned on Election Day.
  • All election workers will receive paid training. Training is mandatory!
  • Election workers should have reliable transportation, and be available to work on Election Day from 6:30am to 9:00pm.

To apply, go to http://www.cambridgema.gov/election or visit the Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, Cambridge, MA.

Recruitment Session: Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 5:30–8:30pm.
Citywide Senior Center, Walter Milne Ballroom, 806 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA.

You must RSVP and submit your application by Monday, August 3, 2015 to attend the information session.

The recruitment session is unpaid. Attendance does not guarantee that you will be hired to work on Election Day.

City of Cambridge Election Commission

Red Line

51 Inman St
Cambridge, MA 02139
www.cambridgema.gov/election
Phone: 617-349-4361
Fax: 617-349-4366
Email: elections@cambridgema.gov

Full Scale Flyer (with links)

 

July 25, 2015

Cambridge Jazz Festival – July 26th, 2015 from Noon to 6pm

Filed under: Central Square — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 7:20 pm

Cambridge Jazz Festival – July 26th, 12-6pm

Cambridge Jazz Festival - July 26Enjoy a day of free jazz at the second annual Cambridge Jazz Festival on Sunday, July 26th from 12-6 at University Park at MIT (Sidney Street, down the street from Mass Ave. at University Park Common). www.cambridgejazzfestival.org

Featured Musicians:

Cambridge Native Nnenna Freelon is a singer, composer and arranger who has been nominated for six Grammy Awards and has performed with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, and Herbie Hancock among others. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and the Kennedy Center and has been described as "a spell-binding professional, who rivets attention with her glorious, cultivated voice and canny stagecraft"

Drummer Ron Savage is the chair of the Ensemble Department at the Berklee College of Music, and is a Co-Founder of the Cambridge Jazz Festival. Ron and his trio will be collaborating with Nneena Freelon to perform a salute to Billie Holliday at this year’s Festival.

JoAnne Brackeen is consistently rated as one of the best jazz pianists in the world. She has “consistently defied convention, remaking herself and her art many times over” from her early roots in the Bebop scene of the 1950’s and is a “legendary player of immense stature.”

Eguie Castrillo is latin percussionist and Grammy Award winner who has performed and recorded with Tito Puente, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Winwood and toured with Arturo Sandoval. He will be appearing with his sizzling international band “The Latin Jazz Connection”.

Laszlo Gardony is a unique classically-trained ‘jazz architect’ who also has roots in progressive rock, blues, Appalachian and American folk music. He’s been praised by Dave Brubeck for his “fluid pianism”. All About Jazz put him “on par with Bill Evans”.

Jazz Festival 2015

Jazz Festival 2015

July 16, 2015

Cambridge Animal Commission Advises Precautionary Measures due to Rabid Raccoon Finding

Filed under: Cambridge,Fresh Pond — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 12:00 pm

Cambridge Animal Commission Advises Precautionary Measures due to Rabid Raccoon Finding

raccoon and skunk (Wikipedia)July 16, 2015 — On Monday, July 13, Cambridge Animal Control Officers picked up a raccoon at Fresh Pond Reservation that has tested positive for rabies.

Earlier this month, a skunk and a fox found in Belmont tested positive for rabies, though they were not found in very close proximity to Fresh Pond. The skunk was found towards the center of Belmont and the fox was located in the area of Belmont Hills.

At this time, Cambridge Animal Commission has received no reports of any person or animal having contact with a rabid animal, but advises that people take precautionary measures, especially at Fresh Pond Reservation. Dog owners should maintain their pets in clear view and keep them from running in brush areas where they cannot see if something occurs.

Tips for Protecting Against Rabies

  • Avoid direct contact with wildlife, dead or alive. Never touch any wildlife with your bare hands.
  • If you find a sick or injured wild animal, call Cambridge Animal Commission at 617-349-4376.
  • Avoid animals displaying unnatural behavior. Wild animals that are unusually friendly or displaying other unnatural behaviors may have the rabies virus.
  • Discourage contact between pets and wildlife. Don’t let your pets roam or keep them in clear view.
  • If you are scratched or bitten by any animal, either wild or domestic, consult your physician immediately.
  • If your pet receives a suspected bite wound from an unknown animal or if your pet comes in direct contact with any wild animal, even if no wounds are evident, consult your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian may recommend a rabies booster.

Please notify the Cambridge Animal Commission if you see a potentially rabid animal or come in contact with one at 617-349-4376. If you get the voice mail, please try to convey the time and location of the siting and your contact number.

July 9, 2015

Who Votes in Cambridge?

Filed under: 2015 Election,elections — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 6:58 pm

Who Votes in Cambridge?

There are 61,910 registered voters with identified birthdates (as of June 29, 2015). Their median age is 39.3. Here’s how their ages as of Election Day (Nov 3, 2015) are distributed:

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters – 2015

Of these currently registered voters, 31,789 voted in last year’s state election. Their median age is 50.7. Here’s how their ages are distributed:

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2014 State Election

Of these currently registered voters, 16,773 voted in the 2013 municipal election. Their median age is 58.7. Here’s how their ages are distributed:

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2013 Municipal Election

June 30, 2015

Official 2015 Cambridge Municipal Election Calendar (w/advice)

Filed under: 2015 Election,Cambridge,City Council,elections,School Committee — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 7:05 pm

2015 Municipal Election: Nomination Papers

Vote!Nomination papers for City Council and School Committee will be available beginning Wednesday, July 1st at the Election Commission office, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge. The office will be open on Wednesday, July 1st from 8:30am until 5pm. The deadline to file nomination papers is Friday, July 31st at 5pm. The 2015 Municipal Election Calendar is posted on the Commission’s website: www.cambridgema.gov/election.

The requirements to run for City Council or School Committee are:

  1. The person must be a registered voter in Cambridge. To register, one must be 18 years of age by Election Day, a U.S. citizen and a resident in the City of Cambridge.
  2. The person must file no fewer than fifty (50) and no more than one hundred (100) certifiable signatures of registered voters in the City of Cambridge.

The Commission has prepared an information kit for candidates containing important dates, Commission policies, services and publications. The kits will be available with the nomination papers on July 1st.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2015.


Wed, July 1:

Municipal Election Nomination Papers available at Election Commission office.

Nomination papers will be available through the July 31 submission deadline, but it is advisable that a candidate pick up papers early and get started collecting signatures. The process is an excellent way for a new candidates to "get their feet wet" and acclimate to the process of asking for support. ALL pages of your nomination papers must be notarized and there are a total of three sheets. You will also want to get a current database of registered voters. This is available from the Election Commission free of charge to any candidate who has pulled nomination papers. Voter history files and the street listing are also available.

Fri, July 31:

5:00pm deadline to submit nomination papers & statements of financial interest for candidates.

A minimum of 50 valid signatures must be filed and a candidate may submit up to 100 signatures. Once a voter’s signature has been recorded for a particular candidate, it cannot be used for another candidate in the same race. That is, a voter should sign for exactly one candidate for City Council and one candidate for School Committee. Candidates should submit as many signatures as possible over the minimum of 50 because it is very likely that some signatures will not be certified. It is advisable that all signatures be checked against the voter registration list before submitting them. Candidates do not have to submit all their signatures at one time, and it is advisable that signatures be submitted as each sheet becomes full. The Election Commission staff traditionally checks signatures soon after they are submitted, so it is possible to know how many signatures have been tentatively certified in case it is necessary to obtain more signatures to reach the minimum of 50 certified signatures. Actual certification is only official when the Election Commission votes to approve them.

Fri, Aug 14: 5:00pm deadline for Election Commission to certify signatures on nomination papers.
Tues, Aug 18: 5:00pm deadline for municipal candidates to file withdrawal of nomination.
Wed, Oct 14: 8:00pm deadline to register to vote in municipal election. In person registration hours are 8:30am to 8:00pm at Election Commission office only. (Mail in registration must be postmarked by Oct 14).
Mon, Oct 26:

Deadline for School Committee candidates and Political Committees to file Municipal Campaign & Political Finance Reports. (City Council candidates should consult their OCPF packets regarding depository-filing requirements).

City Council candidates are required under state law to set up a depository account at a bank. The bank will report all deposits and expenditures directly to the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF). School Committee candidates are not required to set up a depository account, but they must file a campaign finance report in mid-October and at the end of the year.

Fri, Oct 30: Election Commission will be open 8:30am to 5:00pm for over-the-counter absentee voting.
Sat, Oct 31: Election Commission office will be open 9:00am to 5:00pm for over-the-counter absentee voting.
Mon, Nov 2: Noontime (12:00pm) deadline to apply for absentee ballot, either for mail-in or over-the-counter voting.
Tues, Nov 3:

Municipal Election. Polls are open 7:00am until 8:00pm.
All absentee ballots (except Overseas Absentee Ballots) must arrive at the Election Commission office by 8:00pm to be counted. Ballot count begins at Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square after the polls close. Overseas Absentee Ballots are due by 5:00pm on Friday, Nov 13, but must be postmarked by Nov 3.

Overseas Absentee Ballots and Provisional Ballots will be counted on Fri, Nov 13 at 5:00pm.

It is expected that the Election Commission will report preliminary election results Tuesday evening (Nov 3), but this tally does not include auxiliary ballots (write-in ballots and other ballots not yet counted for a variety of reasons). These will be scanned and tabulated on Wednesday. Unofficial election results are expected to be announced on Wednesday when all of the auxiliary ballots have been included. The official election results will not be complete until any overseas absentee ballots and provisional ballots have been included on Fri, Nov 13.

Wed, Nov 4: 9:00am-5:00pm. Ballot count resumes at Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square.
Fri, Nov 13: Overseas Absentee Ballots and Provisional Ballots will be counted at 5:00pm.

Printable copy of 2015 Municipal Election Calendar

Cambridge Candidate Pages – 2015
(candidates are encouraged to send additional information)

2015 Calendar of Election-related Events
[ submit your events ]

Campaign Finance – 2015 Cambridge City Council Candidates

June 21, 2015

The Appointed Hour – Summer at Sullivan – Highlights of the June 22, 2015 Cambridge City Council agenda

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 10:23 pm

The Appointed Hour – Summer at Sullivan – Highlights of the June 22, 2015 Cambridge City Council agenda

Sullivan ChamberThis Monday’s meeting will be the last regular meeting before the summer break. [The June 29 meeting was cancelled in favor of a joint Ordinance Committee/Planning Board meeting to discuss the uniquely complex zoning petition concerning the Volpe site in Kendall Square.] Chief among the items that caught my attention are the many appointments and reappointments to City Boards & Commissionsa most honorable calling:

Manager’s Agenda #1. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to appointments and reappointments of the following persons as members of the Cambridge Peace Commission effective June 22, 2015:
Reappointments:
Frank Connelly, Larry Kim
New appointments:
George Atallah, Aboma Dirbaba, Jame Eliscar, Gladys Friedler, Elelchi Kadete, Lijun Li, Johanne Méléance, John Ratliff, Regina Yang

Manager’s Agenda #2. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of William G. Barry, Jr. as a member of the Harvard Square Advisory Committee for a term of three years, effective June 10, 2015.

Manager’s Agenda #3. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment and reappointments of members to the Cambridge Historical Commission:
Reappointments:
William King, Robert Crocker, Chandra Harrington, Jo M Solet, Joseph V. Ferrara, Susannah Tobin
New appointment:
Shary Berg

Manager’s Agenda #4. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as members of the Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Conservation District Commission, effective June 22, 2015:
Sue Myers, Monika Pauli, Nancy Goodwin, Charles Redmon

Manager’s Agenda #5. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as members of the Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District Commission:
Reappointments: Theresa Hamacher, Arthur Bardige
New Appointment: John Sanzone

Manager’s Agenda #6. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments and reappointment of the following persons as member of the Half Crown-Marsh Neighborhood Conservation District Commission:
Reappointment: William King
New Appointments: James VanSickle, Judith Dortz, Charles Smith, Marie P. Dillenseger, Dr. Peter Schur

Manager’s Agenda #7. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments and reappointments of the following persons as members of the Board of Trustees of the Cambridge Health Alliance, effective June 11, 2015:
Reappointments: Maren Batalden, MD; William Hart, Everett; Madge Kaplan, Cambridge; Katharine Kosinski, MD, Cambridge
Officers: Carol Van Deusen Lukas, Chair; Joshua Posner, Vice-Chair
Reappointments: Robina Bhasin, EdM, Somerville; Danna Mauch, Ph.D., Cambridge; Barbara Anthony, Cambridge

Manager’s Agenda #15. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments of the following persons as member of the Commission for Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board, for a term of three years, effective June 22, 2015:
Maria Fontellio, Zarha Kanji, Alicia Zeh-Dean

Serving on a City volunteer board isn’t for everyone. There’s plenty of room for disagreement among the members of any City board, but it’s really a place where reasonable people can learn from their peers and from City staff and come to reasonable conclusions – whether it be a regulatory board or an advisory board. It’s not a place for inflexible people unwilling to compromise. I have a reverence for people who choose to take on these roles without any compensation. Real civic activism is about giving your time and effort to serve on a City board or volunteering in countless other ways throughout the city. We should all tip our hats to every person named above.


The Rest:

Manager’s Agenda #17. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 15-30 and 15-41, regarding License Commission Fees and Cap Areas.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen a complete list of all the established liquor cap areas. It would have been helpful if the number of licenses in each cap area was included in the report. It would also be interesting to get maps showing both the liquor cap areas and the fast food cap areas.

Applications & Petitions #4. A zoning petition has been received from Elizabeth M. Stern, et al. to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map by changing the current zoning designation of Lot 84 (2551 Mass. Ave.) and Lot 65 (7 Richard Ave.) on Assessing Block Map 186 from Business A-2 to Residence B and remove both from the MAOD and the NMAS, redraw the zoning district boundary lines so the two lots are in the Residence B zone and not in the MAOD or the NMAS and revise Article 20, Sections 100-111. [Petition text]

Another week, another zoning petition. The intent of this petition appears to be to prevent either new commercial construction or higher density residential construction from happening at the northwest corner of Richard Ave. and Mass. Ave. where a one-story dry cleaning business is now located.

Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the School Committee with the view in mind to request the Superintendent of Schools to provide data regarding Charter Schools.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Cheung, Councillor McGovern and Councillor Simmons

This would be good information to receive, but I can’t see what the City Council can do or will do with that information.

Order #2. That the City Council go on record adopting the Net Zero Action Plan which includes key actions to reduce emissions and the process that engages stakeholders.   Councillor Cheung

The recommendations are all well and good for new construction, but I do hope the City Council acts more cautiously on any requirements for existing residential buildings. If significantly onerous requirement are imposed on homeowners thinking of renovation, many homeowners will either defer necessary renovations or quietly make improvements without seeking permits. I also hope that the elected councillors also take a moment or two to understand enough physics to see why "net zero" may be unrealistic for certain building types and uses, especially in this New England climate. It would be so much better if the language could be shifted away from the often unrealistic "net zero" and toward the more sensible "maximally efficient".

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to write a letter to the Department of Public Health indicating the City of Cambridge’s non-opposition for Commonwealth Alternative Care’s application to operate a RMD at 135 Fawcett Street, Cambridge, MA.   Councillor Cheung, Councillor McGovern, Councillor Simmons and Councillor Mazen

Two points – First, it’s amazing how many roadblocks have been thrown up to block any medical marijuana dispensaries from actually being built after being approved by voters via initiative petition. Second, it should be pretty clear that full legalization of marijuana for recreational use may be only a year or two away via the ballot box, and it seems likely that any dispensaries that are approved under the current law may become the initial sites for sale for recreational use if and when that is made legal.

Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate departments to install ADA compliant sidewalks, create protected bike lanes, and consider additional features to guarantee the safety of young students and all other users in the Huron Avenue area.   Councillor Mazen

This Order is about half right. The referenced sections of Huron Ave. lack sidewalks along the perimeter of the Fresh Pond Reservation and it would be good to add them from Fresh Pond Parkway to as far as the Russell Youth & Community Center. They would then also be available to young children on their bicycles. For adult cyclists there are already well-functioning bike lanes on both sides of Huron Ave. that are quite safe and allow for reasonable speeds and normal turning movements. A "cycle track" in this location is not only unnecessary, but it would also require narrowing the travel lanes to a point where cyclists who prefer the road would be less safe. The alternative would be to remove a significant number of parking spaces used frequently by people using Glacken Field, the Russell Center, the golf course, and Fresh Pond Reservation. Installing just a sidewalk would be an improvement without any negative consequences – Robert Winters.

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