Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

December 6, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 273-274: Dec 5, 2017

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge InsideOut — Tags: , , , , , — Robert Winters @ 8:48 am

Episode 273 – Cambridge InsideOut: Dec 5, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Dec 5, 2017 at 5:30pm. Topics: Dec 4 City Council meeting recap. Hosts Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]


Episode 274 – Cambridge InsideOut: Dec 5, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Dec 5, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topics: Dec 4 City Council meeting recap and advice for the next Mayor. Hosts Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

December 3, 2017

Running Down the Clock – Dec 4, 2017 City Council Agenda Highlights

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 10:29 pm

Running Down the Clock – Dec 4, 2017 City Council Agenda Highlights

Running Down the ClockIt’s a pleasingly light agenda this week, and there are no more committee meetings scheduled this term. The Inaugural Meeting of the 2018-19 City Council will take place on New Years Day starting at 10:00am. In the meantime, here are a few items on this week’s agenda – with minimal comment:

Manager’s Agenda #6. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to adopt the Beekeeping Zoning Petition with proposed amendments to the petition.

Unfinished Business #8. An amendment to the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge on Beekeeping. The Question comes on passing to be ordained on or after Nov 6, 2017. Planning Board hearing held on Oct 3, 2017. Petition expires Jan 3, 2018.

Manager’s Agenda #8. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-118, regarding a report on an update on the City’s plan to expand the curbside composting program citywide.

Sundry communications on the closing of Petco and appeals to rescind the ban on non-rescue animal sales.

Resolution #1. Resolution on the death of Kathleen P. (Tracy) Carlisle.   Councillor Maher, Councillor Toomey

Kathy was my neighbor and a friend to all who knew her.

Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to mail the “Street Code” Booklet to all households in Cambridge as an educational outreach measure for road safety.   Councillor Devereux, Vice Mayor McGovern, Mayor Simmons

There are a number of additions this otherwise decent booklet could use. For example, bicycles should be equipped not only with lights but with sufficiently bright lights that are not obscured by clothing, backpacks, or anything else. It’s stunning to see how many cyclists have dim lights or no lights at all. Batteries are not eternal. Dark clothing may be a great fashion statement, but it’s an invitation for disaster.

Order #3. That the City Manager request an investigation by the State Department of Public Utilities into the maintenance of the district energy system and ask appropriate officials from the State Department of Public Utilities to appear before the City Council to report on the state of repair of the district energy system in Cambridge and to discuss why there are no state regulations governing steam energy systems in Massachusetts when it is widely known that these operations create potential serious public health hazards and risks.   Councillor Maher, Councillor Toomey, Mayor Simmons

I’m not sure what this is about but it has an ominous tone to it.

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Nadeem Mazen, Chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebration Committee, for a public hearing held on Oct 10, 2017 to discuss feedback on bike safety related issues, and to plan for future bike safety measures in the City of Cambridge.

This was a meeting designed to not listen to anything the Chair didn’t want to hear.

Communications & Reports from City Officers #1. A communication was received from Vice Mayor Marc McGovern, transmitting Opioid Working Group Report.

Communications & Reports from City Officers #4. A communication was received from Tanya L. Ford, Executive Director, Cambridge Election Commission, transmitting the Final Official Results from the Municipal Election held on Tues, Nov 7, 2017 for City Council.

Communications & Reports from City Officers #5. A communication was received from Tanya L. Ford, Executive Director, Cambridge Election Commission, transmitting the Final Official Results from the Municipal Election held on Tues, Nov 7, 2017 for School Committee.

There is a minor error in the posted Final Official Results for the City Council election. The actual order of election was Simmons, Siddiqui, McGovern, Devereux, Zondervan, Mallon, Toomey, Carlone, Kelley. The posted document has Mallon and Zondervan in the reverse (incorrect) order. Additional information is posted on the CCJ Elections Page. – Robert Winters

December 1, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 271-272: Nov 28, 2017

Episode 271 – Cambridge InsideOut: Nov 28, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Nov 29, 2017 at 5:30pm. Topic: 2017 Election Data Binge (Part 1). Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]


Episode 272 – Cambridge InsideOut: Nov 28, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Nov 29, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topic: 2017 Election Data Binge (Part 1), including a round-by-round description of how fractional transfer would have played out in this year’s City Council election. We also reveal who would replace each member of the City Council and School Committee in the event of a vacancy. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

November 23, 2017

The Shifting Demographic

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 4:47 pm

The voter history file for the 2017 municipal election was made available yesterday, and it provides evidence of a dramatic shift toward younger voters in the recent election. This provides at least some partial explanation for the election results. Here are some histograms for the municipal election years (2013, 2015, 2017) followed by the federal/state election years (2012, 2014, 2016).

Municipal Elections: 2013 – 2017

2013 Election Histogram

2015 Election Histogram

2017 Election Histogram
(note the dramatic peak in the 27-29 age range)


Federal/State Elections: 2012 – 2016

2012 Election Histogram

2014 Election Histogram

2016 Election Histogram

November 14, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 269-270: Nov 14, 2017

Episode 269 – Cambridge InsideOut: Nov 14, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Nov 14, 2017 at 5:30pm. Topic: Post-Election Notes – Part 1. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]


Episode 270 – Cambridge InsideOut: Nov 14, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Nov 14, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topic: Post-Election Notes – Part 2. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

November 13, 2017

Featured Items on the Nov 13, 2017 City Council Agenda

Filed under: Cambridge,campaign finance,elections — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 10:13 am

Featured Items on the Nov 13, 2017 City Council Agenda

City HallFor the moment at least, all six incumbents who ran to retain their seats seem to have been reelected. We’ll know for sure on Friday (Nov 17) unless the closeness of the results warrants a recount. In the meantime, here are a few items of interest on this week’s agenda.

Manager’s Agenda #2. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $2,274,829 from Free Cash to the Mitigation Revenue Stabilization Fund. Funds appropriated to the Mitigation Revenue Stabilization Fund will be used to fund specific projects which will require individual appropriations by the City Council for the related projects in the future.

Manager’s Agenda #5. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a recommendation from the Planning Board to adopt the Alexandria Zoning Petition regarding Innovation Space in the PUD-3A and PUD-4C Districts.

Manager’s Agenda #14. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report 16-86, regarding a report on which public campaign finance options are legal for municipal elections in Cambridge; and Awaiting Report 17-84, regarding potential plans and options, responsive to community concerns, for creating a program of tax revenue financing for candidates running for City Council and School Committee in the City of Cambridge.

This is a topic that deserves a lot more discussion than was ever permitted in either the NLTP Committee (no idea why it would even be discussed as part of "neighborhood and long-term planning" or "public facilities" or "arts and celebrations") or the Government Operations Committee. It’s not something Cambridge could even do without approval from the State Legislature and it’s not at all clear that such approval would be forthcoming. In addition, there has been no indication of what scale of funding would be asked – and that’s important in light of the fact that the total campaign expendtitures for the recent City Council election now totals about $600,000 and climbing. The correlation between campaign spending and electoral results is also not at all clear. The cost per #1 vote as of today among successful City Council campaigns runs from a low of $9.75 to a high of $33.50 (these numbers will rise).

It’s also worth noting that MANY Cambridge voters are now consulting the Cambridge Candidate Pages and other resources to learn about candidates, and that costs NOTHING. Indeed the number of visitors to the Cambridge Candidate Pages last week went like this: Nov 4: 1,082; Nov 5: 1699; Nov 6: 6,632; Nov 7 (Election Day): 11,058; Nov 8: 3,584; Nov 9: 941. That’s a lot of visits for an election that had about 22,600 voters, and the Cambridge Candidate Pages aren’t even linked from any City website.

Charter Right #1. That the City Manager is requested to appoint a Transportation Task Force to develop a large and comprehensive street safety and education plan that speaks to the needs of bicyclist, motorists, and pedestrians, and that can be easily disseminated and understood by all citizens. [Charter Right exercised by Mayor Simmons on Oct 30, 2017]

At this point I’m leaning toward the belief that we should transition toward a single Transportation Board that has subcommittees for transit, motor vehicles, bicycling, and pedestrians. Single issue advocacy has become King and ideas like balance and collaboration among stakeholders has become all but lost. It’s become militant with single-issue advocates using social media to pack any and all meetings. I gave up going to these meetings. It’s become just Bad Political Theater at this point and, contrary to claims of relative safety, it’s really all about turf – establish a beachhead and then defend it even against reasonable criticism.

Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to work with the relevant City departments and report back to the City Council with an update on the City’s plans to expand the curbside composting program citywide.   Councillor Cheung

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Leland Cheung, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Oct 12, 2017 to discuss a Zoning Petition filed by Christopher D. Smith, et al., to create a new Section 13.913 Graduate Student Housing Production Requirement. This petition would require new graduate housing to be built in conjunction with the development of commercial uses in the proposed Planned Unit Development 7 District as well as a phasing plan to implement graduate housing development.

Everyone agrees with the idea that MIT and other universities should provide adequate housing options for their students. As we saw with the recent Volpe Petition, this has been acknowledged by MIT and they are planning accordingly. This Smith Petition, on the other hand, is not only moot but misdirected. – Robert Winters

2017 Cambridge Election Results – Bar Graphs

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 9:08 am

City Council Unofficial Election Results (Wed, Nov 8, PDF, 2 pgs.)
Elected (in order of election): Simmons, Siddiqui, McGovern, Devereux, Zondervan, Mallon, Toomey, Carlone, Kelley

School Committee Unofficial Election Results (Wed, Nov 8, PDF, 1 pg.)
Elected: Nolan, Bowman, Dexter, Fantini, Kelley, Kimbrough

In addition to the spreadsheets, you may also be interested in seeing this displayed graphically, e.g. with bar graphs. If you click on either of these you’ll find a bar at the bottom that will enable you to click through the rounds one-by-one to watch how the transfers proceed.

2017CouncilCounts
2017SchoolCounts

November 5, 2017

Cambridge School Committee 2017 Campaign Finance Summaries and $/Vote

Cambridge School Committee 2017 Campaign Finance Summaries

CandidateFromToStartReceiptsExpendBalanceLiabilities#1 Votes$/Vote
Bowman, Mannika1/1/1610/28/17$2,005.37 $16,749.72 $12,768.39$5,986.70$0.002768$4.61
Cronin, Fran1/1/1610/30/17$3,095.36$24,406.00$15,890.34$11,611.02$0.001572$10.11
Crutchfield, Jacob1/1/1610/20/17$41.07$5,206.00$4,362.56$884.51$0.001039$4.20
Dexter, Emily1/1/1610/20/17$2,575.32$2,520.00$2,874.89$2,220.43$4,655.382378$1.21
Fantini, Fred1/1/1610/24/17$5,475.07$6,250.00$5,204.80$6,520.27$14,395.992728$1.91
Kadete, Elechi1/1/1610/26/17$48.48$5,644.00$2,856.99$2,835.49$0.00846$3.38
Kelly, Kathleen1/1/1610/20/17$5,687.05$12,245.00$3,612.03$14,320.02$3,000.001882$1.92
Kimbrough, Laurance1/1/1710/28/17$0.00$8,349.13$7,177.87$1,171.26$0.001856$3.87
MacArthur, Will11/4/1610/20/17$0.00$5,242.43$2,195.65$3,046.78$0.00795$2.76
Mitros, Piotr1/1/1710/30/17$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00511$0.00
Nolan, Patty1/1/1610/20/17$80.24$6,885.00$6,299.45$665.79$8,850.003458$1.82
Weinstein, David1/1/1610/20/17$1,604.03$3145.00$2,941.94$1,807.09$0.00797$3.69
School Committee Campaign Finance 2017 - updated Nov 27, 2017

The receipts and expenses shown cover the period from Jan 1, 2016 through the 2017 pre-election reports. The totals will be updated after the election and at the end of the year.

Vote!

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