Two New Civic Organizations Are Formed for Greater Plan E Support
Will Promote Honest, Efficient Government, Make Investigations
The Plan E form of government in Cambridge received tremendous new support today when it was announced that two new civic organizations had been formed by members of all civic organizations in the city for the greater support of the city manager form of government. The new organizations have been formed after months of deliberation by representatives of the Cambridge Committee for Plan E, the Cambridge Taxpayers’ Association, the Cambridge Citizens’ Committee, and individual members of the League of Women Voters. As a result of the formation of the two new organizations, the Cambridge Taxpayers’ Association will cease to exist, and the Committee for Plan E will become inactive, except if and when an attack is made upon the Plan E charter or an attempt is made to repeal it.
The new organizations will have a tremendous membership, absorbing as they do all of the members of the Taxpayers’ Association and the Cambridge Committee for Plan E. The new organizations are the CAMBRIDGE CIVIC ASSOCIATION and the CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH ASSOCIATION.
The CAMBRIDGE CIVIC ASSOCIATION will be a political association dedicated to promoting honest and efficient local government through the support of the city manager plan, working for and supporting competency in the office of city manager, working for and improving the school system of the city, and freeing the school system from all influences other than those which will provide the best possible education for the children of Cambridge, and seeking and supporting the candidacy of competent men and women in public office.
It will urge competent persons to run for both the School Committee and the City Council, raise funds with which to finance their candidacies, and will actively campaign for their election. The committee will investigate the qualifications of everyone who seeks election to public office and will select and publish a slate of endorsed candidates and then seek to elect them. Throughout the year it intends to be constantly represented both before the School Committee and the City Council on all matters of public interest and to bring to bear upon public questions the concerted opinion of its membership.
The CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH ASSOCIATION will employ a paid Director of Research and assistants and will conduct original investigations into matters affecting the welfare of the City of Cambridge and make reports both to the public and to the city government. The Research Association will also offer to the city government and the several heads of departments the facilities of its organization to investigate and report on any matters in which the city can be aided by a clear, comprehensive report prepared under the direction of municipal experts. It will be financed by contributions, and contributions to the Research Association will undoubtedly be tax deductible.
Membership dues in each association have been fixed at a minimum of $1 per annum, and every citizen of Cambridge who desires to participate is invited to apply for membership.
The president selected by both organizations is George A. McLaughlin, of Cambridge. Mr. McLaughlin is a Cambridge attorney, who was General Counsel for the Cambridge Committee for Plan E and in its behalf waged two successful Supreme Court fights, one to place Plan E on the ballot, and the other to establish its constitutionality. He has been a member of the Cambridge Board of Appeals, is a former City Solicitor of Cambridge, and at the present time is a member of the Cambridge Board of Public Welfare, vice-chairman of the Cambridge Rationing Board, and chairman of the Cambridge Area Issuing Center Rationing Board, which serves almost a third of Massachusetts.
The vice-president of the Cambridge Civic Association is Frank P. Scully, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and identified with the Scully Signal Company and the Carr Fastener Company. Mr. Scully is a former City Councillor.
The treasurer of the Cambridge Civic Association is Arthur G. MacKenzie, a graduate of Harvard University, former city treasurer of Cambridge, owner of the MacKenzie Motor Sales, Inc., past president of the Cambridge Rotary Club, and chairman of Red Cross, Salvation Army and the Seventh War Loan Campaigns.
The clerk of the Cambridge Civic Association is Mrs. William Minot, or Cambridge and Wareham, prominent in the League of Women Voters and director of ward and precinct organizations in the Cambridge Plan E Committee.
Mr. McLaughlin is also president of the Cambridge Research Association, the treasurer of which is Arthur M. Wright, treasurer of the Harvard Trust Company, and the clerk of which is Pierre Belliveau, prominent in Cambridge Republican circles, and attorney at law and public administrator. Both organizations have a group of directors common to each. These directors are:
Charles Almy, member of the firm of Dewey and Almy, a large Cambridge chemical company
Stoughton Bell, former president of the Cambridge Taxpayers’ Association, member of the law firm of Putnam, Bell, Dutch & Santry, and active in municipal affairs in Cambridge for more than twenty-five years.
John H. Campbell, president of the Superior Laundry Co., Inc., Suds, Inc., and Kleenit, Inc., all engaged in the laundry and dry cleaning business.
James F. Farr, formerly associated with the law firm of Hausermann, Davison & Shattuck, and at present a lieutenant with the United States Coast Guard and Law Officer for the Coast Guard at Boston.
Charles M. Fosgate, vice-president of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, and specialist in Cambridge commercial real estate, and vice-president of the Cambridge Rotary Club.
Jesse W. Greer, president of J. W. Greer Company, manufacturers in peacetime of bakery equipment and at present engaged in war work.
Paul F. Hillery, former member of the Cambridge City Government, present president of the Cambridge Committee for Plan E and head of a Cambridge trucking concern.
James M. Landis, Dean of Harvard Law School and former representative of the U.S. Government on Lend Lease in the Far East.
Alan Steinert, president of the Eastern Company, R.C.A. distributors, and presently engaged in manufacturing signal equipment for the army and navy.
Mrs. Marshall Stone, prominent Cambridge clubwoman.
In addition, the Research Association will have as directors Mrs. Bernice Brown Cronkhite, Robert M. Kimball, assistant to the president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Edward S. Stimpson, of the Stimpson Company.
In addition to the interlocking directors, the Cambridge Civic Association will have as directors Thomas E. Ahern, Cambridge realtor; Dr. William G. Brousseau, retired city physician of the City of Cambridge and prominent in all French circles in the city; Mrs. A. Kingsley Porter, active in all Red Cross and War Loan activities; Joseph F. White, treasurer of the White Fuel Corp., and member of the Boston Port Authority; and Larkland F. Hewitt.
Applications for membership may be made in writing to the organizations at 1430 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.
Good news for all those interested in efficient and economical municipal government in Cambridge and those who believe the Plan E City Manager form has proved itself here, is the announcement of the formation of two interlocking groups to broaden the basis of all organizations genuinely concerned with the municipal welfare of this city.
The Cambridge Civic Association and the Cambridge Research Association, though having separate functions, stem from the same idea, that if good government is to become the permanent possession of this municipality then it must be worked for on a year-round basis, intelligently and cooperatively.
The new organizations will be more representative of all parts of the city than has been the case heretofore in the three groups which have interested themselves in local government – the Plan E Committee, the Taxpayers Association and the Cambridge Citizens Committee.
The Civic Association will take as its principal purpose the persuasion of worthwhile persons to become candidates for public office, and then to examine the merits of all those who qualify for a place on the ballot, subsequently endorsing those who, in the opinion of the Association, are most competent.
It has been stressed, however, that for a candidate to obtain endorsement of the Association he need not necessarily subscribe to the Plan E type of municipal government. The sole norm for endorsement will be whether or not the candidate will be a good City Councillor or a good School Committee member.
The Research Association will perform functions similar to the work of the Taxpayers Association, but it will work in a much broader sphere, placing at the disposal of the city a trained investigation staff to provide information to ensure intelligent action by city departments, Council or School Committee. The Association will also initiate independent studies of its own, and it will keep the citizens of Cambridge informed as to what is taking place in the city government, advise on the merits of proposals, and make suggestions as to what might well be done to make Cambridge a better place in which to live.
The whole idea is an intelligent approach to the goal of giving Cambridge the best municipal government that is humanly possible, and since, in one way or another, the quality of local government affects every resident of the city, the two Associations should have the wholehearted support and encouragement of everyone. Furthermore, they should be regarded by elected officials and all city employees as organizations designed to be as helpful to them as they will be to other citizens, and a cooperative rather than defensive attitude will increase the effectiveness of the two groups to the advantage of Councillors, School Committee members and municipal employees.
Taxpayers Assn. Will Change Name and Purpose at Special Meeting to be held July 19
(Cambridge Chronicle – July 12, 1945)
A special meeting of the Cambridge Taxpayers Association has been called by chairman Stoughton Bell for Thursday, July 19, at 11:30 a.m. at the Hotel Commander.
The meeting is being held so that members may act on a proposal to amend the by-laws to effect a change in the name and purposes of the corporation by the formation of a Cambridge Research Association which will devote its activities entirely to the collection and dissemination of information to the local and state governments and their officers, and to the citizens of Cambridge. It will work closely with the new Cambridge Civic Association.
According to Mr. Bell, the new Association will not only conduct independent investigations but it will hold itself ready at all times to obtain facts and figures for members of the city government, school committee, municipal officers and boards.
Commenting on the change, Mr. Bell said: "For a long time I have felt that the Association should be more truly representative of all parts of the city. With this in mind I call together a representative group of citizens who have during the last several months been at work on the problem with the result that they have worked out, I believe, a well worth while plan that will prove of great value to our city officials as well as to our citizens."
"It is proposed to organize a second corporation under the name of the Cambridge Civic Association, Inc., whose principal purpose will be to seek out worth while persons for public office and after all the nominations for office are in to consider the qualifications of each of the candidates and seek to elect those whom they believe to be most competent. This corporation, like the Research Association, proposes to have a membership that is large and truly representative of all parts of the city."
"It is my firm belief that this proposed set-up will prove to be of great benefit to you and to our city. I bespeak your hearty support and urge you to be present at the reorganization meeting. This is important as under the present by-laws there must be a large number to amend the by-laws."