Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

October 1, 2018

Cambridge Absentee Voting & Designated Early Voting Locations, Dates, Hours – State Election, Nov 6, 2018

Filed under: elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 9:30 pm

Deadline to Register to Vote and Availability of Absentee Ballots for the State Election, November 6th

The State Election will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. For Cambridge residents not already registered, the last day to register to vote is Wednesday, October 17, 2018 until 8:00pm. The Office of the Secretary of State has developed an Online Voter Registration System at www.registertovotema.com. Individuals may use the online system to submit an online application, update their address or change their party affiliation. You must have a valid driver’s license, learner’s permit, or non-driver ID issued by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). If you do not have an RMV ID you can use the system to create an application. Print and sign the completed form and mail or bring it to the office of the Cambridge Election Commission.

Absentee Ballots are now available at the Cambridge Election Commission office. Any voter who is unable to go to the polls on Election Day due to physical disability, religious belief, or absence from the City may request an Absentee Ballot from the Commission. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Monday, November 5th at noon. Absentee Ballots may be mailed to voters, or such voters may choose to vote at the Commission office during regular city office hours: Monday, 8:30am-8:00pm; Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30am-5:00pm; Friday, 8:30am-Noon.

The polls will be open on Election Day, November 6th from 7:00am until 8:00pm. For any additional information, please visit the Cambridge Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, call 617-349-4361 or visit our website at www.cambridgema.gov/election.


City of Cambridge Designated Early Voting Sites Locations, Dates and Hours for the State Election, November 6, 2018

Vote!Early voting will begin on October 22nd and continue through November 2nd for the State Election to be held on Tuesday, November 6th. In 2016, Massachusetts voters were given the opportunity to vote prior to Election Day through early voting. Previously the only way a registered voter could vote prior to Election Day was through absentee voting. Although absentee voting is still available for registered voters who qualify, only those who will be absent from their city or town on Election Day or have a disability that prevents them from going to the polls, or have a religious belief preventing the same, are legally allowed to vote by absentee ballot.

Unlike absentee voting, early voting is for every registered voter. Registered voters do not need an excuse or reason to vote early. Regardless of whether a voter wants to take advantage of early voting, vote absentee or vote on Election Day, the first step is making sure you are registered. To check to see if you are registered to vote, and to find information on how to register to vote, you may visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website: www.sec.state.ma.us/ele. If you need to register to vote, you may do it online by visiting: www.RegisterToVoteMA.com. All you need is a license or an I.D. issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles to apply online. To be eligible to vote in the November 6th State Election, you must register to vote or make any necessary changes to your voter registration by the deadline of Wednesday, October 17th at 8pm.

Early voting can be done in person or by mail. In the City of Cambridge, early voting can be done in person at any of the five (5) designated early voting sites during the scheduled dates and times. Please note, however, once a voter has cast an early voting ballot, the voter may no longer vote at the polls on Election Day.

To request a ballot by mail, simply fill out an application or send us a written request with your name, Cambridge address, address where you want the ballot sent and your signature and mail it to the Election Commission, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. You can download an application at www.CambridgeMA.gov/EarlyVoting.

We encourage all our citizens to exercise their right and take advantage of the opportunity to vote at one of the sites during the scheduled dates and times. For public convenience, the City of Cambridge will also offer weekday evening hours and weekend hours on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 9am to 5pm.

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE EARLY VOTING SCHEDULE

LOCATION 1st Week – DATE & TIME 2nd Week – DATE & TIME
City of Cambridge Election Commission Office
51 Inman Street, 1st Floor
Mon, October 22, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Tues, October 23, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 24, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 25, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 26, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 27, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Mon, October 29, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Tues, October 30, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 31, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 1, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 2, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Police Department, Community Room
1st Floor, 125 Sixth Street
Mon, October 22, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 23, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 24, 12:00am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 25, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 26, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 27, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Mon, October 29, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 30, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 31, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 1, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 2, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Cambridge Water Department
250 Fresh Pond Parkway
Mon, October 22, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 23, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 24, 12:00am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 25, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 26, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 27, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Mon, October 29, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 30, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 31, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 1, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 2, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Main Library
449 Broadway
Mon, October 22, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 23, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 24, 12:00am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 25, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 26, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 27, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Mon, October 29, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 30, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 31, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 1, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 2, 9:30am to 6:00pm
O’Neill Library
70 Rindge Ave.
Mon, October 22, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 23, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 24, 12:00am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 25, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 26, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 27, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Mon, October 29, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 30, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 31, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 1, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 2, 9:30am to 6:00pm

September 30, 2018

A Taxing Situation – October 1, 2018 City Council Meeting Preview

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , , , — Robert Winters @ 11:07 pm

A Taxing Situation – October 1, 2018 City Council Meeting Preview

Property Tax AssessmentsThe main order of business is the Tax Rate Hearing at 6:30pm that leads to the determination of the residential and commercial tax rates for FY2019.

Manager’s Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the votes necessary to seek approval from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue of the tax rate for FY2019.

For the most part, the tax levy (and hence the tax rate) was determined several months ago when the City Council voted to approve the FY2019 Budget. Some things have changed since then, but the final steps in the process consist of a series of votes on allocations from available funds to reduce the tax rate, tax classification (primarily residential vs. commercial, subject to limitations under state law), approval of the residential exemption, and several available exemptions and deferrals permitted under state law. Once the votes are taken the Department of Revenue formally sets the tax rates. The Manager’s recommendations are as follows:

1. That the City Council vote to authorize the use of $9,000,000 in Free Cash to reduce the FY19 tax rate.

2. That the City Council vote to authorize $2,000,000 in overlay surplus/reserves to be used for reducing the FY19 tax rate.

3. That the City Council vote to authorize $3,500,000 from the City Debt Stabilization Fund to be used as a revenue source to the General Fund Budget, which was included in the FY19 Adopted Budget.

4. That the City Council appropriate $3,500,000 from Free Cash to the City Debt Stabilization Fund.

5. That the City Council classify property within the City of Cambridge into the five classes allowed for the purpose of allocating the property tax. It is further recommended that the City Council adopt a minimum residential factor of 57.5386%.

6. That the City Council approve the residential exemption factor of 30% for owner occupied homes, which should result in a residential tax rate of $5.94 and commercial tax rate of $13.71 (per $1000 of taxable value after exemptions) upon final approval by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

7. That the City Council vote to double the normal value of the statutory exemptions.

8. That the City Council vote to increase the FY18 exemption allowed under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 17D from $314 to $322.

9. That the City Council vote to increase the FY18 asset limits allowed under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 17E from $62,205 to $63,760.

10. That the City Council vote to increase the FY18 income and assets limits for elderly persons (age 65 or older). Income limits of $25,721 to $26,364 for those who are single and $38,582 to $39,547 9 for those who are married, asset limits of $51,439 to $52,725 for those who are single and $70,730 to $72,498 for those who are married, as allowed under MGL, Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 41D.

11. That the City Council vote the income limit for deferral of real estate taxes by elderly persons (at least 65 years old) as determined by the Commissioner of Revenue for the purposes of MGL, Chapter 62, Section 6, subsection (k), for a single person who is not head of household ($57,000) and for a married couple ($86,000), as allowed under MGL Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 41A. The reduction of the interest rate to 4% for deferred taxes, which was approved by the City Council previously, will continue.

Order #3. That the Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee schedule a hearing on the proposed “Cambridge Publicly Financed Municipal Election Program” and the “Cambridge Municipal People’s Pledge Program” as soon as possible and report back to the City Council with a plan for implementation no later than the City Council meeting scheduled for Nov 19, 2018.   Councillor Toomey

I seriously wish these proposals and various alternatives proposed by others would just go away. It is becoming increasingly clear that such things as a positive social media presence, a good email list, and boatloads of personal contact are far more important than money in a local election campaign. So, could we stop chasing this wild goose?

Floating CrosswalkOrder #4. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Director of the Traffic, Parking and Transportation department and any other relevant city departments to study the potential of utilizing the Icelandic crosswalk design in an intersection in East Cambridge.   Councillor Toomey

If you feel that screeching panic stops are a wise choice for traffic calming, then this is your design. I will humbly suggest that simpler solutions would be preferable. On the other hand, we could try some other optical illusions like holographic tigers or various apparitions from Ghostbusters.

Order #7. That the Envision Cambridge draft recommendations should be reviewed by the entire City Council in respective committees.   Councillor Carlone, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Siddiqui

My presumption has always been that this laundry list of recommendations would be farmed out to the various City Council committees for further review prior to any consideration of zoning changes in the Ordinance Committee or other actions. I also think it would be a good idea to have the full final Envision Cambridge report in hand before delving too deeply into any of these ideas. Looking at them in isolation is not recommended.

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Chair of the Transportation & Public Utilities Committee, for a public hearing held on Sept 12, 2018 to discuss the guiding policy and safety priorities for regulating and permitting shared electric scooters to operate in Cambridge.

Maybe the public will gleefully accept these devices, but what is currently available is simply not safe to use under all conditions by any reasonable standard. The relatively small wheels alone virtually guarantee a tumble when encountering even a small imperfection in the road. On a related matter I found it interesting that the response by Ant Bike to statements from CDD that they were not permitted in Cambridge led them to place two of them in the park next to the City Hall Annex where CDD is located. (I moved them outside to the sidewalk.) On the same day that the City of Lynn announced that they were not allowed, seven of them appeared along one stretch of Main Street in Kendall Square (with five of them lying on their side restricting pedestrian movement). What they see as "economic disruption" is hard to distinguish from "obnoxiously aggressive".

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Chair of the Transportation & Public Utilities Committee, for a public hearing held on Sept 20, 2018 to discuss reducing the speed limit to 20 MPH on residential streets citywide and the creation of 20 MPH safety zones on certain other streets.

My primary comment at this hearing was that there were some city councillors who would gladly reduce the speed limit to 0 MPH if this was permissible under state law. The simple fact is that almost all drivers operate their vehicles safely under the current 25 MPH limit. The problem is the scofflaws for whom the legal limit will be ignored no matter where you set it. Consistent enforcement is what’s important, though there are some streets and specific locations where a 20 MPH limit is advisable. I also think the City should seriously consider the use of a "shared street" model with an even lower speed limit in some heavily pedestrian areas. This would have been my choice for Brattle Street where the City installed those counterintuitive segregated bike lanes. A much better solution would be to make that entire stretch of Brattle Street a two-way low-speed shared street for all. – Robert Winters

September 18, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 339-340: Sept 18, 2018

Episode 339 – Cambridge InsideOut: Sept 18, 2018 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 18, 2018 at 5:30pm. Topics: 3rd CD recount result, the case for Ranked Choice Voting, recycling updates, electric scooters, retail and vacant storefronts. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]


Episode 340 – Cambridge InsideOut: Sept 18, 2018 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 18, 2018 at 6:00pm. Topics: Sept 17 City Council meeting, Inman Sq. configuration to move ahead, rainwater and flat roof zoning petition, Envision Cambridge updates (Affordable Housing Overlay, Super-Inclusionary Zoning, Environment Performance Incentive proposals), and more. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]

[Materials used in these episodes]

September 16, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 337-338: Sept 11, 2018

Episode 337 – Cambridge InsideOut: Sept 11, 2018 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 11, 2018 at 5:30pm. Topics: Sept 11 comments, modern campaign realities, Primary Election results, 3rd Congressional District recount, Ranked Choice Voting, and Bill Galvin. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]


Episode 338 – Cambridge InsideOut: Sept 11, 2018 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 11, 2018 at 6:00pm. Topics: 3rd CD recount, the case for Ranked Choice Voting, shortcomings of top-two runoffs, Capuano-Pressley election outcome and dynamics, voter turnout, November election outlook, some history of Question 9 (rent control), return of the City Council, Inman Sq. redesign questions, Envision Cambridge updates – development scenarios and likely pushback, quadrupling density and the proposed Affordable Housing Overlay, and ignoring traffic issues. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]

[Materials used in these episodes]

August 29, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 335-336: Aug 28, 2018

Episode 335 – Cambridge InsideOut: Aug 28, 2018 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Aug 28, 2018 at 5:30pm. Topics: Sept 4 Primary, Emerald Ash Borer. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]


Episode 336 – Cambridge InsideOut: Aug 28, 2018 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Aug 28, 2018 at 6:00pm. Topics: new voting machines, MIT graduate student housing, new developments in Kendall Square, Alewife, Harvard Square. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]

[Materials used in these episodes]

August 25, 2018

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 Primary – List of Offices & Candidates (Cambridge)

Filed under: Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , , , — Robert Winters @ 9:00 pm

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 Primary – List of Offices & Candidates (Cambridge)

If you are registered with any political party, you may only vote in that party’s primary. Unenrolled voters may choose to vote in any party primary. Choosing to vote in a particular party’s primary does NOT enroll you as a member of that party.

[Check your voter registration status]     [Where do I vote?]

Democratic Primary Republican Primary Libertarian Primary
SENATOR IN CONGRESS
ELIZABETH A. WARREN, 24 Linnaean St., Cambridge GEOFF DIEHL, 10 Village Way, Whitman
JOHN KINGSTON, 16 Chestnut St., Winchester
BETH JOYCE LINDSTROM, 161 Wharton Row, Groton
NO NOMINATION
GOVERNOR
JAY M. GONZALEZ, 62 Putnam St., Needham
BOB MASSIE, 140 Sycamore St., Somerville
CHARLES D. BAKER, 49 Monument Ave., Swampscott
SCOTT D. LIVELY, 453 State St., Springfield
NO NOMINATION
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
QUENTIN PALFREY, 683 Boston Post Rd., Weston
JIMMY TINGLE, 27 Lawrence St., Cambridge
KARYN E. POLITO, 2 Tatassit Cir., Shrewsbury NO NOMINATION
ATTORNEY GENERAL
MAURA HEALEY, 40 Winthrop St., Boston JAMES R. McMAHON, III, 14 Canal View Rd., Bourne
DANIEL L. SHORES, 2706 Hockley Dr., Hingham
NO NOMINATION
SECRETARY OF STATE
WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN, 46 Lake St., Boston
JOSH ZAKIM, 177 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
ANTHONY M. AMORE, 182 Norfolk Ave., Swampscott NO NOMINATION
TREASURER
DEBORAH B. GOLDBERG, 37 Hyslop Rd., Brookline KEIKO M. ORRALL, 120 Crooked Ln., Lakeville NO NOMINATION
AUDITOR
SUZANNE M. BUMP, 6 Hoe Shop St., Easton HELEN BRADY, 1630 Monument St., Concord DANIEL FISHMAN,
36 Colgate Rd., Beverly
REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS – FIFTH DISTRICT (Wards 3-2A, 4-2, 4-3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10-1, 10-2) – MAP
KATHERINE M. CLARK, 64 Prospect St., Melrose JOHN HUGO, 20 Walnut St., Woburn
LOUIS KUCHNIR, 15 Foxhill Dr., Southborough
NO NOMINATION
REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS – SEVENTH DISTRICT (Wards 1, 2, 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, 4-1, 5, 10-3, 11)MAP
MICHAEL E. CAPUANO, 172 Central St., Somerville
AYANNA S. PRESSLEY, 1910 Dorchester Ave., Boston
NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
COUNCILLOR (Governor’s Council) – SIXTH DISTRICT
TERRENCE W. KENNEDY, 3 Stafford Rd., Lynnfield NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Senate – SECOND MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Wards 9, 10, 11) – MAP
PATRICIA D. JEHLEN, 67 Dane St., Somerville NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Senate – MIDDLESEX & SUFFOLK DISTRICT (Wards 1, 2-1, 3, 4-2, 6, 7, 8)MAP
SAL N. DiDOMENICO, 125 Clarence St., Everett NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Senate – FIRST SUFFOLK & MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Wards 2-2, 2-3, 4-1, 4-3, 5)MAP
JOSEPH A. BONCORE, 39 Sagamore Ave., Winthrop NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Representative – TWENTY-FOURTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Ward 11-1, 11-3) – MAP
DAVID M. ROGERS, 18 Richard Ave., Cambridge NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Representative – TWENTY-FIFTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Wards 4, 6-2, 6-3, 7, 8, 10-1, 10-2) – MAP
MARJORIE C. DECKER, 29 Raymond St., Cambridge
LESLEY REBECCA PHILLIPS, 1643 Cambridge St., Cambridge
NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Representative – TWENTY-SIXTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Wards 1, 2-1, 3, 6-1) – MAP
MIKE CONNOLLY, 4 Ashburton Pl., Cambridge NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Representative – TWENTY-NINTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Wards 9, 10-3, 11-2) – MAP
JONATHAN HECHT, 159 Russell Ave., Watertown NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Representative – EIGHTH SUFFOLK DISTRICT (Wards 2-2, 2-3, 5) – MAP
JAY D. LIVINGSTONE, 311 Commonwealth Ave., Boston NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
CLERK OF COURTS – MIDDLESEX COUNTY
MICHAEL A. SULLIVAN, 42 Huron Ave., Cambridge NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
REGISTER OF DEEDS – MIDDLESEX SOUTHERN DISTRICT
MARIA C. CURTATONE, 37 Munroe St., Somerville NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
DISTRICT ATTORNEY – NORTHERN DISTRICT
MARIAN T. RYAN, 8 Bradford Rd., Belmont
DONNA PATALANO, 12 Norwood St., Winchester
NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION

August 22, 2018

New ImageCast Voting System for the City of Cambridge

Filed under: Cambridge,elections — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 11:29 am

New ImageCast Voting System for the City of Cambridge

The City of Cambridge is thrilled to announce the launch of the newly acquired ImageCast Vote Tabulators which will be utilized for the first time for the upcoming State Primary, Tuesday, September 4, 2018. We wanted to give our voters a brief introduction to the new equipment to provide a glimpse of what to expect on Election Day. While the design of the new tabulator is similar to the AccuVote system used in past elections, there are some new features which improve its usability. The new design makes it easier to navigate and is more user-friendly. Election workers at each polling location have been trained to assist the voter, if needed, during their introduction to the new equipment. One of the new features of the ImageCast Vote Tabulator is that the voter will be able to see if their ballot has been cast successfully or if a ballot error has been detected. If an error is detected, the voter will be provided with the option of having the ballot returned to them to make the correction or to cast the ballot without correction. After an option has been selected by the voter they will then proceed with casting their ballot. Voters are advised to watch the LCD screen on the tabulator to confirm that their ballot has been successfully cast.

ImageCast ImageCast

PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

August 15, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 331-332: Aug 14, 2018

Episode 331 – Cambridge InsideOut: Aug 14, 2018 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Aug 14, 2018 at 5:30pm. Topics: EMF landmark study, St. James housing, Brown Petition fallout, flat roofs, and more. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]


Episode 332 – Cambridge InsideOut: Aug 14, 2018 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Aug 14, 2018 at 6:00pm. Topics: OldTime Baseball, Central Sq. murals, Surveillance Tech. Ordinance and Plan E Charter, civic opportunities, and upcoming primary. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]

[Materials used in these episodes]

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