Cambridge City Council meeting - Sept 17, 2018 - AGENDA
CITY MANAGER'S AGENDA
1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to recommendations of the Community Preservation Act Committee (CPAC) for FY2019.
All 21 Orders Adopted 9-0
Sept 17, 2018
To the Honorable, the City Council:
Listed below are the recommendations of the Community Preservation Act Committee (CPAC) for FY2019. For additional information, please see attachments from the CPA Committee Chair, Lisa Peterson, dated Sept 17, 2018.
The CPA process began with a public meeting held on June 13, 2018 to solicit suggestions on CPA projects for FY2019. Based on that meeting and other inputs, the CPAC was provided information on project funding requests without any recommendations for percentage allocations of anticipated CPA funds. A public hearing was held on July 19, 2018, to solicit recommendations from the public on percentage allocations. The CPAC also received several petitions, letters and e-mails along with online project requests from the public relative to CPA recommendations. The CPAC, on Sept 5, 2018, unanimously voted for an allocation of 80% for Affordable Housing, 10% for Historical Preservation Projects and 10% for Open Space Projects.
In accordance with the CPAC’s recommendations, I am requesting that the City Council appropriate a total of $12,730,000 in CPA funds raised by the City's FY2019 CPA surcharge, the FY2018 state match funds received in FY2019 and a portion of the existing CPA fund balance.
For this appropriation, it is estimated that the net local receipts from the CPA surcharge for FY2019 will total $9,400,000, added to an anticipated FY2018 state match of approximately $1,220,000 and an additional $2,100,000 from CPA Fund Balance. Additionally, $10,000 from CPA Fund Balance for the annual membership to the Community Preservation Coalition.
On Sept 5, 2018, the CPAC made recommendations for allocation of these FY2019 funds. By unanimous votes, the CPAC recommended to the City Council, through the City Manager, that the CPA funds be allocated and appropriated as follows:
VOTE 1: Fiscal Year 2019 Local Funds ($9,400,000)
80% of FY2019 CPA Local Fund revenues ($7,520,000) allocated to Affordable Housing and appropriated to the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust
10% of FY2019 CPA Local Fund revenues ($940,000) allocated to Historic Preservation as follows:
1. $600,000 appropriated to the Historic Preservation Grants
2. $200,000 appropriated to the Electric Dept. Garage window replacement
3. $90,400 appropriated to the Longfellow Park masonry repairs
4. $40,000 appropriated to Inspectional Services Department, digitization of plans and records
5. $9,600 appropriated to Flagstaff Park flagpole replacement
10% of FY2019 CPA Local Fund revenues ($940,000) allocated to Open Space as follows:
1. $800,000 appropriated to Peabody School playground improvements
2. $140,000 appropriated to the Magazine Beach shoreline
VOTE 2: Fiscal Year 2018 State Funds [received in FY2019] ($1,220,000)
80% of FY2018 State Match revenues ($976,000) allocated to Affordable Housing and appropriated to the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust
10% of FY2018 State Match revenues ($122,000) allocated to Historic Preservation as follows:
1. $37,600 appropriated to Cambridge Public Library, compact shelfing in the Cambridge Room
2. $84,400 appropriated to Historical Commission, digitization of the survey of architectural history in Cambridge
10% of FY2018 State Match revenues ($122,000) allocated to Open Space as follows:
1. $15,450 appropriated to Magazine Beach shoreline
2. $106,550 appropriated to O’Connell Branch Library pocket park
VOTE 3: CPA Fund Balance ($2,100,000)
80% of the Fund Balance ($1,680,000) allocated to Affordable Housing and appropriated to the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust
10% of the Fund Balance ($210,000) allocated to Historic Preservation as follows:
1. $40,400 appropriated to Flagstaff Park flagpole replacement
2. $10,000 appropriated to Inspectional Services Department, digitization of plans and records
3. $79,600 appropriated to Historical Commission, digitization of the survey of architectural history
4. $80,000 appropriated to African American Trail markers
10% of the Fund Balance ($210,000) allocated to Open Space as follows:
1. $143,450 appropriated to O’Connell Branch Library pocket park
2. $66,550 appropriated to Fresh Pond Reservation ecological landscape improvements
VOTE 4: CPA Fund Balance - Administration ($10,000)
1. $10,000 appropriated to Administrative Costs for Community Preservation Coalition membership dues
Table 1 - Summary of FY19 Recommended Appropriations by Expenditure Type
Historic Preservation Grants
Cambridge Public Library- compact shelving in the Cambridge Room
Electric Department Garage window replacement
Flagstaff Park flagpole replacement
Longfellow Park masonry repairs
Inspectional Services Department -digitization of plans and records
African American Trail markers
Historical Commission- digitization of the survey of architectural history
Subtotal (Historic Preservation)
Peabody School Playground improvements
Magazine Beach shoreline
O’Connell Branch Library pocket park
Fresh Pond Reservation ecological landscape improvements
Subtotal (Open Space)
Administration/ Community Preservation Coalition
Table 2 - Summary of Recommended Appropriations by Funding Source
|FY2019 Local Funds||FY2018 State Funds||CPA Fund Balance||FY2019 Total|
|Affordable Housing Trust||$7,520,000||$976,000||$1,680,000||$10,176,000|
|Historic Preservation Projects||$940,000||$122,000||$210,000||$1,272,000|
|Open Space Projects||$940,000||$122,000||$210,000||$1,272,000|
|Administration/ Community Preservation Coalition Membership Dues||$10,000||$10,000|
Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
2. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Local Cultural Council grant made by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) to the Arts Council in the amount of $500.00 to the Public Celebrations (Arts Council) Other Ordinary Maintenance account which will be used to support the 2019 River Festival.
Order Adopted 9-0
3. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of a Vision Zero Outreach Grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance in the amount of $15,000 to the Grant Fund Traffic, Parking, and Transportation Other Ordinary Maintenance account which will help support the City’s Vision Zero Initiative and be used to create, produce, and print marketing materials that detail Cambridge’s Complete Streets and Vision Zero efforts.
Order Adopted 9-0
4. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a recommended appointment of the following person as a member of the Cambridge Housing Authority for a term of 5 years: Elaine DeRosa
Referred to Housing Committee
Sept 17, 2018
To the Honorable, the City Council:
I am pleased to recommend the appointment of Elaine DeRosa to the Cambridge Housing Authority for a term of 5 years.
Ms. DeRosa spent four decades working at Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee, Inc. (CEOC) and recently retired after 30 years as the CEOC’s Executive Director. Elaine provided individual tenant advocacy and developed and advocated for public policy for the preservation and development of affordable housing in Cambridge and statewide.
Ms. DeRosa is very familiar with the various financial sources for affordable housing including tenant-based Section 8 vouchers, project-based vouchers, tax credits and the Community Preservation Act (CPA). Elaine is well versed on the CHA’s RAD program, having been involved in various aspects of the program beginning with its implementation and provided advocacy to help tenants make choices about their relocation plans. Her work with tenants was key in keeping the RAD process moving ahead smoothly and on time.
Ms. DeRosa will bring decades of commitment and passion to the necessity of insuring affordable housing for low-income individuals and families throughout Cambridge.
In accordance with M.G. L. Chapter 121B, Section 5, I am submitting Ms. DeRosa’s name for City Council confirmation as a Commissioner of the Cambridge Housing Authority. I am further requesting that this recommendation be forwarded to the Housing Committee for a public hearing as outlined in City Council Rule Number 32C.
Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
5. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following person as a new member of the Community Benefits Advisory Committee (CBAC) to fill a term vacated by former member Risa Mednick that will expire on June 11, 2020: Eva Martin Blythe
Placed on File
Sept 17, 2018
To the Honorable, the City Council:
I am hereby transmitting notification of the appointment of the following person as a new member of the Community Benefits Advisory Committee (CBAC) to fill a term vacated by former member Risa Mednick as a representative of the Cambridge Non-Profit Coalition. The term will expire on June 11, 2020.
Eva Martin Blythe
Ms. Blythe, is the Executive Director of the YWCA Cambridge, and a current member of the Citizen’s Committee on Civic Unity and City Manager’s Advisory Committee. Eva is actively engaged in the Cambridge community and will bring a valuable perspective to the CBAC.
Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
6. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to adopt the Cannabis Zoning Petition with suggested revisions and additional considerations.
Referred to Petition
Date: Sept 12, 2018
Subject: Cannabis Zoning Petition
Recommendation: The Planning Board recommends ADOPTION, with suggested revisions and additional considerations.
To the Honorable, the City Council,
The Planning Board held a public hearing on this City Council zoning petition on Aug 28, 2018. The Board heard a presentation from Community Development Department staff and testimony from members of the public. Following deliberation, the Board voted to transmit a positive recommendation and to offer the following comments to the Council.
The Board is supportive of the proposal in general. Board members acknowledged that the Cambridge public voted strongly in favor of allowing the legal sale of cannabis, and does not see a need to overregulate this type of use. Board members also noted that this is the start of a new industry, and as such it is a unique opportunity to promote economic empowerment and to help make the industry more inclusive to people of diverse backgrounds.
The Board supports the approach of allowing cannabis retail stores across all retail districts. There was some discussion of whether requiring a separation between cannabis retail stores was necessary, given that other retail uses are not regulated in this way, and the market would determine how many stores could be viable within a given area. However, the Board ultimately concluded that the 1,800-foot separation, with exceptions as proposed, is an appropriate way to achieve the goal of promoting separation among the initial set of cannabis stores in the city and to prevent clustering.
The Board recommends the following improvements to the petition:
In addition, Board members made the following comments regarding issues that might be considered in the future:
This design review issue would have to be addressed if the special permit were eliminated. If a special permit and a host community agreement both continue to be required, the relationship between the two should be clearly defined.
Respectfully submitted for the Planning Board,
H Theodore Cohen, Chair.
7. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-82, regarding purchasing buildings being sold by the Episcopal Divinity School.
Charter Right - Toomey
8. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the reappointment of the following persons as a members of the Library Board of Trustees: Karen Kosko, Patricia Payne and Nancy Woods.
Placed on File
Sept 17, 2018
To the Honorable, the City Council:
I am hereby transmitting notification of the reappointment of the following members of the Library Board of Trustees:
Karen Kosko (term to expire 7/31/2021)
Ms. Kosko has served as the branch manager of the Collins Branch, as a librarian at the Haggerty School, and as a board member of the Friends of the CPL. Karen brings a unique perspective to the Board of Trustees with her knowledge and experience of both Cambridge public and school libraries.
Patricia Payne (term to expire 12/31/2020)
Ms. Payne is former Director of Libraries at Lesley University, Ludcke Library and AIB Library and is a current Dean Emerita of the Lesley University Libraries. She provides the CPL Trustees with a valuable connection to the local university community.
Nancy Woods (term to expire 1/1/2021)
Ms. Woods co-chaired the Library 21, a committee appointed by the City Manager to develop and implement a process for identifying the roles and services for a new library system and translating these into physical requirements for a Main Library building. She is a long-time, devoted Trustee and was instrumental in the renovation of the Main Library.
Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
9. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the FY19 IdeaLab Grant received from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, in the amount of $15,000 to the Grant Fund Library Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($15,000) which will be used to purchase computer software and supplies.
Order Adopted 9-0
10. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the FY19 Preservation Assessment Grant received from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, in the amount of $4,200 to the Grant Fund Library Other Ordinary Maintenance account which will support a preservation assessment for the Cambridge Room, the Cambridge Public Library’s Archives and Special Collections.
Order Adopted 9-0
11. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the FY18 Early Childhood Resource Center grant received from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care in the amount of $9,333.33 to the Grant Fund Library Salary and Wages account ($1,600) and the Grant Fund Library Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($7,733.33) which will support parent/provider workshops, library materials, and staff time to provide on-site services.
Order Adopted 9-0
12. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-64, regarding a peace and safety plan for The Port and Wellington-Harrington neighborhoods.
Placed on File
13. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of a supplemental appropriation of the FY18 STEP (Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program) Grant for $9,182.81 received from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Highway Safety Division to the Grant Fund Police Department Salary and Wages account ($9,182.81) which will be used to supplement sustained, high visibility, year-round traffic enforcement, specifically at locations throughout the city that have had serious crash and injury problems in the past.
Order Adopted 9-0
14. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of a grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's (EOPSS) Traffic Enforcement Grant Program in the amount of $14,199.70 to the Grant Fund Police Department Salary and Wages account ($4,575) and the Grant Fund Police Department Extraordinary Expenditures account ($9,624.70) which will fund high-visibility traffic enforcement of motor vehicle laws related to, speeding, impaired driving, occupant protection and pedestrian safety and to purchase lidar speed measuring devices for traffic safety enforcement.
Placed on File
15. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-74, regarding ensuring water play features in all City owned tot lots are in proper working condition.
Placed on File
16. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-54, regarding revitalization of Gannett-Warren Pals Park.
Placed on File
17. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as a members of the Family Policy Council: Ron Benham, Ben Clark, Elizabeth Hill, Mike Johnston, Michelle Lower, Geeta Pradhan & Bridget Rodriguez.
Placed on File
Sept 17, 2018
To the Honorable, the City Council:
I am hereby transmitting notification of the reappointment of the following persons as member of the Family Policy Council effective Sept 17, 2018:
Ron Benham (1-year) - State Agency Representative
Mr. Benhan has worked for the State Department of Public Health for the past 35 years as an administrator overseeing programs for young children and youth with disabilities as well as WIC state and federal child nutrition programs. He and his wife are the parents of daughters that graduated from CRLS and attended preschool and afterschool City programs.
Ben Clark (1-year) - Specific Area Representative
Mr. Clark is the Executive Director of Enroot, where his work ensures that immigrant high school students in the City are provided the support they need to pursue life goals. He serves on the Steering Committee of the Cambridge College Success Initiative and as a Parent Representative on the School Advisory Committee at Tobin Montessori School. He is the parent of two young children that are starting their educational experience in Cambridge Public Schools.
Elizabeth Hill (3-years) - Community-at-Large Representative
Ms. Hill is a Junior Kindergarten/Kindergarten teacher in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School and is a parent of two middle school age students; both will attend Putnam Avenue Upper School this fall. Her work on the Council has dovetailed with her work with Birth to Grade 3 Quality and Access subcommittee and her work as a Teacher Leader for Equity in the Cambridge Public School District.
Mike Johnston (1-year) - Specific Area Representative
Mr. Johnston is the Executive Director of the Cambridge Housing Authority. His continued work on the Council with help to broaden the efforts of the CHA to address the housing and educational needs of their resident.
Michelle Lower (3-year) - Business Representative
Ms. Lowers is an employee of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. located in Kendall Square. Michelle is the Treasurer of the East Cambridge Business Association, co-chair of the Kendall Square Association eco-district committee and a member of the Transportation Committee. Michelle has two children in grades 1 and 3 at the Baldwin School.
Geeta Pradham (3-year) - Philanthropic Representative
Ms. Pradham is the President of the Cambridge Community Foundation and works closely on various youth and family issues. Additionally, the Foundation is working with many city departments on their Equity Agenda focused on Strong Families, Education & Opportunity; and Arts & Innovation.
Bridget Rodriguez (3-year) - University Representative
Ms. Rodriquez leads the fieldwork division at the Education Redesign Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that works with communities across the country as they create cross-sector collaborative structures to better serve children and youth. She is the parent of two Cambridge Public School students and is eager to see her children and their classmates all have equitable access to the many resources the City offers.
Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
18. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance grant funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in the amount of $95,281.74 to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account ($89,883.34), and to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($5,398.40) which will be used for costs related to the Carey Men’s Transitional Program operated by the Multi-Service Center.
Order Adopted 9-0
19. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in the amount of $116,748.00 to the Grant Fund Human Services Salary and Wages account ($3,948.00) and to the Grant Fund Human Services Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($112,800.00) which will be used to support the Support for Tenants at Risk (STAR) homelessness prevention program based at the Multi-Service Center. Funds will also be used to contract with a clinician who will be based at Cambridge District Court, and to contract with legal service providers who will provide legal advice intended to assist with homeless prevention and tenancy preservation activities.
Order Adopted 9-0
20. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the ESOL Grant for $208,992.00 funded by the Massachusetts Department of Education, Adult and Community Learning Services to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account ($196,642.00), to the Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($11,950.00), and to the Travel and Training account ($400.00) which will support core ESOL services provided by the Community Learning Center.
Order Adopted 9-0
21. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education/Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS) in the amount of $37,500.00 to the Grant Fund Human Services Salary and Wages account ($36,215.00) and to the Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($1,285.00) which will support the staff and operation of an ESOL class focused on teaching employees of the Division of Comparative Medicine at MIT.
Order Adopted 8-0-1 (Simmons ABSENT)
22. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Family Shelter grant received from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in the amount of $497,100.25 to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Other Ordinary Maintenance account which will be subcontracted to the Cambridge YWCA.
Order Adopted 9-0
23. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Agenda for Children’s Talk and Read grant in the amount of $3,202.00 received from the Cambridge Public Health Department to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account ($1,162.00) and to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($2,040.00) which will support parenting workshops as well as the recruitment and training of CLC students who will assist with logistics.
Order Adopted 9-0
24. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) grant in the amount of $58,995.00 to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account ($32,948.00) and to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($26,047.00) which will be used for integrated education and training program for immigrant adults who are interested in becoming certified nursing assistants and home health aides.
Order Adopted 9-0
25. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Adult Basic Education (ABE) grant received from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in the amount of $692,878.00 to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account ($660,002.00), to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($31,151.00) and to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Travel and Training account ($1,725.00) and will be used to fund ESOL, literacy, and high school equivalency preparation classes (teaching, advising, and assessment), the grant provides for volunteer coordination, technology coordination, distance learning for ESOL students, student leadership activities, childcare through the Center for Families for a family literacy class, and out-stationing at Career Source to coordinate services among ABE providers in the Metro North region as well as among ABE and WIOA partners.
Order Adopted 9-0
26. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the reappointment of the following persons as a members of the Cambridge Immigrant Rights Commission for a term of three years, effective Sept 17, 2018: Marcio Macedo and Jennifer Sparks
Placed on File
Sept 17, 2018
To the Honorable, the City Council:
I am hereby transmitting notification of the reappointments of the following persons as member of the Cambridge Immigrant Rights Commission for a term of three years, effective Sept 17, 2018:
Marcio Macedo, who has served as Co-Chair of CIRC for the past year, is a Brazilian immigrant who moved to Cambridge in 2001 and became a US citizen in 2010. A parent of two children in Cambridge Public Schools, Mr. Macedo worked to save the Ola Program at the King Open School and on the Innovation Agenda for CPS. He served on the King Open School Council from 2013-2015. Mr. Macedo works as a technology executive, working in video-conferencing and robotics. In his first, 2-year term on CIRC, Mr. Macedo proved himself an engaged, involved Commissioner, who attended nearly all meetings (and called in to meetings when out of town); volunteered for outreach at the CIRC/CLSACC Immigrant Legal Screening Clinic (providing language assistance to Portuguese clients during intake); participated in a Working Group to develop CIRC’s first Immigrant Welcome Event, which took place in June 2018; and assisted the Executive Director in interviewing new candidates for positions on the Commission. Mr. Macedo’s dedication to the mission of CIRC is heartfelt and very supportive.
Dr. Sparks is a Family Medicine Physician who practices at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, a primary care practice serving Lawrence’s immigrant communities. She brought her insights into the physical and psycho-social aspects of adjustment to life as an immigrant in the US to the work of CIRC. She is interested in addressing the language challenges faced by non-English speakers as they navigate local health care systems and local government services. She has worked as a volunteer medical educator in Kenya, Nicaragua, Nepal, Mongolia and Israel. In addition to her medical work, Dr. Sparks volunteers with Big Brothers and Big Sisters and is a Member of the Board of Advisors to the Home for Little Wanderers. In her first, 2-year term on CIRC, Dr. Sparks volunteered at CIRC’s outreach table at Danehy Park Family Day in 2017; assisted at the CIRC/CLSACC Immigrant Legal Screening Clinic (providing language assistance to Spanish-speaking clients during intake); attended meetings regularly (and called in when out of town, but in the US); and assisted with CIRC’s first Immigrant Welcome Event. Dr. Sparks is an engaged, involved Commissioner whose dedication to the work of CIRC is heartfelt and compassionate.
Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
27. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as members of the Cambridge Human Rights Commission for a term of three years effective July 23, 2018: Yasmin Padamsee Forbes and Michael Kourabas.
Placed on File
Sept 17, 2018
To the Honorable, the City Council:
I am hereby transmitting communication of the appointment of the following new appointments to Cambridge Human Rights Commission for a term of three years, effective July 23, 2018:
Yasmin Padamsee Forbes
Ms. Forbes is a four+ year resident of Cambridge and has a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School (HKS). Ms. Forbes won the 2018 Julius Babbitt Memorial Award from HKS in recognition of her exceptional contributions as an alumna for volunteering her time, creativity and energy to advance the spirit of volunteerism and service at the school. She is currently a Research Assistant at the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard, where she develops strategies and policies for promoting the protection of human rights of vulnerable groups, including women, children, internally displaced persons, returnees and LGBT folks. Ms. Forbes has extensive experience working with the United Nations, in Myanmar, in a variety of roles including the malaria consortium, the livelihood and food security trust fund and the office of resident and humanitarian coordination, in this latter role, formulating strategies for the mainstreaming of human rights into national institutions.
Mr. Kourabas is a lawyer and is the Associate Director for Program & Partner Support at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), where he directs support for UUSC’s grassroots partners around the world, overseeing compliance for a grantmaking portfolio of nearly 100 human-rights grants. In this role he has conducted in-depth impact assessments of disaster response programs in Haiti, the Philippines and Nepal; and conducted human rights trainings for the Ugandan government, judiciary and civil society organizations in support of the International Criminal Court’s work in Africa. He acted as Pro Bono Counsel for the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch, researching and drafting memoranda regarding human rights abuses, primarily relating to Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and northern Uganda. Mr. Kourabas, who has volunteered for a number of local community efforts during his residence in Cambridge, brings his international human rights perspective to the work of the Human Rights Commission, hoping to engage locally on issues that have inspired his work and personal life.
Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
28. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to additional proposed amendments, as requested by the City Council at the meeting of June 25, 2018, to Chapter 2.76 of the Cambridge Municipal Code (the “Human Rights Ordinance”).
Referred to Unfinished Business #1
29. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-84, regarding a report from the Cambridge Human Rights Commission on housing-related questions.
Placed on File
30. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to legal opinion received from City Solicitor Nancy Glowa, regarding the question of repetitive zoning petitions, specifically relative to the Brown Petition.
Referred to Petition
1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to proposed amendments to the two following ordinances: Chapter 2.76 of the Cambridge Municipal Code (the "Human Rights Ordinance) and proposed amendments to Chapter 14.04 of the Cambridge Municipal Code (the "Fair Housing Ordinance).
Ordained as Amended 9-0 (Human Rights Ordinance)
APPLICATIONS AND PETITIONS
1. An application was received from Eliot Square Enterprise/Peets Coffee, requesting permission for replacement of existing one projecting blade sign at the premises numbered 95 Winthrop Street approval has been received from Inspectional Services, Department of Public Works, Community Development Department and no response from abutters.
2. An application was received from Boston Symphony Orchestra requesting permission for 26 temporary banners on lamp poles on JFK street between Memorial Drive and Mount Auburn Street announcing the 138th season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra on October 2018 thru November 2018.
3. An application was received from the Office of the Mayor McGovern requesting permission for a temporary banner across Massachusetts Avenue in front of City Hall promoting the Indigenous Peoples' Day from Oct 3, 2018 thru Oct 15, 2018.
4. An application was received from Grafton Street, requesting permission to add two additional tables and four chairs on the sidewalk (curbside) in front of the premises on the Bow Street side of the Gafton's patio set up.
5. A petition was received from Sara Mae Berman, of 23 Fayette Street, transmitting a petition from Inman Square business in opposition to the City's current plan for the redesign of Inman Square and urging the City to review the attached modified plan endorsed by residents.
Placed on File
1. A communication was received from Lucas J. L. Gibson, regarding E.M.F. Building.
2. A communication was received from Lucas J. L. Gibson, regarding the number of trees being scoped by the Charles River.
3. A communication was received from Robert J. La Tremouille, regarding the Allston I90 Interchange improvement project.
4. A communication was received from James Pawlak, regarding race and diversity.
5. A communication was received from Aaron Votre, regarding tree destruction at Magazine park.
6. A communication was received from Barbara Lockwod, regarding destroying perfectly good trees.
7. A communication was received from Hannah Gibson, 225 Brookline Street, regarding allowing community oversight over city surveillance.
8. A communication was received from Robert J. La Tremouille, regarding tree destruction.
9. A communication was received from Robert J. La Tremouille, regarding Magazine beach boat launch renovations.
10. A communication was received from Peter Valentine, regarding Black Life Matter, allowing marijuana to be legal, comments from the state on marijuana, EMF building, and right and responsibilities of the State.
11. Sundry e-mails received, regarding Evolve Fitness New Street.
12. Sundry e-mails received, regarding friends of White Geese and destruction of trees on Magazine Street.
13. Sundry e-mails received, regarding support for Climate Safety Petition.
14. Communication from George Schneeloch, 81 School Street, urging the City Council not to further delay the Inman Square redesign and not to adopt Policy Order #6.
15. Communication from Marie Elena Saccoccio, 55 Otis Street, transmitting information on cannabis and the Inman Square redesign.
16. Communication from Elena Saporta, on behalf of the Friends of Inman Square, transmitted by Marie Elena Saccoccio relating to the Inman Square redesign.
17. Communication from Judy Johnson, 55 Antrim Street, urging the City Council not vote on the Inman Square redesign plan and to reevaluate and rethink the solution.
18. Communication from Sharon de Vos, 118 Antrim Street, stating that the current plan for Inman Square is more dangerous for all pedestrians.
19. Communication from Edward Woll, Jr., 79 Dana Street, in favor of the modified plan for Inman Square.
20. Communication from Robert La Tremouille regarding the Community Preservation Vote #1C2 regarding an appropriation for the Magazine Beach shoreline and the destruction of trees at this location.
21. Communication from Hasson J. Rashid, 820 Massachusetts Avenue, relating to agenda items on homelessness.
1. Thanks to Keisha Greaves for her incredible role and contribution to the Cambridge community and City Council support of the 4th Annual Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Day on Sept 30, 2018. Mayor McGovern
2. Congratulations to Maura Pensak and Nancy Alach on their recent marriage. Mayor McGovern
3. Resolution on the death of Frances (DeGuglielmo) Tingle. Councillor Simmons, Councillor Toomey
R-3 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: The City Council was saddened to learn of the passing of Frances DeGuglielmo Tingle at the age of 90 on Aug 15, 2018; and
WHEREAS: Frances was born in Cambridge to Austin and Mary DeGuglielmo; she attended Saint Mary High School in Cambridge and graduated from Emmanuel College with a degree in social work; and
WHEREAS: After raising four children, Frances returned to the workforce at Bioran Medical Laboratory, where she worked for more than 15 years and rose to the level of Billing Supervisor; and
WHEREAS: Frances was a passionate volunteer in her church and community where she was known for her generosity and for her love of playing scrabble, bridge, and writing her memoirs, and she shall be fondly remembered as a devoted mother and friend who opened her door to everyone; and
WHEREAS: Frances was preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, James "Cotton" Tingle of Arapahoe, North Carolina; her nine brothers and sisters, the Honorable Joseph DeGuglielmo, Very Reverend Antonine DeGuglielmo, OFM, Mary Frisoli, Robert DeGuglielmo, Lillian Ferraro, and Austin, Walter, Lawrence and Joan DeGuglielmo; her four loving children, James Tingle, Jr. and his wife, Catherine, Garrett Tingle and his wife Janice, Ruth Crowley and her husband Peter, and Robert Tingle and his wife Margaret of Arlington; her seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; her many loving nieces and nephews; and so many others throughout our community who shall treasure her memory forever; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the City Council go on record expressing its deepest condolences to the large and loving family of Frances DeGuglielmo Tingle for their tremendous loss; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to the Tingle family on behalf of the entire City Council.
4. Resolution on the death of Leroy Paul Dotten. Councillor Simmons
5. Resolution on the death of John O'Leary Sr. Councillor Toomey
6. Retirement of Attorney David Sullivan from the Massachusetts State Senate. Mayor McGovern
R-6 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the City Council that David Sullivan has retired from the Massachusetts State Senate; and
WHEREAS: David served the Commonwealth in various roles during his four decades of public service, including as Chief Elections Legal Counsel for former Secretary of State Mike Connolly; General Counsel for State Ethics Commission and Senate Ways and Means; General Counsel in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance under Governor Deval Patrick; and Counsel and Policy Adviser to the State Senate President’s Office; and
WHEREAS: David was a well-respected member of the Cambridge City Council for ten years, serving as a City Councillor from 1980 to 1990; and
WHEREAS: David was known for his broad knowledge of state law and his skill in crafting legislation and guiding budget discussions; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the City Council go on record expressing its appreciation to David Sullivan for his forty-one years of dedicated service to residents of Cambridge and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and wishes him much happiness in his retirement; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to David Sullivan on behalf of the entire City Council.
7. Congratulations to Manikka Bowman for being recognized as one of Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” honorees. Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui
8. Congratulations to YWCA Outstanding Women of 2018. Councillor Simmons
9. Congratulations to Elaine Schear on her retirement from the Friends of CRLS. Councillor Toomey
10. Congratulations to Ayanna Pressley for her historic victory in the Sept 4, 2018 primary for the 7th Congressional District. Councillor Simmons
11. Thanks, and appreciation to Congressman Michael E. Capuano for his many years of service to the Cambridge community. Councillor Simmons
12. Congratulating the Cambridge Public Health Department on achieving national accreditation through the national nonprofit Public Health Accreditation Board. Mayor McGovern
13. Happy 70th Wedding Anniversary wishes to Stephanie and William Courier. Councillor Kelley
14. Resolution on the death of Romelia Gallardo. Councillor Simmons
15. Congratulations to Jimmy Tingle on his well-run campaign for Lieutenant Governor. Mayor McGovern
16. Resolution on the death of John "Harry" Connarton. Councillor Toomey
17. Resolution on the death of Karl Shuman. Councillor Toomey
18. Resolution on the death of Joan Allen. Councillor Toomey
19. Congratulations to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on the occasion of being recognized as one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report America’s “Best Hospital Rankings.” Councillor Toomey
20. Resolution on the death of Olga "Pat" Divecchia. Councillor Toomey
21. Retirement of Dean Larson from the Broad Institute. Councillor Toomey
22. Congratulations to Cambridge Arts & Frames on the occasion of its' 10th anniversary. Councillor Toomey
23. Congratulations to Formaggio's Kitchen on its 40th Anniversary. Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux
24. Congratulations to Green City Growers on their 10th anniversary. Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan
25. Congratulations to Sarah Gyorog on her new position of Executive Director of Transition House. Mayor McGovern
26. Congratulations to Revival Cafe & Kitchen on their recent opening at 125 CambridgePark Drive. Councillor Siddiqui, Vice Mayor Devereux
27. Congratulations to Katrina Chu and Lee Pan on their recent marriage. Councillor Siddiqui
28. Congratulations to the City of South Portland, Maine on a major climate change victory. Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux
29. Retirement of William"Bill" Dwyer from the Department of Public Works. Mayor McGovern
R-29 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: William “Bill” Dwyer served the City of Cambridge and its residents from 1998 to 2018 through his work with the Department of Public Works; and
WHEREAS: During this time, Bill held numerous overlapping titles including Superintendent of Streets, Superintendent of Streets and Sidewalks, Superintendent of Streets and Bridges, and Superintendent of Streets and Sewer Maintenance; and
WHEREAS: Bill used his skills to perform various functions related to the maintenance and accessibility of City streets, sidewalks, curbs and drainage structures, he also has twenty years of successful Snow Operations in the City of Cambridge; and
WHEREAS: As a Member of the Pole and Conduit Commission, Bill played a vital role in emergency response, including spill containment of hazardous materials; and WHEREAS: Bill Dwyer received numerous commendation letters from the residents and businesses in Cambridge, City Officials, and other City departments for immediate response to their streets, sidewalks, and sewer maintenance related needs; and
WHEREAS: Bill is a recipient of the 2003 Public Works Commissioner’s Award for Outstanding Performance, and the 2010 Outstanding City Employee Award; and
WHEREAS: Bill was well liked and will be dearly missed by his colleagues; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the City Council go on record expressing its appreciation to William “Bill” Dwyer for his twenty years of dedicated service to the residents and to the City of Cambridge and wishes him much happiness in his retirement; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to William “Bill” Dwyer on behalf of the entire City Council.
1. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Community Development Department to establish a Senior Living Overlay District at the current site of Sancta Maria Nursing Facility to encourage and incentivize redevelopment specifically for continuum of care services. Councillor Mallon
Charter Right - Toomey
2. That the City Manager is requested to direct the appropriate City personnel to explore the feasibility of establishing a crosswalk at the intersection of Soden Street and Western Avenue. Councillor Simmons
Charter Right - Toomey
3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments and relevant housing partners to aggressively attempt to obtain, or help others obtain, the Santa Maria property for purposes of affordable housing. Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey, Mayor McGovern
Charter Right - Toomey
4. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Police Commissioner to increase enforcement of the Bike Lane Bill to keep our bicycle infrastructure free and unobstructed. Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan
Charter Right - Toomey
5. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Office of the Mayor, representatives of Harvard University, and any other parties that the City Manager deems necessary in order to draft a plan that shall allow the Mayor’s Annual Harvard Senior Luncheon to be held regardless of the weather conditions. Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui
Charter Right - Toomey
6. That the City Manager is requested to direct the Community Development Department and any other relevant City personnel to establish an Inman Square Business Impact Plan ahead of formally initiating the Inman Square street reconfiguration process. Councillor Simmons
Order Adopted as Amended
7. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council on the tax status, zoning history, and sale of The Constellation Center's Parcel C in Kendall Square. Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey
Charter Right - Toomey
8. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department and other City departments to consider working with consultants and other available resources to help incorporate data access and management concerns into discussions, permits and licenses for new mobility platforms. Councillor Kelley
Charter Right - Toomey
9. That the City Manager is requested to instruct the Director of the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department to provide an explanation for the change in parking regulations which does not allow for property owners to park in front of their own driveways. Councillor Toomey
Charter Right - Toomey
10. That the City Manager is requested to report to the City Council with an explanation of how the City views internet-based platforms as opportunities for outreach and communication and what sort of guidelines have been, or are being, developed to help everyone understand how the City’s various departments do or do not utilize these communication resources and how any communications on these platforms are managed so that the messaging and information is kept up-to-date. Councillor Kelley
Charter Right - Toomey
11. That the City Manager is requested to televise the Neighborhood & Long-Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee hearing on Sept 20, 2018. Councillor Zondervan
Charter Right - Toomey
12. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Economic Development Division to regularly update the vacant property database as well as review the strategies presented in the Storefront Vacancies Best Practices Report and report back on the feasibility of implementing these recommendations. Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone
Charter Right - Toomey
13. That the City Manager is requested to direct the City Solicitor to provide a legal opinion on a Motion to Rescind. Councillor Zondervan
Failed 4-5 [Carlone, Devereux, McGovern, Zondervan - YES; Kelley, Mallon, Siddiqui, Simmons, Toomey - NO]
Note: City Solicitor Nancy Glowa explained that though a "motion to rescind" is in Robert's Rules of Order, this is only relevant if the City Council Rules are silent and, in fact, a motion to rescind is encompassed in the "Motion to Reconsider" in the City Council rules.
14. That the City Council rescind its vote of July 30, 2018 failing to send the climate safety (Brown, et al) petition to a second reading, thereby taking no action on the petition. Councillor Zondervan
Withdrawn (based on failure of previous vote and Solicitor's explanation)
15. That the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee conduct a hearing to discuss the increase enforcement of the dog leash ordinance, the possibility of an awareness campaign about the importance of following the law, the possibility of creating an opt-in liability insurance program for dog owners, and an update on staffing levels at the Animal Control Department. Councillor Zondervan
Charter Right - Toomey
16. That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to forward to the City Solicitor for review and to be, included in the proposed Surveillance Ordinance; the proposed amendments submitted by Mayor McGovern, Mr. Stallman, Mr. Green and Councillor Kelley are ATTACHMENTS C, D, F, G-1 and G-2 in the Ordinance Committee Report Number Five and Communications and Reports from City Officers Number Three on the September 17, 2018 Agenda. Councillor Kelley
Order Adopted as Amended
17. That the City Manager is requested to prioritize the revitalization of the Paolillo Tot Lot’s amenities in time for Summer 2019. Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Simmons
18. That the City Council go on record accepting the provisions of Chapter 174 of the Acts of 2018, the same being “An Act Authorizing the City of Cambridge to Change the Use of Certain Land Acquired for Open Space Recreational Purposes to a Use for Traffic Reconfiguration Purposes.” Mayor McGovern
Order Adopted 7-2-0 (Kelley, Toomey - NO)
1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 14, 2018 to discuss bike theft, security efforts, the Cambridge Police Department “bait bike” program and locking and storage regulations as they pertain to bike theft and security.
2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Devereux, Chair of the Transportation and Public Utilities Committee, for a hearing held on July 24, 2018 for a follow-up to a response from the City Manager on May 14, 2018 regarding electric vehicles and the originating Policy Order adopted on Jan 29, 2018.
3. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, Chair of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee, for a public hearing held on Wed, June 20, 2018 to discuss the potential for a City-based Cannabis Social Equity Program, focusing on ways to reduce barriers to entry in the commercial Cannabis industry.
4. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on June 26, 2018 to discuss City’s Cyber Security Policy.
Report Accepted, Placed on File
5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 13, 2018 to discuss revisions to the proposed Municipal Code amendment to create a new chapter 12.22 entitled “Surveillance Technology Ordinance;” said revisions were submitted to the City Council on June 25, 2018.
Report Accepted, Placed on File and Referred to Petition, Order Adopted as Amended Order #16
6. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on July 23, 2018 to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code in Chapter 10.17 entitled “Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance” in section 10.17.070 entitled “Fees for Residential Parking Stickers.”
Charter Right - McGovern
7. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 7, 2018 to discuss gun violence, the Cambridge Police Department task force and the new initiatives and the Central Square sub-station.
Report Accepted, Placed on File
8. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 8, 2018 to discuss City Council petition to amend the Zoning Ordinance in Article 5.000 as it relates to rainwater and flat roofs.
Report Accepted, Placed on File
9. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 16, 2018 to discuss a petition filed by Randy Kasten for the Pizzuto Family Limited Partnership to amend the zoning map along the easterly side of New Street from Danehy Park continuing southwesterly along New Street to rezone Industry A01 to create a new overlay zoning district entitled “New Street Overlay District” and further amend section 20.900 in Article 20.00; amend the Table of Regulations by creating a new self-storage facility line, amend Section 4.37 in Article 4.000 ad Section 6.36.7 in Article 6.000 to add a new category entitled “Self-Storage Facility.”
Report Accepted, Placed on File
COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTS FROM OTHER CITY OFFICERS
1. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a communication from Councillor Kelley, transmitting memorandum regarding "Micro-Mobility Support; Transportation Conference".
Placed on File
2. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a communication from Representative Mike Connolly, transmitting a memorandum informing the City Council that the home rule petition submitted by the City Council, relative to the Inman Square Intersection Improvement Plan, has been enacted by the legislature.
Placed on File, Order #18 Adopted
3. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a communication from Councillor Kelley, transmitting memorandum regarding "Surveillance Ordinances Suggestions".
Placed on File and Referred to Petition
Mon, Sept 17
5:.30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Thurs, Sept 20
3:00pm The Transportation and Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing 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 (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm The Neighborhood & Long-Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will meet to discuss the various events being planned for Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2018 and ways to observe the holiday in a manner that promotes the culture, history, and diversity of indigenous peoples during future years (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Sept 24
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Thurs, Sept 27
3:00pm The Health and Environmental Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss storm water management practices and get an update on how Cambridge will be impacted by the EPS’s new MS4 permit which took effect on July 1, 2018 (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm The Housing Committee will conduct a public hearing to receive an update from the Community Development Department on the Affordable Housing Overlay District, and an update on the annual Inclusionary Zoning report. The Housing Committee shall also meet the City Manager's candidate for the open Cambridge Housing Authority Board position. (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Oct 1
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
6:30pm Tax Rate Hearing (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Oct 2
3:00pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a petition filed by the City Council to amend Articles 2.000, 4.000, 6.000 and 11.000 of the Zoning Ordinance to establish provisions for Cannabis Uses. This Hearing is to be televised (Sullivan Chamber)
Wed, Oct 3
4:00pm The Economic Development & University Relations Committee will conduct a public hearing to further discuss a City-based Cannabis Social Equity Program and Policy Order #10 from June 25, 2018 (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Oct 9
1:00pm The Health and Environmental Committee will conduct a public hearing to receive an update on progress towards the Zero Waste goals and to discuss successes and challenges of the citywide composting and recycling programs to date (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Oct 15
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Oct 16
3:00pm The Neighborhood & Long-Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will meet to discuss CMA 2018 #196 and any other matter related to Jerry’s Pond. (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Oct 22
5:30pm The City Council will conduct a Roundtable/Working Meeting to discuss the Envision process. This Meeting is to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Oct 29
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Nov 5
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Nov 19
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Nov 26
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Dec 3
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Dec 10
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Dec 17
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Dec 31
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
TEXT OF ORDERS
O-1 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: On Thurs, Aug 16, 2018, the City of Cambridge received notice that Sancta Maria Nursing Facility will be closing and ending all operations on Dec 31, 2018; and
WHEREAS: Sancta Maria is home to 125 senior clients, all of whom will need to relocate to new full-time care facilities; and
WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge has very few full-time care facilities or nursing homes, and Sancta Maria was one of the only providers of these services; and
WHEREAS: While Sancta Maria is located in the Alewife neighborhood, this particular parcel is not within the scope of the Envision process; and
WHEREAS: We need to take into consideration the growing need for long-term senior care facilities, as 12% of Cambridge’s population is over the age of 62, according to the last US Census in 2010; and
WHEREAS: Though our Zoning Ordinance currently allows “elderly-oriented congregate housing” as a use, the City does not incentivize this type of development; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the Community Development Department to establish a Senior Living Overlay District at the current location of Sancta Maria Nursing Facility to encourage and incentivize the redevelopment of this site specifically for providing continuum of care services to our senior population; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter as soon as possible to come to a solution before the Dec 31, 2018 closure of Sancta Maria.
O-2 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the City Council that a number of residents are concerned about the safety of the intersection at Soden Street and Western Avenue, particularly for the senior citizens who regularly cross this intersection to pay their respects at the funeral home located on Western Avenue; and
WHEREAS: There have been growing concerns that senior citizens and those with mobility issues are having difficulty in making safe passage across this intersection, with many close calls and near-collisions between vehicles and individuals in this location in recent years; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to direct the appropriate City personnel to explore the feasibility of establishing a crosswalk at the intersection of Soden Street and Western Avenue, and to report back on this matter to the City Council in a timely manner.
O-3 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: The Sancta Maria Nursing Facility filed with the State and provided notice of their intention to close the facility effective Dec 31, 2018; and
WHEREAS: Located near Alewife at 799 Concord Ave, the facility stated they will be seeking a buyer for their buildings and campus; and
WHEREAS: There exists a critical affordable housing crisis in Cambridge and a strong need for relief in the Alewife area; and
WHEREAS: The City Council has adopted the goal that “One of the highest priorities for the City is creating and preserving affordable housing for low, moderate, and middle-income individuals and families”; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments and relevant housing partners to aggressively attempt to obtain, or help others obtain, the Santa Maria property for purposes of affordable housing; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager and any relative departments offer to help Sancta Maria in supporting their families in relocating from the Sancta Maria Nursing Facility to other accommodations; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager request that Sancta Maria hold a community meeting to inform residents of the Cambridge Highlands neighborhood regarding their plans moving forward; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this issue.
O-4 Sept 17, 2018
VICE MAYOR DEVEREUX
WHEREAS: The Massachusetts Legislature passed last year the so-called “Bike Lane Bill,” which made standing and parking in a bike lane a fineable offense statewide; and
WHEREAS: Keeping bicycle lanes open and unobstructed, especially in the absence of separated bicycle facilities, is vital for the safety and wellbeing of Cambridge’s many residents and commuters who travel on our streets each day; and
WHEREAS: The urgency to protect our bicycle infrastructure and the new “Bike Lane Bill” notwithstanding, bicyclists can cite daily examples of intrusions and obstructions in bicycle lanes, undermining our goal of making bicycling accessible regardless of age or ability; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the Police Commissioner to increase enforcement of the Bike Lane Bill to keep our bicycle infrastructure free and unobstructed, especially along the city’s busiest corridors; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council at year’s end with data that supports a significant increase in enforcement of the law.
O-5 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: One of the yearly summer highlights for seniors living in Cambridge is the Mayor’s Annual Harvard Senior Luncheon, which is traditionally held in Harvard Yard around the first week of August; and
WHEREAS: Unlike the annual MIT senior luncheon, which takes place indoors and is held regardless of weather conditions, the annual senior luncheon at Harvard is an outdoor event and each year, organizers are at the mercy of the elements in terms of whether or not it can proceed as planned; and
WHEREAS: The Mayor’s Annual Harvard Senior Luncheon has had to be canceled twice in just the past four years due to rain, and this has been a tremendous disappointment to the hundreds of seniors who had been eagerly looking forward to the luncheon for months; and
WHEREAS: Due to the unpredictable nature of the weather, it would be wise for the City and Harvard University to collaborate on a plan that would allow all future Harvard Senior Luncheons to be held as scheduled, regardless of inclement weather; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the Office of the Mayor, representatives of Harvard University, and any other parties that the City Manager deems necessary in order to draft a plan that shall allow the Mayor’s Annual Harvard Senior Luncheon to be held regardless of the weather conditions, and to report back to the City Council on this in a timely manner.
O-6 Sept 17, 2018 Amended
WHEREAS: As the City continues moving towards an Inman Square redesign in order to increase the safety for bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians, members of the community are urging that the City do so in the most expeditious and responsible manner; and
WHEREAS: In addition to honing in upon the street reconfiguration plan that will yield significantly safer intersections, it is imperative that the City also take deliberate measures to mitigate the negative impacts that a prolonged construction period could have upon Inman Square’s small businesses; and
WHEREAS: A clear Business Impact Plan by the City, which will evaluate how the anticipated 12 – 16 month construction process may impact Inman Square businesses and will lay out the specific measures the City must and will take to ensure that these businesses can survive the process, is a critical component of the larger Inman Square redesign project; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to direct the Community Development Department and any other relevant City personnel to establish an Inman Square Business Impact Plan ahead of formally initiating the Inman Square street reconfiguration process; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter in a timely manner.
O-7 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: The Constellation Center’s Parcel C in Kendall Square sold on Aug 29, 2018 to BioMed Realty Trust for $50.5 million; and
WHEREAS: The property had plans for a performing arts center, but it has now sat vacant for nearly two decades; and
WHEREAS: The lot had a nonprofit tax-exempt status from 1999 through 2017 under Glenn KnicKrehm’s Constellation Charitable Foundation; and
WHEREAS: KnicKrehm did not respond to a May 2018 request from the City Council to postpone any sale discussions while the City reviewed the lot’s zoning history and tax status; and
WHEREAS: Councillor Toomey submitted Policy Order #5 on Apr 30, 2018, and there has not been an update since it’s submission; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to provide an update to the City Council in response to Policy Order #5 of Apr 30, 2018; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on the tax status, zoning history, and sale of Parcel C.
O-8 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: Urban transportation and micromobility is quickly shifting in Cambridge as innovation and advancements in technology drive new modes of mobility; and
WHEREAS: Given the personal information collected by new transportation platforms about their users, data access, collection, management and similar issues involving the balance of concerns such as privacy and efficiency are an important aspect of many new modes of mobility, especially for shared mobility platforms such as Turo, Bird, or Motivate; and
WHEREAS: Many experts in academia and at private institutions are heavily studying these changes, their implications for cities, and their impact in shifting the future of urban transportation and the way data can be accessed and shared across platforms to improve City policies without infringing on any particular platform’s competitiveness; and
WHEREAS: The Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI), an interuniversity partnership pursuing cutting edge research across industries in public policy, among other institutions and conveners, provide some pro bono assistance to municipalities in platform data management discussions; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to consult with the Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department and other City departments to consider working with consultants and other available resources such as BARI to help incorporate data access and management concerns into discussions, permits and licenses for new mobility platforms; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this issue.
O-9 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the City Council that there has been a change in regulations relative to property owners parking in front of their own driveway and that they are now prohibited from doing so; and
WHEREAS: Some households have more than one car and being allowed to park in front of their driveways freed up much needed spaces for other neighbors; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to instruct the Director of the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department to provide an explanation for this change in policy with the view in mind of reexamining the regulation to allow property owners to park in front of their own driveways with a report back to the City Council at the Sept 24, 2018 meeting.
O-10 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: The City has many ways of communicating and interacting with the public such as internet-based platforms like SeeClickFix, Twitter, Facebook and the City website; and
WHEREAS: Neighborhood listservs provide another opportunity for the City to communicate directly with residents, businesses and visitors; and
WHEREAS: It is not always explicitly known which departments use which platforms for outreach and information efforts, including third party platforms such as Nextdoor, Twitter and Facebook, all of which are somewhat utilized by the Police Department, but are specifically not used by some other City departments; and
WHEREAS: Keeping the City website up-to-date on evolving issues can be a herculean task; and
WHEREAS: These various internet-based communications opportunities pose a number of challenges in terms of managing information flow, responding to criticisms, updating information, incorporating comments, all of which can take up inordinate amounts of time, lead to confusing or misleading discussions and create tangential discussions in which the City becomes involved but in which the City has no formal role; and
WHEREAS: Simply being present in these on-line forums but not commenting on conversations can be taken, at times, as tacit approval or knowledge of what others are stating whether or not such approval or knowledge is actually the case; and
WHEREAS: It is very easy for a City employee’s comments about an issue to be taken as official City policy or accurate information even if that person did not intend their comments to be viewed in that light and was, instead, attempting to provide general information or to contextualize a conversation; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report to the City Council with an explanation of how the City views internet-based platforms, like Nextdoor, listservs or the City’s own website, as opportunities for outreach and communication and what sort of guidelines have been, or are being, developed to help everyone understand how the City’s various departments do or do not utilize these communication resources and how any communications on these platforms are managed so that the messaging and information is kept up-to-date.
O-11 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: The Neighborhood & Long-Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will hold a public hearing on Thurs, Sept 20, 2018 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm to discuss the various events being planned for Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2018 and ways to observe the holiday in a manner that promotes the culture, history, and diversity of indigenous peoples during future years; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to televise and record this hearing in its entirety so that those residents who are interested in the topic but unable to attend the hearing will be able to view the discussion on their own time.
O-12 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: The Economic Development and University Relations Committee met on Wed, Sept 12, 2018 to discuss the Storefront Vacancies Best Practices Report recommendations, and other updates on the implementation of the Retail Strategic Plan; and
WHEREAS: The Committee discussed a new Cambridge Floor Vacancy Database to be updated quarterly, site-specific and district level causes for vacancies, progress made to date on the retail strategy report, and key learnings from an analysis of the barriers faced by pop-ups, their potential benefits and drawbacks; and
WHEREAS: The Committee presented recommendations, such as partnering with the Harvard Law Transactional clinic, providing a list of legal providers to small business owners, compiling a list of institutional investors who leave their properties vacant, ranking site-specific and district level causes for vacancies and sharing the duration of vacancies in the ground floor vacancy database, and further research into pop-ups; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Economic Development Division on the above items; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to ask the Economic Development Division to report back to the Economic Development and University Relations Committee in a timely manner with progress on the above items in preparation for the next Economic Development and University Relations Committee hearing to be scheduled mid-Fall.
O-13 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: On July 30, 2018, the City Council voted on a motion to send the Brown, et al., Petition to a second reading, which failed; and
WHEREAS: The failure to send this petition to a second reading constitutes negative action under state law, putting the provisions of the petition into potential legal jeopardy if filed again within the next two years; and
WHEREAS: Robert’s Rules allow the City Council to undo the motion to send the petition to a second reading via a motion to rescind, which would eliminate the negative action taken if successful; and
WHEREAS: The petition would expire on Sept 25, 2018 if no negative action is taken by the City Council, allowing the petitioners to revise and resubmit the petition within the next two years; and
WHEREAS: The Sept 25, 2018 expiration date would not interfere with the Millers River project’s ability to secure funding; and
WHEREAS: The petitioners have stated that they have no intention of re-filing the petition in any form or time frame that would endanger the Millers River project or any other deeply affordable housing projects; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to direct the City Solicitor to provide a legal opinion on whether a motion to rescind is in order.
O-14 Sept 17, 2018
ORDERED: That the City Council rescind its vote of July 30, 2018 failing to send the climate safety (Brown, et al) petition to a second reading, thereby taking no action on the petition.
O-15 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: Cambridge Municipal Code §6.04.030 states “No person owning or keeping a dog shall permit it to be at large other than on his or her own premises...the owner shall keep the dog under control by means of a chain, rope or cord not exceeding six feet in length of sufficient strength to control the actions of such dog”; and
WHEREAS: Cambridge has designated many off leash areas at parks throughout the city including Gold Star Mothers, Greene Rose Heritage, Danehy, and Hoyt Field; and
WHEREAS: While most dogs are well behaved and under voice control by their owners even while off leash, incidents do occur, causing fear, injury, or lasting damage to other dogs, domestic animals and/or people; and
WHEREAS: Additional enforcement of this law and greater availability of Animal Control Officers could lead to some reduction in these incidents; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the Neighborhood and Long-Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee conduct a hearing to discuss the following topics: ways to increase enforcement of the dog leash ordinance, possibility of an awareness campaign about the importance of following the law, possibility of creating an opt-in liability insurance program for dog owners, and an update on staffing levels at Animal Control Department.
O-16 Sept 17, 2018
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to forward to the City Solicitor for review and to be included in the proposed Surveillance Ordinance, the proposed amendments submitted by Mayor McGovern, Mr. Stallman, Mr. Green and Councillor Kelley are ATTACHMENTS C, D, F, G-1 and G-2 in the Ordinance Committee Report Number Five and Communications and Reports from City Officers Number Three on the September 17, 2018 Agenda.
O-17 Sept 17, 2018
WHEREAS: Awaiting Report Item #18-74 requested that the City Manager “ensure that the water features in all City-owned tot lots are in proper working condition”; and
WHEREAS: City Manager Agenda Item #15 of September 17, 2018 responds that “during the summer of 2018, almost all of the water play features operated satisfactorily”, and notes several sites that were problematic, including Gannett Warren Pals Park, Fulmore Park, Tobin School, and Kemp Playground; and
WHEREAS: At the four parks identified as problematic, the water was turned on throughout the day to ensure that children have access to the water features despite the on-demand control mechanism not working; and
WHEREAS: City Manager Agenda Item #15 of September 17, 2018 makes no mention of the Chief Anthony Paolillo Tot Lot, located on Pine Street in The Port, which has a water play feature that has not worked for the entirety of Summer 2018 and perhaps even longer; and
WHEREAS: The water at the Paolillo Tot Lot was not turned on as of 1:00pm on September 17, 2018, despite the high temperature exceeding 80 degrees Fahrenheit; and
WHEREAS: The Paolillo Tot Lot is not adjacent to a school and therefore the water can remain turned on into the late fall as is the practice at such parks that are not adjacent to schools; and WHEREAS: Someone apparently installed a small kiddie pool at the Paolillo Tot Lot in order to keep their children cool this summer (see attached); and
WHEREAS: The Paolillo Tot Lot does not currently have an official City of Cambridge trash or recycling receptacle, and a thoughtful resident has placed their own trash can in order to keep the park clean; and
WHEREAS: The park’s sunscreen dispenser is empty, dirty, and generally in a state of disrepair; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to prioritize the revitalization of the Paolillo Tot Lot’s amenities in time for Summer 2019; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to include the Paolillo Tot Lot on the list of parks where the water is turned on daily during remaining warm days in 2018; and be it further ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to promptly report back to the City Council on this matter.
O-18 Sept 17, 2018
ORDERED: That the City Council go on record accepting the provisions of Chapter 174 of the Acts of 2018, the same being “An Act Authorizing the City of Cambridge to Change the Use of Certain Land Acquired for Open Space Recreational Purposes to a Use for Traffic Reconfiguration Purposes.”
TEXT OF COMMITTEE REPORTS
Committee Report #1
The Public Safety Committee held a public hearing on Tues, Aug 14, 2018 at 3:00pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss bike theft, security efforts, the Cambridge Police Department “bait bike” program and locking and storage regulations as they pertain to bike theft and security.
Present at the hearing were Councillor Kelley, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Carlone; Vice Mayor Devereux; Councillor Siddiqui; Councillor Toomey; Police Commissioner Bard; Deputy Superintendent Leonard DiPietro; Director of Traffic, Parking and Transportation Joseph Barr; Khalil Mogassabi, Deputy Director, Community Development Department, CDD; Cara Seiderman, Transportation Division, CDD; Lisa Peterson, Deputy City Manager and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were K. Lowenstein, George Despotis, 3 Crawford Street and David Wales, 384 Pine Street.
Councillor Kelley convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He gave a presentation (ATTACHMENT A). He also submitted a list of questions (ATTACHMENT B). He outlined the format of the hearing. He proceeded with his presentation. He stated that bike theft is down year-to-year and over a five year period but is still a high number of 33 per reporting period. He stated that bike security and safety is personal to him. He stated that bikes that get stolen are too often his. He stated having a bike stolen is expensive, scary and invasive and can cost, on average, up to $500. He displayed a variety of ways that bikes can be locked with differing, but no absolute, levels of security. Cable locks are the primary way that bikers feel that their bikes are secure. He spoke about bike equipment such as a light that can also be stolen and is expensive. He added that no place is secure to lock up a bike. He stated that bikes can be registered and if stolen one can get them back, eventually, but it is not commonly successful. He proceeded to his list of questions to be discussed.
Commissioner Bard stated that the presentation is about how not to get a bike stolen. He stated that bikes theft is down 21% currently and 19% down from 2017 and 2016. In 2017 there were 6 arrests for bike theft. He stated that 76 bikes were found, 6 were returned to their owners and 67 were auctioned off. In stated that from January 2017 to the present, 76 bikes were found and added that the means vary on returning them to their owners, with three having been returned through bike registration programs. He stated that through registration the Police may be able to locate owners; but there is not a high success rate on this. Councillor Kelley asked if there is a particular location where bikes are stolen. Commissioner Bard responded more thefts occur where there is a high concentration of bikes, such as universities, squares and MBTA stations. He gave statistics on the various areas in the City. Councillor Kelley asked if these statistics were broken down better for specific locations within general neighborhoods. Commissioner Bard stated that he has access to the aggregated numbers, but not with him today and would provide this information. He stated that bikes find their way to Craig’s List and are used for parts or sold. Councillor Kelley asked if bikes are stolen and then sold after being transported long distances as part of a pseudo-commercial operation. Commissioner Bard responded that that does not happen on a large scale in Cambridge. Councillor Kelley asked are people stealing bikes for a living. Commissioner Bard stated that some people put in orders for a high-end bike and some bikes are stolen by petty thieves in an opportunistic fashion. Councillor Kelley asked does the Police Department monitor Craig’s list. Commissioner Bard responded in the negative and commented that it would be resource intensive to do that.
Councillor Kelley asked how does the bait bike program work. Commissioner Bard stated that bait bikes are used in high bike theft areas in the City. They are used moderately and whenever there is a need. Councillor Kelley commented that he did not think that this work is being done aggressively enough. Commissioner Bard explained that a drastic uptick of bike thefts would constitute a need. He spoke about deploying resources and bikes are less important than other public safety issues. Councillor Kelley noted that bikes are stolen a lot. Commissioner Bard stated that the bait bikes are not deployed every day. Councillor Kelley requested a number of when they are deployed. Commissioner Bard stated that he would not provide a number. Councilor Kelley said he was disappointed in that response.
Councillor Kelley asked if there are any possible alterations to storage regulations as they pertain to bicycle theft.
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that in areas where there are bike corrals are they put in areas that are well lite. Mr. Barr noted that this criterion is not taken into consideration; they are put into busy areas especially where there is a need for bike parking. They do tend to wind up in well-lit areas. He would check on this. Vice Mayor Devereux spoke about a bike corral on Church Street. She noted that the area tends to be a dark area and there is suspicious activity going on in this area.
Councillor Kelley spoke about bike racks and the fact that some are more secure than others. The slotted bike racks which just fit wheels do not meet the City’s standards. Mr. Barr stated that when private developers install required racks, they do meet the City’s standards, as do City installed racks but if people want to put up additional racks, they may put up what they wish. The City racks allow bikes to be locked easily. He added that what is in place is good and the City is looking to install permanent bike parking. The City’s goal is to replace the corrals with permanent bike parking where possible. Ms. Seiderman stated that Mr. Barr described the situation adequately about bike parking.
Commissioner Bard spoke about tracking and having reliable data. Councillor Kelley spoke about the high bike thefts even with the drop in the statistics and he felt that there should be more attention to this. He asked how the City captures those who are stealing bikes. Commissioner Bard responded that when police capture someone with a stolen bike they are charged with receiving stolen property rather than stealing a bike if the act of theft is not seen. Councillor Kelley asked how the police captured the people who stole the 6 bikes. Commissioner Bard responded that this was opportunistic as well and that the police will not put out the bait bike without keeping it under observation or they would not see the crime in action and could not prosecute for the actual theft.
Vice Mayor Devereux commented has no one managed to make a bike lock with an alarm in it.
Councillor Kelley stated he would like to see more emphasis on this matter. He wanted feedback from the City Council on this issue. Commissioner Bard responded that the City is in a better place than it was last year and the biggest possible gain is education and training people about the proper way to lock up their bike. The more education is done and the more diligence to properly locking bikes by owners is the way to see gain rather than enforcement.
Deputy City Manager stated her family had 2 bikes stolen. She did not have a picture of the bike and she could not identify the bike. A picture would have been more helpful.
Councillor Kelley asked if the bait bike has a GPS and it can be tracked when stolen. He noted that watching the bike is part of the bait bike program. Commissioner Bard explained that it will not be deployed unless it is being properly watched.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked about the third-party registration. Deputy Superintendent DiPietro stated that he works with the universities on this. In response to a question from Vice-Mayor Devereux, Commissioner Bard stated that there is a bigger problem with bike theft than package theft.
Councillor Kelley noted that he is the only City Councillor who is incensed about bike theft and he would understand if the other meeting attendees did not see the same need for bike theft focus that he does.
Councillor Carlone stated that when he was a kid he had a license plate on his bike. This would solve so many issues of identification if this were done today at least post-theft from an identification standpoint. Is there any national thinking about this? Commissioner Bard stated that he has been informed that this stopped around 2008. Councillor Toomey commented that he had a license plate on his bike and it was requirement when he was a kid.
Councillor Siddiqui spoke about people posting comments on social media. She suggested having a local “my bike was stolen” page. She noted that social media is used to find many things. Vice Mayor Devereux stated that Cambridge Bikes has a Facebook page that post bikes that were stolen though its success in having stolen bikes located seemed limited.
Councillor Kelley commented that it seemed the City Council feels that the City is good with the City’s bike current theft efforts even if he does not.
At 3:42pm Councillor Kelley opened the hearing to public comment.
David Walles passed around a picture of his stolen bike. Hs bike was stolen while out on injury as a member of the Fire Department. His bike was ruined by fire. His bike was gone. He stated that he lost property in the fire and never got it back.
George Despotis, 3 Crawford Street, spoke on bike theft and abandoned bikes and the possibility of putting locator tags on bikes as is done on birds. He supported having a bike license. He spoke about education but has not seen any education about bikes from the Police Department. He suggested Public Information Alerts such as: be careful about your bike, it will be ticket or towed if abandoned.
John Hawkinson, 2 Clinton St., spoke about bike theft from targeted efforts of thieves versus lack of education or poor operator error by owners who did a poor job locking their bikes. He stated enforcement and/or baiting more needs to be done if it is the former, education if it is the latter.
At 3:48pm Councillor Kelley closed public comment.
Vice Mayor Devereux agreed that public education is needed about not locking bikes to trees.
Councillor Kelley spoke about public education on how best to lock your bike. Thefts are opportunistic or operator error. Is there anything to be gained by telling bikers to lock their bike. Commissioner Bard stated that 26% of bikes stolen were not locked.
The following communication was received from Sara Mae Berman, 23 Fayette Street, relative to considering a state-wide bike license policy (ATTACHMENT C).
Councillor Kelley thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 3:50pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair
Committee Report #2
The Transportation & Public Utilities Committee held a public hearing on Tues, July 24, 2018, at 1:00pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to receive a follow-up on a response from the City Manager on May 14, 2018 (ATTACHMENT A) regarding electric vehicles and the originating Policy Order adopted on Jan 29, 2018 (ATTACHMENT B).
Present at the hearing were Vice Mayor Devereux, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Carlone; Councillor Kelley; Councillor Mallon; Councillor Siddiqui; Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development Department; Susanne Rasmussen, Director, Environmental and Transportation Planning, CDD; Bronwyn Cooke, Sustainability Planner, CDD; John Nardone, Deputy Public Works Commissioner; Ellen Katz, Public Works; Joseph Barr, Director, Traffic, Parking and Transportation; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Gina Coplon-Newfield and Kevin O’Brien, Sierra Club; Anna Vanderspek, Mass. Energy Consumer Alliance; Donald Bowen, Beverly; Mark Bohlman, 32 Copley Street; and Lindsey Dollark, 4 Cambridge Terrace.
Vice Mayor Devereux convened the hearing and explained the purpose. She announced that the hearing was being audio and video recorded. An agenda was distributed (ATTACHMENT C). She gave background on this matter and stated that this conversation is not new. There are three presentations and then there will be public comment. She stated that the state has set a goal of 300,000 electric vehicles on the road in Massachusetts by 2025 and on a proportional basis this leaves Cambridge with about 4,000 vehicles. She noted that the City has a challenge from the state to do our share and the City is actively working on this. She spoke about the benefits of converting from fossil fuel to electric power; particularly in a region like New England where a large amount of the power supply is sourced through renewables. This can have a big impact on the carbon footprint by transitioning both private vehicles and the City’s municipal fleet. She stated that there have been different policy orders on the fleet made greener, the feasibility of reducing or eliminating the excise tax for electric vehicle owners, the feasibility of placing charging equipment on residential streets where there is a need or the use of streetlights, outreach and education to residents and businesses, rebates, requiring developers to provide more chargers in their developments and the revenue generated from the chargers could help to fund other stations. She stated that there will be a detailed discussion on the report received from City staff. She stated that there outside experts at this hearing from the Sierra Club (both the national organization and the Massachusetts chapter) and from Mass. Energy, who will also give a presentation. She stated that she was hopeful that we will leave this hearing with goals and answers to some of the questions. Introductions were made.
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that the Community Development Department would provide the first presentation (ATTACHMENT D). Ms. Cooke outlined the information in the presentation. She spoke about the role that electric vehicles play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and how they can support shifting to sustainable modes. She commented that E-bikes can help people biking longer distances to work. She stated that the City has a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. She explained that a community-wide inventory has been completed and 11% of GHG emissions citywide is from transportation. This does not include trips made through Cambridge. She highlighted the electrification benefits. She reviewed the terminology used. She explained that EV = electric vehicles and all that this includes, electric scooters, E-bikes, electric taxis, electric car sharing, E-motorcycles, electric busses and school buses and haulers. She explained the source of energy and consumption. She used the terminology EVSE meaning electric vehicle supply equipment, also known as electric charging station. She stated that there are two levels of charging stations for the electric vehicles. She explained that Level 1 is standard wall outlet and Level 2 is medium charge and the time to charge varies depending on the size of the battery. Most cars take more that 1-3 hours to charge on a Level 2. The outlet is a standard connector. She stated that DC Fast Charge is a quick charge. There is not a universal standard on these chargers yet. She stated that the US market on electric motorcycles is increasing and this equipment does not have the same barriers as charging larger vehicles. She stated that the landscape environment for the charging station is complicated. The charging is generally between Level 1 and 2 and are private. She commented that this is changing daily. She stated that some cities like Cambridge have converted their street lights to LED, and there is a level of capacity to use street lights for charging vehicles. She spoke about the City’s role; she noted that the landscape is complicated, and that we are trying to navigate this to ensure that the City as a whole can benefit from some of the advantages EVs offer. She turned over the presentation to John Nardone of DPW to discuss the City’s fleet.
John Nardone spoke about the municipal fleet. In 2004-2005 the City committed to greening the municipal fleet; an internal green fleet committee was formed and is still in existence today. He explained that this committee reviews all the municipal fleet purchases before purchases are made. This includes a review to ensure that we are using the most economical fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. He stated that in 2010 Cambridge became a Green Community and needs to review our vehicle inventory on a yearly basis; there are specific requirements to maintain the Green Community standing. He stated that the City has hybrid vehicles. He noted that the Police Department is the biggest user of hybrid vehicles. He stated that last year the City applied for a Green Community grant and that the City began to look at retrofitting some of the municipal vehicles. In 2017 a competitive Green Community grant was received, and the City converted two vans that support municipal services, a plumber/carpenter van and a shuttle van used by Human Services Department. These became hybrid electric retrofits. He stated that the City has had success with the retrofit vehicles. He noted that the rubbish packers were retrofitted. He stated that the City needs to get back information on how the City is doing on emissions on it because in general this vehicle does not get good MPG. In 2018 the City received an additional Green Community grant of $220,000 to continue to look at the hydraulic hybrids to see if they can be retrofitted with anti-idling technology. He explained that the City contracted with Volpe to review the municipal fleet to come up with a clean fleet initiative to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency and to help support the City’s 2050 carbon neutral goal. He spoke about the barriers faced with the emergency response vehicles. He stated that the City owns a fully electric school bus, which has posed some repair problems. He spoke about finding maintenance resources to fix these vehicles. He explained the need for departmental uniformity with the vehicles. He spoke about next steps to develop a 2030 GHG emission reduction target. He stated that behavior needs to be assessed and to manage solutions. He stated that education is a key factor. He spoke about leasing vehicles based on this new technology and the City not being fully invested in purchasing the vehicles.
Ms. Cooke spoke on work done by the City to-date on EVs. She stated that the City began working on EVs in 2013. A grant was received from the DOER to install charging stations as part of a pilot, and the City installed charging stations in eight different locations for a total of nine stations with 17 charging heads. She explained that the stations can be a single head, dual head or quadruple head stations. She further explained that at the eight locations, 17 cars can charge. She stated that the City owns three of these charging stations and a fourth station was installed later. She stated that EVSE data and installation have been tracked. She commented that electrical permits can be viewed to see if a permit has been pulled for an EVSE. She stated that outreach has been done to educate the public on electric vehicles. She stated that best practices and market trends are being tracked. An interdepartmental working group on EVs has been created and worked on the EV fee structure.
She stated that funds were requested to hire a consultant to help develop a long term EV plan/strategy. She spoke about the EV strategy aligning with the future of mobility. The plan will include a summary of the fleet study, an analysis of existing and future EV/EVSE trends with expected recommendations across all modes of transportation. She stated that the plan will look at expanding the EVSE network in Cambridge. She stated that it has been consistent that access to charging stations is the number one barrier to EV ownership. She spoke about what the City can do to support EV ownership. She commented that there are state and federal tax incentives around EV ownership. She addressed public interest in EVs and spoke about the use of the EV stations in the City. She stated that the City has been tracking the amount of EV state rebates given to Cambridge residents. She stated that Cambridge has 1.3% of the state’s total registered vehicles; with a 2.7% of rebates. She stated that 30 residents have contacted her about interest in EVs and EVSE solutions and the Participatory Budgetary process every year has shown an interest in adding EV charging stations. She stated that there are recommendations coming out of the Envision Cambridge process regarding EVs.
She outlined the barriers to switching to EVs (range anxiety, cost, uncertainty about technology changes and the lack of EV charging stations). She stated that most residents live in buildings without garages or driveways and have limited access to off-street EV charging. She spoke about the existing EVSE. She spoke about planning for the EVSE network and what is needed to support the number of EVs registered in Cambridge. Ms. Rasmussen stated that this includes private chargers at home and City charging stations. More EVs are expected to be registered in Cambridge. She stated that if the trend continues the City can expect to see an additional 300 new EVs in 2019. She stated that if there was a 50% utilization rate for EVs there is a need for 45 new stations to support the 300 additional EV. She stated that the NREL lite tool was used to project the need for EVSE network. This tool looks at the entire Boston region. She stated that municipal parking lots is low hanging fruit for EV stations. She explained the cost and stated that in the last fiscal year quotes were received from an approved state contractor for seven different municipal parking lots and Capital funds of $100,000 were received to install in some of these locations. She explained the use of outside funding and opportunities. She stated that Eversource, as part of their rate case, has $45 million to spend on a Make Ready program. Eversource is proposing to build out the electrical capacity to a site where the owner has to buy the hardware. She noted that the City submitted 11 municipal lots for evaluation to leverage these funds. She highlighted the VW Diesel Settlement Funds. The first round of VW funds intended for EV infrastructure was not pursued by the City because the VW model for the funds was that VW wanted to own the land. In the second round of funding VW is looking to direct funding toward urban areas. The City is discussing with VW if their program will be appropriate for funding for Cambridge.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked for clarification questions on this presentation.
Councillor Mallon questioned the projected need for EVSE network. Ms. Cooke responded that if EV adoption grows in line with the state’s MORE EV rebates trends this is projecting 300 more rebates issued in Cambridge. The public charging network needs to grow to support both Cambridge residents and those driving EVs into the city.
Councillor Siddiqui addressed the Drive Green outreach event at Danehy Park last year. She asked if materials were provided in languages other than English. Ms. Cooke responded that all the flyers were in English. Councillor Siddiqui suggested that the information be translated in other languages at these outreach events.
Vice Mayor Devereux now moved to the Sierra Club presentation (ATTACHMENT E). Ms. Coplon-Newfield, Director, Clean Transportation for All Campaign, stated that she represents the National Sierra Club. She spoke about what other cities and states have been doing to accelerate EV adoption. She stated that transportation from cars, busses and trucks is the largest source of emissions. She stated EVs are a way to reduce emissions. Another method is getting people out of their cars. She spoke about how EVs are lower in emissions and are beneficial to the environment even when the electricity source is not a renewable one. There are air quality and public health benefits to EVs. She further stated that EVs are quieter and cheaper to fuel and maintain. She spoke about electric transit busses. Many communities are expanding their electric bus fleet. The MBTA is doing a study on electric transit busses. She stated that the transit agencies in Springfield, Martha’s Vineyard and Worcester have started investing in electric transit busses. She spoke about equity and electric vehicles. She commented that everyone should have access to clean transportation. Ms. Coplon-Newfield stated that in Los Angeles, CA there is a EV car sharing programs for low-income residents. She spoke about additional rebates issued to low-income residents by other entities. The VW settlement fund has $75 million in Massachusetts to invest in electric vehicles and charging stations. She noted that the problematic school bus is from a Canadian company. She stated that there are American companies now manufacturing EV school busses.
Kevin O’Brien, Outreach Coordinator, Massachusetts Sierra Club, explained the financial incentives for purchasing or leasing EVs. He stated that the rebates are at the state level and tax credits are federal. He explained Seattle’s street light EV charging program. This was a partnership between the City and the Woodland Park Zoo. Mr. O’Brien stated that in Los Angeles EV chargers were installed on 82 street lights across the City because there was additional capacity after switching to LEDs. These were Level 1-2. He stated the right-of-way charger is another program in Seattle. He stated that the Seattle DOT will be evaluating this program. In the New Orleans program an applicant must apply for a permit that will allow the installation of a charging station between the curb and the owner’s property. He spoke about the Mass state building code and building codes from other states. Boston has a requirement that any new development over 50,000 square feet must equip 5% of its parking spaces with EV chargers and an additional 10 % must be EV-ready. He spoke about a report on the cost of retrofitting. In California 30% of their parking spaces be EV-ready. In Massachusetts there is a proposal that would require all new construction to have a certain percentage of the parking spaces be EV-ready. He spoke about charging infrastructure in multi-unit buildings. This was discussion in Boston about the “right to charge” ordinance in which a resident could be allowed to install a charger in their parking space. He stated that VW funds could be used for the municipal fleet. This is leading by example, which could be powerful. He spoke about the steady growth of EV vehicles in Massachusetts; there are about 2-3 new EVs on the road every day. He stated that the state has released how they will use the VW funds; $5 million will be used for EV charging in the first year; $7.5 million for eligible projects for alternative fuel vehicles and $10 million for two different transit authorities to electrify their busses. This is $22.5 million earmarked from the $75 million. Ms. Coplon-Newfield spoke about national Drive Electric week and the event held at Danehy Park and the need for translating the information for the public. Vice Mayor Devereux announced that the Danehy Park family day event will be held on Sept 15, 2018.
Anna Vanderspek Mass. Energy Consumer Alliance, spoke about the barriers to EV adoption. She stated that Cambridge should take advantage of the Eversource Make Ready program. She supported the City purchasing EV cars, busses, trucks. She spoke about her organization’s outreach activities. She explained it can be confusing for consumers who want to purchase an EV to know how to get the best deal and the right car for their needs. She stated that in November 2016 a group buy program was launched. This paired customers with dealerships with EV cars; the dealerships have to provide the EV cars and rebates and trained employees knowledgeable about EV vehicles. This dealership network has been built and has been effective in helping consumers make informed decisions about EVs. Their website is a resource for those who are considering purchasing an EV. The latest deals on EV cars of all makes are displayed on the site for comparison shopping. She stated that there are also offers on leases for EVs. Once an inquiry form is submitted the appropriate employee at the dealership is connected to the consumer and rebates are explained. She highlighted the discounts offered and the state rebate and federal tax incentives. She stated that she would love to help on the outreach and education aspect.
Vice Mayor Devereux opened public comment at 2:19pm.
Donald Bowen of Beverly suggested better signage for the locations of the charging stations in Cambridge. He commented that there is no information at the parking garages of where the charging stations are. He stated that there is no information in Cambridge of where EV charging stations are offered in municipal garages. He stated the reason that consumers are not purchasing EVs is because there is no information on the charging station locations. He stated that this is a communication issue. This needs advertising and education.
Mark Bowman, 32 Copley Street, said that 350 MASS Cambridge supports programs to encourage EV adoption. He stated that the car sharing program with the lack of off-street parking is an issue for low-income. He stated that shared vehicles need to be an important part of the EV program/strategy. He spoke about the North Cambridge bus garage pilot program study being done in conjunction with Mass DOT. He stated that he wanted the City to help with this pilot program’s marketing and outreach to help make it a success. He explained this is a program to take the MBTA garage and convert it for deploying EV busses.
Matt Wagers, 461 Windsor Street, stated that the Level 3 charges are not recommended for regular use. They are more useful for longer range trips and could do harm to the battery.
Kathleen Connors, Voltcheck, stated that they installed some of the chargers and are on the state contract. She explained that the Level 3 chargers only charge up to 80% of the battery to prevent battery degradation. She stated that she sees a high utilization of the charging stations in Cambridge. She wanted to leverage the utilization data from companies such as ChargePoint as to where the chargers should be located. This information is available, and the companies are willing to share this information with the City.
At 2:26pm Vice Mayor Devereux closed public comment.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked the City Council for their comments.
Councillor Mallon asked Ms. Coplon-Newfield about Boston’s “right to charge” ordinance and whether it passed. Mr. O’Brien it did not pass because the Mayor felt instead of it being an ordinance it should be a home rule petition. Councillor Mallon questioned if the Los Angeles low-income rebate program is for leased and/or purchased EVs and how many residents have utilized the program. She also asked about credit and financing available for low-income people. Ms. Coplon-Newfield stated that the Blue LA program is an EV car sharing program geared to low-income residents. The rebate programs are separate and run by state and/or counties. She stated that most of these programs are geared to used EV vehicles. She commented on the issue of financing; there is Greenline Institute research on how to better make EVs accessible to low-income residents. She will get back with this information. Councillor Mallon asked when we will get to a clean energy system for EVs. Ms. Coplon-Newfield explained this has to be on the electricity sourcing side. Even when charged with electricity generated by fossil fuels, EVs are 60% lower in emissions than conventional vehicles and this can only get better. There is a focus on using renewable energy for charging sources. Councillor Mallon commented that the VW funding should be considered for school busses.
Councillor Carlone stated that in the City presentation it indicated that there are three levels of charging and showed LED piggybacking with charging stations. He asked if this a 6-hour charge. Ms. Cooke responded this was a Level 1 charge. LA has installed a station that can give a Level 2 charge, but it could be set so that the street light gets the first level. Councillor Carlone asked about residential street charging policy; in LA are you are only parked in the space for the charging time? Ms. Cooke stated that Cambridge would look at what is the best implementation for using street lights as a solution; it is for only residential streets. Cambridge does not own all the street lights. The City needs to work with Eversource on this. Ms. Rasmussen stated that the City has authority to control user behavior by setting certain pricing policies or charging a high fee for time spent charging an EV. Councillor Carlone asked Ms. Vanderspek about the benefits of purchasing an EV; is there a general percentage range for the rebate? She explained the state rebate is either $2,500 or $1,500, depending on the battery size of the vehicle. The Federal tax credit is up to $7,500 and is done when income taxes are filed. The benefits are based on the tax liability and can be applied by smaller monthly payments, but dealership employees do not always explain this.
Councillor Kelley stated that any discussion that promotes personally owned cars is taking us in the wrong direction. He stated that he understands that EVs in this discussion is for better mobility. This all focuses on having society move to electric vehicles. He stated that the transportation challenges are to get people out of their cars whether electric or not. He is frustrated with this discussion.
Councillor Siddiqui asked about the status of the consultant and when they will be hired. Ms. Cooke explained that the larger strategy is still being discussed and she is drafting the RFP and this EV strategy is to be included in the future mobility study. This will kick off in the fall.
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that when there are more electric vehicles are on the road there also will be more car sharing vehicles and services (like Uber and Lyft) running on electricity. How to convert more vehicles to electricity is a reasonable discussion even as we seek to reduce driving overall. She asked if a charger is set up on utility pole is there a lower amount of charge when light is doing its job, or would it better to charge in day? Ms. Cooke said that when the street light is operating at night there is still an additional 80% capacity that is not being used.
Vice Mayor Devereux spoke about the Community Choice electricity aggregation program for the general power supply and that we are trying to encourage residents to choose the 100% option that costs only very slightly more per kilowatt hour. It is cleaner to charge an EV at home if the power source is solar panels or the 100% renewable choice programs; has this been communicated? She agreed about needing better signage for the locations of the charging stations. The City could do better about this. She stated that it would be good to explore some of the equity programs being tested in other cities. There should be consideration as to where the neighborhoods are that the chargers are being located. She noted that the majority of the EV chargers are located in 02138, 02139 and 02140. She stated that suggestions for more EV stations could be in the Participatory Budgeting process. She wanted the City to keep the City Council apprised of the study and encouraged the agencies to send the best practices from other communities.
Councillor Carlone stated that when special permits are done by the BZA and the Planning Board they could add a criterion for the amount of off-street EV charging stations. This would be a logical criterion for transportation mitigation.
Vice Mayor Devereux thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 2:50pm.
For the Committee,
Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Chair
Committee Report #3
The Economic Development and University Relations Committee held a public hearing on Wed, June 20, 2018 at 4:03pm in the Sullivan Chamber to discuss the potential for a City-based Cannabis Social Equity Program, focusing on ways to reduce barriers to entry in the commercial Cannabis industry, particularly for women and minority-owned businesses; review best equity practices from other states; and promote sustainable, socially and economically reparative practices in the commercial Cannabis industry in Cambridge.
Present at the hearing were Councillor Siddiqui, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Zondervan; Vice Mayor Devereux; Councillor Kelley; Councillor Carlone; Councillor Toomey; Louis DePasquale, City Manager; Lisa Peterson, Deputy City Manager; Commissioner Branville Bard; Jim Mulcahy, Cambridge Police Department; Jeff Roberts, Project Planner; Pardis Saffari, Senior Economic Development Specialist, Community Development Department (CDD); Arthur Goldberg, Deputy City Solicitor; Sam Lipson, Director of Environmental Health, Cambridge Public Health Department; Robert Reardon, Director of Assessing; Anna Lee Hirschi; Allison Daley; Liana Ascolese; Nora Bent; Wil Durbin, Chief of Staff, Mayor’s Office; Dan Totten; and Deputy City Clerk Paula M. Crane.
Also present were Shaleen Title, Esq., Commissioner, Cannabis Control Commission; Khadijah Tribble; Kamani Jefferson; Sonia Espinosa; Amelia Joselow; Adam Patten; and Shekia Scott.
Councillor Siddiqui convened the hearing and stated that the meeting was being audio and visually recorded. She read from prepared opening remarks (ATTACHMENT A). Councillor Siddiqui then introduced Commissioner Shaleen Title of the Cannabis Control Commission.
Commissioner Title thanked the City of Cambridge for proactively having the discussion of cannabis and social equity at the municipal level. She read from a prepared written statement (ATTACHMENT B).
Councillor Siddiqui then gave an overview of the agenda for the hearing (ATTACHMENT C).
Khadijah Tribble from the Marjiuana Policy Trust stated that she has spent last year at the Harvard Kennedy School talking about marijuana. Ms. Tribble stated that the bulk of her time as a small business owner and for five years she has been a board member of ‘Clean Decisions’, which works primarily with formerly incarcerated persons to help them to build skills to become entrepreneurs.
She said that 9 times out of 10, these individuals returning home from prison had a non-violent drug offense felony charge which made it almost impossible to reenter the work force. When Ms. Tribble initially applied to the Kennedy School, she thought that she was going to study the intersection of public health and public housing. Her desire is to move the dialogue around the marijuana policy. 2-3 months ago, Ms. Tribble reached out to the City Council to have a conversation in Cambridge about what equity could look like. She stated that there are a couple of things consistent across the board as it relates to what equity looks like. One, that every jurisdiction needs to understand what the barriers are for the community and constituents that they serve, and two, that some of the major barriers for individuals who are coming out of prison who would seek to participate in this industry are financial, access to capital, and access to real estate. One of the things that Ms. Tribble has found in Oakland, CA is that as soon as the city and state began to move toward legalization, the bigger companies came in and bought up all of the warehouse space. She said that Oakland, CA has blocked out a whole group of people who do not have access to the real estate to be able to participate effectively in cultivation sites. She said licensing and regulatory fees are also barriers. She is glad that the Cannabis Control Commission has made sure that every part of the regulatory process speaks to the needs of the most marginalized. She said licensing and regulatory fees need to bear in mind impacts for individuals who lack access to capital and other things that needed to start a business. She said another barrier is technical assistance, and while individuals have participated in the “black market,” this does not necessarily translate those skills to a regulated market because these individuals face enormous barriers regarding business ownership. She said that in speaking to individuals in Los Angeles, D.C., Newark, New Jersey and New York, who might participate in an equity program, she heard that were participants in the unregulated market, felt a need to carry a firearm for safety, and that this potentially carries a violent felony charge. She stated that geography and distrust in government are barriers. When states decide that they are going to move to a regulated market, jurisdictions and municipalities have the opportunity to opt out, but at the same time we must look at how this creates inequities in the statewide system. She said that she recognizes that many around the table have moved with intention to be deliberate but many of the individuals that they want to help have faced failure in government services and programs. She said that we need to be clear about how we grow out our equity programs and regulations, specifically about public safety and that we must be mindful of the language and narrative.
Ms. Tribble encouraged the City of Cambridge to take the time for implementation to do it right. She noted that while there is no one size fits all plan.
Kamani Jefferson (Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council) shared that he loves Cambridge for the age of innovation and he jumped to move to Massachusetts for cannabis and because he saw an opportunity in Cambridge. He said the city still has its dark side of racism and that the disparate communities need more effort from every government body when it comes to education and innovation. He said that real estate is the name of the game in the cannabis industry and zoning and planning are very important and many don’t have land to begin with. He said that education is the most important thing of all and that there is fear and stigma around cannabis which hinders growth and learning. He said his main goal is educating people on the laws and regulations.
Councillor Zondervan said that one opportunity that has been discussed as it relates to equity is that the existing medical providers will have advantages in terms of adding recreational to their business. He said that the restrictions that are being considered in terms of distance between providers creates an opportunity to say that if the City allows a second or third store or business within that zone, then additional provisions could be put on the second or third store that would potentially enhance social justice. He said that the City could say that they will give preference to women or minority-owned businesses for that second or third license. He said that he would love to hear thoughts on that approach. He said that the other side of that coin is that maybe there should be no limits and let as many businesses be established as possible, but the potential downside is that the most well-resourced are going to win that game. He asked for perspective and thoughts. Ms. Tribble responded that having limits presents a number of opportunities but there are drawbacks. She said that we must look outside of dispensaries as the only way to think about licensing. She said that we could look at other ways to open up the marketplace beyond dispensaries. She said that Cambridge is the most educated place on the East Coast in terms of having access to academics, research centers and medical facilities. She said that it is important to look at other ways to open up the marketplace beyond dispensaries. She said we could talk about a research lab. She said that she loves co-ops and asked how co-op housing and co-op business accelerator could be used to create equity and what that could look like. She said that we must look at what the important pieces are for this jurisdiction, what are the resources within this jurisdiction and then work with what is possible.
Commissioner Title said that it is up to the City of Cambridge, but her opinion is that it is hard to follow the logic of the buffer zone between 2 facilities. She said that in her opinion, the buffer zone is counterproductive, and that buffer zones create more limits. Councillor Zondervan said that the idea is that the limit would be relaxed for social justice purposes. He said that to clarify, it is great to think about other ideas but right now the city is in the process of figuring out zoning regulations for retail dispensaries.
Councillor Kelley said that he didn’t hear any discussion about the Community Host Agreement which to him, seems like the place where the city can have the greatest impact in terms of forcing equity on an industry that does not seem to come by it naturally. He questioned how to approach this discussion. Commissioner Title said that it would be appropriate to take that into account as the city goes through the negotiation of the agreement. She said that the city may want to ask the prospective licensees what their plans are to create equity in their workforce or you may want to ask whatever the City Council thinks is a relative factor and that if the City Council does not want to wait until the Community Host Agreement, they could also do it during the community outreach meeting that is required.
Mr. Jefferson stated that he is interested in a lower percent of an impact for smaller businesses and suggested that it could be 1% if licensees were a microbusiness or co-op. He said that if the plan is more inclusive and equitable than others, playing around with how much you could ask for the impact fee depending on the size of the business would be beneficial. Councillor Siddiqui added that based on some of the other models in Community Host Agreement, such as San Francisco, where provisions are in place requiring local residents to perform 50% of all the work hours to address the equity piece.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked Commissioner Title about the extra credit program that non-equity candidates could participate in and what the city can do, besides work with the Community Host Agreement, or does the city have to follow State rules? Commissioner Title replied that Cambridge can implement any local licensing process that it wants if it does not conflict with State processes. She said that as it relates to the extra credit, that is the social justice leadership rating program where state officials could strike a balance between what they require businesses to do and to reward businesses that go above and beyond. The state has a number of leadership rating categories such as environmental efficiency, compliance, and local hiring.
Vice Mayor Devereaux asked what reward means. Commissioner Title stated that the leadership ratings are seals that vendors can put on packaging, and that marijuana consumers are conscious consumers as they want to vote with their dollars and they want to support companies that reflect their values. Mr. Jefferson asserted his agreement with Commissioner Title’s statement.
Councillor Siddiqui asked Mr. Jefferson to speak on Sira Naturals (an MA Registered Marijuana Dispensary) and its accelerator program. Mr. Jefferson said that Sira Naturals is working with potential manufacturers and may take some equity of those businesses to help with the development of the product or brand. Mr. Jefferson said that he thinks accelerators, incubators and coworking spaces is a great way to pool resources together.
Ms. Tribble asked about women-owned small businesses desiring to open a co-op kitchen membership based and what happens if a minority owner wanted to specifically work with cannabis-based businesses. She said that the city could see this as a benefit to the equity program. She stated that this was one way to meet the barrier and help build a community that has been identified as an important priority community.
Commissioner Title said that as it relates to extra-credit, there is a requirement that took about 10 seconds to write and it is “What is your plan to positively impact these communities?” She said that Sierra Naturals is on the upcoming agenda and they may be the first license that is issued in the state and that the program was their answer to the question.
Councillor Carlone stated aspirations can be listed without establishing definitive criteria and asking applicants to respond, and it is his belief that this would be legal. He said that if more information is being requested from an applicant, is it possible to spell out city goals in general. Commissioner Title answered in the affirmative and said that the city would be in a similar situation where it would have to look, as times goes on, as to how close applicants are to their plan. She said that the city will have to ask applicants to establish measures and show how those measures have been reached. Councillor Carlone mentioned that when the Boston Redevelopment Authority has land that they are going to put on the market, they say that they prefer a certain demographic be part of the key team. He said that every applicant has a key group of color involved and asked how they get around that, noting that it might be interesting to review. Commissioner Title said that they look at it is that because as there is no past marijuana industry, you cannot cite the disparities that such policies are typically based on, but there is a clear State Law mandate to include those communities. She said that there are a lot of different ways to look at legality, but the State process for economic empowerment applicants is something that has been put forth and what the State has decided to use.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked as it relates to the green factor, could the City create an equivalent special permit review process for all applicants. Commissioner Title answered in the affirmative.
Councillor Siddiqui mentioned that CDD has a wide range of resources for small businesses. She asked CDD’s perspective as it relates to this work.
Jeff Roberts said that this conversation is helpful in addition to the other conversations that have taken place. He said that the planning department has been looking at ways to put together the specifics of the zoning proposals that will go to the City Council. He said that in terms of zoning incentives, he pointed out that when talking about zoning incentives, we are talking about having some requirement that one would get relief or consideration for applications that meet certain criteria. He noted that Cambridge is an active research community and there are reasons to expect that some will look at Cambridge for research related cannabis, so they are looking at that and how it fits into the city’s zoning. In terms of how the zoning process and permitting process would align with the Host Community Agreement process, he noted that this is an area where there are other opportunities that are yet to be explored. He said that the planning department will revisit how exactly to construct the zoning and how these issues can be taken into consideration.
Pardis Saffari (City of Cambridge) gave an overview of small business programs in the City. She noted that some of these programs are federally funded. She said that one barrier is that you cannot use CDBG funds for cannabis small businesses. She said that CDD is happy to provide technical assistance, especially to those without access to this assistance. She asked Commissioner Title if the technical assistance that is being provided by the state is to those in the empowerment zones or is it accessible to anyone who is interested in the cannabis-related industries. Commissioner Title said that the equity applicants will have access to technical assistance but there is also a state mandate to ensure that women, veterans, minorities and farmers are included so they will have access as well. She noted that there will be an RFQ coming out by the end of the month seeking vendors who would like to provide that technical assistance.
Ms. Tribble talked about the Cannabis Equity Tool Kit which is in draft form as it relates to scoring and what equity looks like.
As it relates to economic empowerment applicants, Jeff Roberts said that he was reviewing the criteria and he understands that an applicant would not necessarily need to be operating in a designated community that has been disproportionately harmed, it would just have to do with the makeup of the business so such a business could be operating in Cambridge if they meet the criteria that are listed. Commissioner Title responded that it is based on residency.
Councillor Zondervan asked about how to help empowerment candidates in the short term, especially as it relates to retail establishments. He asked what some ways are to address specifically the issue of property. Ms. Tribble said that some cities some of the larger firms partnered with the smaller equity applicants. She said that they provided use of space and they absorbed cost of inspections and the incentive is that that they become priority applicants in the licensing process. She said that there has been some level of challenge because the smaller equity applicants feel as if they have no power.
Mr. Jefferson suggested an overall public awareness and education campaign. Commissioner Title said that there are 123 applicants and 119 have not applied yet, so perhaps a hearing where those who are interested in Cambridge could be invited to speak and answer those questions would be beneficial.
Councillor Zondervan asked about the nature of the partnership in Oakland. He said that there is a power dynamic so one way this could be addressed is to require board membership or other ways to explicitly empower the participants. Ms. Tribble said that they did not see anything that specific. She said that Oakland, CA has an office called the ‘Race and Equity Office’ that reviews the licensing regulation and zoning and anything having to do with the environmental piece, storage, public safety, etc. and that this office puts a particular race and equity lens to those proposals that are coming through their City Council.
Sam Lipson (City of Cambridge) said that it is very interesting to consider these other aspects of regulations locally that are not about availability of licensing but the provisions around proper containment or storage or other environmental health considerations. Mr. Lipson asked if different standards were applied and what was the lens used in addressing those businesses that are eligible for equity consideration. Ms. Tribble said that the Race and Equity Office looks not only at cannabis regulations but all proposals that come through the City of Oakland. She said that as it relates to the specific cannabis regulations, there are environmental concerns and regulations that are impacted by cannabis regulations. She said that there was one incident around storage, but equity applicants were disproportionately negatively affected by requirements, in terms of the environmental impact and there was not an immediate way to rectify the cost that was incurred as a result of those.
At this time, Councillor Siddiqui opened public comment.
Sonia Espinosa, 70 Cameron Avenue, stated that the matter of equity is very limited by the zoning and real estate. She said that the best solution is residential zoning which eliminates the power dynamic. This limits the barrier entry. She said that it may sound crazy to many. She said that she does not have access to a kitchen although she makes her own edibles at home. She said that it could be possible that someone could have a residential business. Another consideration is the social consumption license which will allow for cannabis cafes. She said that when the conversation was left with the Cannabis Control Commission, they said that these licenses would be left for economic empowerment applicants. She said that this can happen in Cambridge. She said that Cambridge is not looking very equitable. She asked for the consideration of special zoning so that people can become part of the industry.
Shekia Scott, Director of Community Outreach, Cannabis Control Commission, said that she will be presenting the State level equity program next week and that after the program has made its introduction, there will be a broader sense of how to reimage what equity means and how to reapply it outside of zoning, licensing and ownership. She said that this is a full-fledged industry and there are other ways to be equitable and an inviting space for people to enter this industry.
Councillor Siddiqui closed public comment.
Councillor Kelley said that this is moving so fast and he said that if we don’t walk out with specific next steps, where do we go from here?
Councillor Siddiqui said that there are a few potential areas to look at such as the Special Permit process and what is included in the Community Host Agreements. She said that the next step is to work with CDD to think about an outline. She said that it will be incumbent on the City Council to ensure that the city knows that this is a main priority.
Councillor Zondervan said that he shares Councillor Kelley’s concerns about time moving quickly. He is encouraged by the notion that there will be additional aspects forthcoming to improve on equity. He said that there should be the establishment of specific criteria for the Community Host Agreement. He asked if the city could require 50% local employment and a requirement of a living wage or higher for all employees as part of obtaining a license. Councillor Zondervan said that he would like to consider having restrictions in the zoning that are relaxed under certain conditions as a way to ensure empowerment. He said that looking ahead, how do we anticipate social consumption and delivery businesses. He said that we must anticipate the upcoming industry aspects and discuss same.
Councillor Siddiqui said it is her intent to ensure that there is some language on the agenda for the next City Council meeting with some guidance of what the City Council and its priorities with respect to social equity.
Ms. Tribble said that Massachusetts has a great team and asked if the Commonwealth has a cottage law that allows for consumables to be made at home and service directly to consumers. Arthur Goldberg (Deputy City Solicitor, City of Cambridge) said that he does not believe so.
Councillor Siddiqui thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 5:23pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, Chair
Committee Report #4
The Public Safety Committee held a public hearing on June 26, 2018 at 3:31pm in the Ackermann Room.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the City’s Cyber Security Policy.
Present at the hearing were Councillor Kelley, Chair of the Committee; Vice Mayor Devereux; Councillor Siddiqui; Councillor Zondervan; Councillor Toomey; Lee Gianetti, Communications and Public Relations; Mary Hart, CEO, IT; Mike Dugas, Assistant Director of IT Infrastructure; Steve Lenkauskas, City Electrician; Deputy Superintendent of Police Christine Elow and Leonard DiPietro; Ranjit Singanayagam, Inspectional Services Commissioner; Arthur Goldberg, Deputy City Solicitor; Christina Giacobbe, Director, Emergency Communications Center; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Peter Valentine, 37 Brookline Street; Saul Tannenbaum, 14 Cottage Street; and Alice Lee, 20 Rice Street.
Councillor Kelley convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He announced that the hearing was being privately audio recorded. An agenda was distributed (ATTACHMENT A). Councillor Kelley stated that he does not have a picture of his stolen computer because it was stolen, and physical theft of electronic assets is an important aspect of cybersecurity. Councillor Kelley gave a PowerPoint presentation was given (ATTACHMENT B).
Councillor Kelley stated that there is no control over access to the online records. He showed what he states was a map of the internet. Cyberspace looks like a computer and phone, it is accessed through those portals. He spoke about what security looks like. He spoke about the challenges. He did not know what wire fraud is in the age of computers. He stated that Atlanta, GA got hacked with ransomware. Equifax had a data breach. He listed other agencies that were hacked. He stated that online data is exploding in size. He spoke about the biggest data breaches. He stated that if the internet shuts down Cambridge has problems because so much of the City’s work is based in cyberspace. Cambridge must be aggressive in preventing cyber security. He highlighted the IT recommendations. He stated that when he lost his computer it took many staff hours to get him up and running again, staff time that could not be spent doing other things such as developing or implementing cybersecurity programs. He noted that even properly trained IT staff can run into problems.
Ms. Hart stated that the strategic plan this was reviewed. She stated that there was a governance and reorganization of IT was prioritized 4 years ago and a strategic plan study was done, data privacy and internet is the major concern today. She stated that over the last seventeen years there has been a focus on security, but that hackers have become cleverer.
Mr. Dugas noted that there have been challenges in the IT Department and cybersecurity has been reviewed over the years. In the old days all were protected by a firewall; and this model has been broken because various productivity apps such as Microsoft Office365 have moved out of the firewall. The productivity apps now need to be protected and the City does URL filtering, anti-bots, intrusion protections and prevention, packet stuff and so forth. He explained how protection is done internally. The methods used for the firewall are becoming less effective as encryption becomes more common and stronger. He explained that the City needs to protect the encrypted information. This is being looked at for the future. He stated that e-mail is the most important application for the City. Anti-spam and other protections are done through Microsoft. He does not think that is as effective as he would like. Anti-link protection and phishing protection is done by Microsoft. Anti-theft protection is used to protect employees in the City. This is done on all incoming and outgoing e-mails with “safe link” status inspected by Microsoft based on machine learning. He stated that desk top scanning, called “goalie,” is done to prevent any problem that has gotten through the other 7 layers of protection though IT may want to switch that. IT does network segmentation with public library computers, for example, being separate. He explained other methods that the IT department uses such as multi-factor authentication for people with higher levels of access. All admins are given protections from stealing passwords. In October 2017 lessons were sent to employees for cyber security. There was an 80% success rate for the lessons. There was a grade requirement before allowing them to move forward in the lessons, but participation was not required. He stated that the City has joined the Homeland Security Network. He stated that the information is shared with the state and will prevent big breaches. He stated that IT works with public safety and the schools, though stuff can get bogged down. He said IT does disaster recovery. The data centers have been moved around and the most sensitive data is in the Robert W. Healy Safety Building; 90% of City’s data is in this “private cloud.” He stated that this is tested occasionally. There is a high up time for the servers. The building is secure, and it has battery backup. He stated that the data is backed up for three years and is on tapes. The Law Department has established regulations for how long the data must be saved. There is a duplicate site of data in the cloud. He stated that currently it is easier to replicate data with the multiple servers in the City and keep business running in the "azure” cloud. He is looking in a year to have the web stored in the azure cloud and that “Peoplesoft” is already there. This is a big project with two Microsoft regions and five City data centers and it will take time. He stated that revenue systems will be kept in the azure cloud. They are looking for subsidiary systems to put on Azure and email is already there. The IT team has done a lot, to include with Public Safety which has its own system and has worked hard and tried to keep public safety and the schools on the same page. Ms. Hart stated that there are regular penetration tests done by outside vendors and they play to do another when the City’s site is on the cloud in the next Fiscal Year. From the last test there have been remediation measures. She stated that there is a financial audit done each year. Councillor Kelley asked what does the penetration test cost. Mr. Dugas stated that there is a web and app penetration test that tests security from outside the firewall a well attacking our website. He responded that the App test is $30-$40,000 and another $20,00 for the web penetration test.
Christina Giacobbe, Director, ECC stated that ECC oversees its own 11-person IT team for Police, Fire and the ECC who support 700 users. The only difference with the City’s IT work is because of criminal justice and the CORI information ECC must comply with FBI guidelines. She stated that the City is audited by FBI every 2 years and state audits the City yearly and computer audits are also done. She stated that every 2-3 years the FBI changes regulations. She stated that a walk-through penetration system is done to see how problems can be prevented and this is shared. She stated that passwords need to be reset and there are back up systems as with the City’s IT. She stated that external and internal threat testing needs to be done and utilize difference resources and the Urban Area Security Initiative is putting more resources into this area. She stated that the City needs to think about disaster avoidance and that people in EGov are really starting to think about it. She stated that the average City employee is concerned about cyber security. It would be useful to be on the same platforms as other City departments and the School Department.
Councillor Kelley asked if this is done in house. Ms. Giacobbe stated that 2 years ago a reorganization was done. There is a help desk and a disciplinary portion. When the same platforms can be utilized it is.
Officer DiPietro stated he is the Deputy Superintendent of Investigations under which the cybercrime unit was set up one year ago. He spoke about the investigative work done by police. There is a sergeant well trained by the Secret Service and there are three detectives who have received extensive training. The training is constant and continuous as cybercrime changes daily, including identity theft, intrusions and so forth. He listed all the work done on cybercrime and stated that the City partners with the state. He stated that this is a reactionary measure, responding to incidents that have a nexus in Cambridge. Ms. Giacobbe stated that the City is proactive with education and outreach to seniors. Officer DiPietro stated that the personnel are highly trained and there is a significant cost as they try to get proper equipment. They now have a proper office. He stated that the extraction companies give the cybercrime unit equipment and some training to do this work. He spoke of the work of detective to save $95,000 from a scam from Hong Kong. This was the work of the detectives and the cybercrime unit only participated a little. The amount of information the criminals had on the Chinese woman was huge and made the activity seem very authentic.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked if the police investigate on Craig’s List. Officer DiPietro responded in the affirmative. He added that the cybercrime unit investigates IP addresses as appropriate. Ms. Giacobbe stated that is important to be able to do forensic activities, to track digital issues.
Councillor Kelley asked about the school threats. He was informed that TOR was used and through the dark web the police were able to stop this. Officer DiPietro stated that $1 million is needed to beef up the equipment. Councillor Kelley spoke about how the City protects itself and resources and how the police protect the citizens.
Councillor Siddiqui stated that the cybersecurity trainings that she has been required to take are helpful. She suggested that these trainings be mandatory. She asked why they are not required. Mr. Dugas stated that this helps people at home to protect their identities. The training was interactive. He stated that maybe this can be mandatory; but there were union issues. Councillor Siddiqui noted that two-step verification is important. Mr. Dugas stated that there is no general two-step verification requirement; but the police do require this in the log in and some higher-level officials as well, but it is awkward.
Councillor Zondervan spoke about his expertise with computer software. He stated that there may be a need for more information and a clearer use of terms. He stated that the City is moving to the cloud; nothing is perfect, but it will be better for the City. He suggested multi-factor authentication which is a higher level of protection from phishing threats. He stated that he is encouraged by what the City is doing. He wanted more information sent out to staff and citizens about the importance of protection. He stated that there are computers all over the world trying to hack, a situation made more challenging by the Internet of Things. He set up a permanent IP and it was immediately deluged with attacks.
Councillor Kelley asked how many successful penetrations the City has had. Mr. Dugas responded there were two in the early days before 2006 which changed the world. He noted that patches were not done; Microsoft did not provide the tool for patching. Viruses were not that intelligent and were a pest more than a threat. We test, patch and keep systems up to date. He spoke about zero-day attacks which work immediately are coming faster and furious. The police are the inner ring of protection and IT is the outer ring. Ms. Giacobbe stated that there are alerts on the system that allow them to respond quickly. Ms. Hart stated that IT monitors the system. She stated that the threats are constant and once they find something it can be very complex. The threats are searched to see where it started and what it is doing. Mr. Dugas stated that the future is probably more Artificial Intelligence and automation. Councillor Kelley asked is there 24/7 staff for IT. Ms. Hart stated that there is IT staff that are notified at night and on weekends but there is not 24/7 IT coverage. She stated that upgrades are done after midnight. Ms. Giacobbe spoke about the coverage and that the public safety staff has an on-call list and people can come in at any hour, especially for critical systems. Ms. Hart stated that network staff supports the public safety staff.
Councillor Kelley commented about if the internet does not go down and a virus attacks is done at 2 AM what happens. Ms., Hart stated that the IT staff gets alerted. There are thresholds that are set and then the City gets alerts. Mr. Dugas stated that an intrusion response team from Dell was put on retainer by the City last year.
Councillor Kelley asked about search filters such as Barracuda; are filters’ effectiveness reviewed. Ms. Hart stated that there are few complaints about this happening. The network staff sets the categories and the threshold based on best practices. Mr. Dugas stated that the categories that are “productivity decreasers” or dangerous are blocked by staff and Barracuda was a less effective vendor but cheaper. He noted that another vendor is used today by the City. He stated that this is maintained by IT.
Councillor Kelley questioned the police if there is a cyber issue how this makes it into the cybercrime. Officer DiPietro stated that it would be a report; these crimes are now replacing drug crimes because the penalty is less, and the money is more.
Councillor Kelley asked where his stolen computer goes; does it go to the cybercrime unit. Officer DiPietro stated that now it would go to cybercrime unit. He stated that the percentage is rising for cybercrime and that cybercrime is replacing drug-related crime as it is deemed safer for the criminal an there is the ability to make more money. Councillor Kelley stated that he wanted to know the step by step process when something was reported to police. Officer DiPietro stated that all detectives are being trained in basic cybercrime. Through CPD’s case management system, relevant cases are sent to the cybercrime unit. Patrol officers, if they want to be trained are.
Councillor Kelley stated that house breaks are increasing because of computers. He asked does the police provide guidance of what needs to be done for computer theft. This would be a good thing, something like a “cheat sheet” to help people mitigate post-theft risk.
Mr. Lenkauskas stated that 95 % of fiber is underground and off the double poles. The whole City is covered by fiber. There are 85 sites but only three hits over time. The longest outage was 24 hours caused by major cable. The City has some redundancy. He stated that the main computers at located at the Robert W. Healy Safety building, the high school and fire headquarters. He spoke about when the system was built in 1990 and about splicing. All equipment is within City buildings and it goes through manholes without splicing so physical access outside city buildings is tough.
Councillor Kelley asked about the Cambridge Health Alliance breach how does the City interact with this. Mr. Dugas responded that this is a separate entity. Councillor Kelley asked about a small vendor contacting the cybercrime unit. Officer DiPietro stated that the cyber unit is multijurisdictional. There is an officer embedded in the Secret Service Office and one with the Urban Area Security Initiative and they get cases assigned to them and can be called in if needed.
Vice Mayor Devereux suggested that this be discussed in the City Council - School Committee joint committees.
At 5:03pm Councillor Kelley opened public comment.
Peter Valentine, 37 Brookline Street, stated that this is a special kind of knowledge and could it be used to decide if government action is good or bad and could be introduced into government.
John Hawkinson, 2 Clinton St., asked if the City could develop a protocol of notifying effective citizen of a breach. He spoke about percentage and better quantitative data about how much time the City is really down.
Saul Tannenbaum stated that he has a bureaucratic question. All the ‘9s’ are expensive in almost getting to 100%. He asked is there a disaster plan and a response plan and have they been drilled. He asked is the equipment refreshed as it is moved so that it is valid when used. Is there an information strategy and the risk to the City? He spoke about the down side of police integration with the Secret Service. He spoke about downloading information and how the Aaron Swartz, who did download information, case became a federal case because of the integration with the Secret Service and the police department. The police department asked the Secret Service to get involved and the Secret Service took over with bad results. He stated that Cambridge has specific values and integration with federal law, and the Secret Service, does not reflect Cambridge values. He spoke about giving equipment to the police from a private company.
At 5:10pm Councillor Kelley closed public comment.
Councillor Kelley stated that with the training came the equipment and through the Surveillance Ordinance it will be discussed what this means. Councillor Zondervan stated that the equipment is only used with warrants.
Councillor Kelley asked does the City have a recovery plan. Mr. Dugas stated that there are some plans and the City does testing; scenarios are discussed. He stated that there is no formal disaster recovery plan but there are draft incident response plans, Wisp, web app and security standard draft plans. Ms. Hart stated that they are trying to formalize these plans and that they will be more formalized in the future including social use and a computer use formal plan, though bargaining units need to be part of creating these policies.
Councillor Kelley stated that he hopes to have another meeting in October and to discuss draft plans and the Surveillance Ordinance and an information guide on stolen items.
Ms. Hart stated that the City is not aware of a major breach in Cambridge.
Councillor Kelley thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 5:15pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair
Committee Report #5
The Ordinance Committee, comprised of the entire membership of the City Council, held a public hearing on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 5:30pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss revisions to the proposed Municipal Code amendment to create a new chapter 12.22 entitled “Surveillance Technology Ordinance;” said revisions were submitted to the City Council on June 25, 2018 (ATTACHMENT A).
Present at the hearing were Councillor Carlone and Councillor Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Committee; Vice Mayor Devereux; Mayor McGovern; Councillor Siddiqui; Councillor Zondervan; Deputy City Manager Lisa Peterson; David Kale, Assistant City Manager for Fiscal Affairs; Lee Gianetti, Community and Public Relations Director; Police Commissioner Branville Bard; IT CEO Mary Hart; Nancy Glowa, City Solicitor; Keplin Allwaters, Assistant City Solicitor; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Kade Crockford, Director of Technology for Liberty Program, ACLU; Ben Green, 37 Dimick Street, Somerville; Christopher Lucy, 107 South Street, Boston; Alex Matthews, 28 Temple Street, Belmont; John Hawkinson, 2 Clinton St.; Saul Tannenbaum, 16 Cottage Street; and Jessica Sheehan, 99 Norfolk Street.
Councillor Kelley convened the hearing and stated the purpose. He announced that the hearing was being audio and video recorded. He stated that there will be a presentation by ACLU about the proposal. He outlined the format of the meeting stating that there will be comments by city staff and clarifying questions from the City Council. He stated that there are several amendments which will be discussed and then have public comment.
Kade Crockford thanked all the city staff for their attendance. She spoke about the purpose of the topic. She stated that a couple of years ago there was conversation with the City Council about what a surveillance oversight ordinance would look like in Cambridge. She stated that cities such as Seattle, OR and Oakland, CA have passed ordinances that bring decision making about surveillance out of the bureaucracy behind closed doors and into the public where decisions are made in a transparent fashion, informed by public comment and made by elected officials, which is crucial. This process has unfolded in many communities across the west coast as well as in a city in Tennessee and other cities across the country are discussion and debating ordinances. She asked why there is a need for an ordinance to bring community control over surveillance in Cambridge. She commented that this is not because the Cambridge Police Department or any other city agency in Cambridge has done something horrific to violate the public trust. She noted that a surveillance ordinance is more a preventative measure and a measure of good government. She stated that it is important from the ACLU’s perspective to implement these law reforms across the country because what has been seen is an imbalance between what technology allows and what people in the US expect with respect to their privacy with due process of law and government transparency. At this time, she gave a presentation (ATTACHMENT B). She stated that what was once impossible, the ability of a local government official or the NSA to track the movement of people by the thousands in a manner in which the Chief Justice Roberts stated that it is akin to a shackle to your ankle, is now very easy for law enforcement to do. She stated that surveillance technology has changed the balance of power between the government and the people. She commented that it is crucial that decisions about surveillance technology be made in public, informed by a public debate and decisions must be made by elected officials. She highlighted that surveillance technology used by local police departments as needing local oversight. She noted that this technology has been purchased with funds provided by the federal government to state and local law enforcement entities for technology procurement since 9/11. She stated that local governments are concerned with how funds are spent, but when police or other local government agencies are buying surveillance technology with funding that comes from the federal government there tends to be less scrutiny of the plans and what law enforcement agencies will be doing with that technology. She spoke about information sharing data bases, such as license plate reader data bases, which collect, share and retain huge quantities of information, not just information connected to suspected crimes. She noted that some of these data bases are shared by federal law enforcement agencies. She stated that drones are being adopted for use by law enforcement. She stated that the Boston police department purchased drones without the consultation of the Boston City Council or the public and they were tested in a low-income black community. She stated that one of the primary reasons that the ACLU is hopeful that the Cambridge City Council will pass a strong surveillance oversight ordinance is that too often across the country when these technologies are adopted in secret, without robust debate about whether to use the tools and how they are to be used, there are civil rights violations seen with the use of this technology. She stated that the Boston police department, in secret, procured social media surveillance technology that was used to monitor Black Lives Matter and Muslims in Boston, not suspected of any crime. She stated that facial recognition software was used to track protestors. She spoke about fusion centers which are information sharing spy centers accessed by state and local police departments which collect and share information about people expressing their First Amendment right to criticize the government by protesting. She stated that in China the Chinese government uses face surveillance technology to police behavior such as J-Walking. She stated that the Chinese government uses technology to ensure social and political control. In the US we need to chart a different path by passing local laws that solicit public input, feedback and ensure community control over police surveillance. She expressed her appreciation to all who have been a part of this process. She stated that the ACLU has a few recommendations which she wanted the City Council to adopt to ensure that Cambridge can pass the strongest possible ordinance. She went through the four suggested recommendations being made by the ACLU. She stated that the fourth recommendation is critical, and the ordinance must be able to protect employees who come forward to alert authorities that there is a violation of the law so that they may do so without fear of retribution.
Councillor Kelley requested City staff to come forward. Deputy City Manager Peterson, City Solicitor Glowa, Keplin Allwater, Assistant City Solicitor and Police Commissioner Bard came forward.
Deputy City Manager Peterson stated that all agree a strong surveillance ordinance is needed. She stated that the time has come for the City to be more transparent about this and to be able to have a conversation with the City Council about this. She stated that the City has a strong ordinance before the City Council and it safe guards civil liberties and protects public safety. She stated that there is a degree of clarity in the ordinance which is important to interpreting and balancing this issue. The City wants unambiguous language as much as possible. She noted that this ordinance was developed through several iterations and staff has been listening to the City Council, the ACLU and the residents. She stated that this the third draft of the ordinance. She spoke about the ACLU’s proposed amendments and the Mayor’s proposed amendments, but the City needs time to be able to respond to these amendments specifically. She asked City Solicitor Glowa to go through the proposed ordinance before the Ordinance Committee.
City Solicitor Glowa asked what the pleasure of the City Council is. She stated that the City staff through the City Manager submitted revisions to the proposed surveillance ordinance at the City Council meeting held on June 25, 2018. She stated that after City staff worked on this draft ordinance a nine-page letter was submitted detailing the various changes made to the draft ordinance in response to requests made by the ACLU in several meetings held with the ACLU. These changes were reviewed in detail at the June 25, 2018 City Council meeting. These changes were agreed to by City staff in response to requests made by ACLU. She stated that the City felt that it had gone to great lengths to meet the ACLU where they were looking to go. There were still areas of concern between the City staff and ACLU. She stated that other than these few areas the City understood there is significant agreement on most of the sections of the ordinance. She stated that she would review the changes made to the ordinance again and summarize what the City has done at the request of the City Council and in response to the ACLU. She noted that she is here as counsel to the City Council and has the responsibility to advise the City Council. She announced that the City staff did not receive any of the proposed amendments that are being addressed today until recently and had no time to review any amendments presented today in any detail. She explained that attorneys reviewing the amendments involves comparing the proposed new language against what was submitted by the City. The City staff has not had a chance to do this yet. City Solicitor Glowa asked the ordinance committee, what is the pleasure of the City Council, would you like to review in detail the key provisions of the ordinance at this time or wait to see if there were questions. She suggested that Commissioner Bard may have substantive comments.
Commissioner Bard stated that the draft submitted by the City does a great job protecting privacy, civil liberties, allows for effective public deliberations and allows effective public safety services. The proposed draft struck this balance.
Councillor Siddiqui spoke about the ACLU amendments and wanted to go through the changes because this is the fundamental aspect of community control over the surveillance policy. She stated that giving the City Council the ultimate decision-making power potentially runs afoul of the provisions because it appears to relate more to operational issues and the discretion provided under the City Charter. She asked for clarity on this issue. City Solicitor Glowa stated that the City staff and administration understand that it is the wish of the City Council to have a structure in place whereby the City department or overall City staff or administration would submit a policy to the City Council for its review and approval before surveillance technologies are used. She stated that the first checkpoint would be in crafting this policy which would go to the City Council for its review and approval. She noted that this is not in dispute by anyone. She stated that with respect to section 12.22.060(B) which reads in the second sentence:
If the benefits or reasonable anticipated benefits do not outweigh the financial and/or operational costs or civil liberties or civil rights are not reasonable safeguarded, the City Council may
1. Recommend modifications to the Surveillance Use Policy that are designed to address the City Council’s concerns to the City Manager for his consideration; and/or
2. Request a report back from the City Manager regarding steps taken to address the City Council’s concerns and/or
3. Recommend to the city Manager that use of the Surveillance Technology cease.
City Solicitor Glowa stated that these changes were added at the suggestion of the ACLU.
Councillor Kelley commented that section 12.22.050(B) seems to be the biggest sticking point on who has authority to decide functional surveillance issues.
City Solicitor Glowa stated that section 12.22.050 (B) has to do with if there was type of technology that the police department and the police commissioner felt was necessary in order to have the investigative and prosecutorial functions be intact, then the City Manager would submit this request to the City Council, but the City Council would not have the authority to disapprove it. This would be presented to the City Council, but the City Manager would have the ultimate authority where there was a risk to police investigative or prosecutorial functions. She noted that this is an area of disagreement.
City Solicitor Glowa again stated that the City staff has not had a chance to go through the proposed amendments. She stated that there are questions that come to mind about sovereign immunity, how much a municipality has the authority to waive sovereign immunity where the state has weighed in how much the municipality can allow itself to be sued. Councillor Kelley stated that the discussion should remain on what is before the committee which is the draft submitted on June 25, 2018. He noted that the amendments were not before the committee yet.
Mayor McGovern questioned section 12.22.050(B), he asked what if there are other City departments besides the police, does the City Council only not have the authority over the police department. City Solicitor Glowa responded that this is only the police department. She noted that there are no other departments that have prosecutorial authority. She noted that the police department has limited prosecutorial authority and investigative authority with respect to more significant crimes that are dealt with hand-in-hand with the district attorney. Commissioner Bard stated that he works in conjunction with the district attorney per state law on homicides. He stated his main concern is giving the City Council the ability to effectively shut down a lawful investigation. He stated that with a Plan E form of government the City Council has divested that authority to the City Manager and it is not permissible for the City Manager to give this authority back. He stated that his concern as it pertains to the police investigations is giving the ability to shut down lawful investigations to another body. Mayor McGovern stated that if another City department wants to use some type of surveillance that does not have prosecutorial authority will this come before the City Council for approval or disapproval or is it only for the police that the City Council not have this final decision. City Solicitor Glowa stated that this has been framed for the police department. However, the only other department that has limited investigative function is the fire department, the arson investigators and the fire department does have some statutory authority but does not prosecute. They do investigations and work with state authorities on any prosecution that may ensue. There are no other departments that the City is asking that the City Council not have the authority over the policy for use of surveillance technologies.
Councillor Zondervan stated that he is confused. He stated that when discussing section 12.22.050(B) it reads in the second sentence:
To the extent the City Manager determines that approving or disapproving the Surveillance Use Policy would unlawfully obstruct the investigative or prosecutorial functions of the Police Department, the City Council shall simply receive and discuss the applicable portions of the Surveillance Use Policy.
He stated that he does not read any appropriation of authority of the City Council from the City Manager. He asked if the City Council shall simply receive and discuss, how does this become the City Council’s having ultimate decision-making authority. Commissioner Bard stated that without the last sentence the City Council may be given ultimate authority. Commissioner Bard stated that this language is what is being contested by the ACLU. He explained that this is the City’s draft language. Councillor Kelley stated that the City likes the idea of the City Manager being able to have the power and ACLU would like to remove this language.
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that it is hard to read the words with DRAFT on the text. She stated that she understands the charter issue. She noted that this only covers City departments and stated that there are other police departments in the City (2 universities and the transit police) and we have no jurisdiction over what type of technology they use. City Solicitor Glowa responded that the City does not have authority over other entities. This ordinance governs the conduct of the City of Cambridge and other entities operating in the City are bound by state and federal law. Commissioner Bard stated that this governs the city employees’ behavior during their work with other entities. Councillor Zondervan asked are we prevented from passing an ordinance that would limit other entities use of surveillance technologies. City Solicitor Glowa stated that under home rule power we can have an ordinance that governs the City’s conduct with respect to City departments, but doubts that the home rule powers give the City, the authority to monitor or effect conduct of other entities that happen to be located in Cambridge. She explained that she has not researched this issue and she could get back to the City Council on this once she has had a chance to investigate it.
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that the City uses the technology Shot Spotter and if the ordinance passed this would be a technology that the City Council would be given a list of what is used, and the City Council would give a yea or nay power over this. If the ordinance passed the Police Commissioner would not be required to provide a level of detail on where this is being used. She commented that she as a City Councillor is overwhelmed and is trying to understand how the City Council as a body will make these judgements. City Solicitor Glowa stated that this is about adopting the use of technology and with respect to existing technology being used the City Council would have an opportunity to look at each of the technologies as well, but it is actual technology itself. She further stated that the police would object to the level of involvement where the City Council is actually getting involved in monitoring police operations in ways that could affect the efficacy of the police operations. Vice Mayor Devereux commented that this is reasonable to her. Vice Mayor Devereux asked would the City use body cams and would this be a form of technology. City Solicitor Glowa stated that this is definitely a form of surveillance technology, but this ordinance is geared toward the City Manager and his staff, including the police commissioner, coming forward with technology that the City recommends and sending relevant information to the City Council who will weigh in on it, not specifically geared toward the City Council directing types of technologies to use. Vice Mayor Devereux asked does the City anticipate needing a surveillance technology officer to manage this. She noted that administratively this will be a lot of work to track all the technology that is being used, to do the annual report and bring this to the City Council. This needs to be publicly noticed seven days before a City Council meeting. She asked will these items be discussed as an agenda item or a committee hearing. This seems to be a lot of work for the staff to coordinate this. Deputy City Manager Peterson stated there is a chance an additional position may be required because it is a tremendous amount of work. She spoke about it being unclear departmentally where this work resides; there could be split responsibilities. She stated that getting existing technology approved will require a lot of work up front. What the City has been thinking about is to submit these requests as part of the City Manager agenda at a City Council meeting. This may be a new process with the required seven-day notice requested by ACLU to give the public time to consider these kinds of requests and to meet the needs of the ordinance. Vice Mayor Devereux asked would there be a citizen appointed commission that would be the surveillance technology board/commission that would help inform this. Deputy City Manager Peterson stated that the public body that should be making decisions on this is City Council. An advisory commission is not being envisioned.
Mayor McGovern had a question about section 12.022.050(B) in the last sentence relating to the City Council shall receive and discuss the applicable portions of the surveillance use policy. He asked what is envisioned that the City Council would not see. Deputy City Manager Peterson stated that this section is about existing surveillance technologies. She stated that the surveillance use policy section 12.22.020(G) on page seven lists all the sections that would be included in the policy that the City would be asking the City Council to adopt. City Solicitor Glowa said if you look at the definition section 12.22.020(G) it outlines the types of information that would be in the policy. She stated that details of investigations are not envisioned to be brought to the City Council. This is about developing a policy for what type of technology would be used by the police department in their investigations and prosecutorial functions.
Councillor Zondervan asked what it would mean that the City Council will only receive relevant portions of the surveillance use policy. Councillor Kelley responded that the City Council would not receive relevant portions of their use policy. He stated that the surveillance use policy would not cover the granular detail of the surveillance itself. City Solicitor Glowa stated that section 12.22.050(B) states that in approving or denying the policy that the City Manager submits the City Council shall balance the safeguarding of individuals’ right to privacy such as cameras being placed on every street pole or something as well as the investigative and prosecutorial functions of the police department and promoting and ensuring the safety and security of the general public. To the extent that the City Manager determines that approving or disapproving the policy would unlawfully obstruct the investigative or prosecutorial functions of the police department then that aspect of a particular surveillance technology would not be subject to disapproval by the City Council. Commissioner Bard could not come up with an example. Councillor Zondervan stated that it would be helpful to understand what would be in the policy. He stated that if a camera were placed on every street light there would be a policy about how this information would be used, but if any of those specific policies being allowed or not allowed would interfere with police the City Council would receive it, but not have the power to approve. City Solicitor Glowa responded that the City Council would receive it and discuss it but would not have the authority to disapprove it. She gave wiretaps where you are looking to do something that is somewhat invasive of an individual’s privacy and where the police department would say that if they cannot do this particular action as it would impede their ability to go about investigating that particular type of criminal activity as an example.
Councillor Kelley used the example of license plate readers. He proceeded with the example that an activity is going on in a neighborhood and the City may want the ability to use license plate readers to determine what cars are coming and going. The use of optical character recognition cameras may be in a policy under certain circumstances and the locations and times where they are placed is something that the police department may not want the public to know. This is not the level of detail that a use policy would get to. Councillor Zondervan stated that he wanted the sentence clarified as it states the City Council shall simply receive and discuss. This really is stating that it will not decide on that particular provision. He stated that it may be useful to say that the City Council would receive the policy, but the City Council cannot approve or disapprove because it prevents police department from doing their job. City Solicitor Glowa agreed and would provide clarifying language. Councillor Zondervan stated that in 12.22.020(F)(4)(b) relates to an emergency that poses an imminent risk but does not specify any clear end. This is an unended mandate. He suggested temporal limitations on this. City Solicitor Glowa stated that it is not intended to be open ended. The time of an investigation cannot be determined. It needs to end when the need is over. Councillor Zondervan stated this allows this prior to City Council approval. He does not agree that there is a need to have an open-ended period before City Council approval is sought. Commissioner Bard stated that later in the ordinance it provides specific direction of in no case longer than twelve months the police department must submit the surveillance impact report and the annual surveillance report. Councillor Zondervan noted that it does not reference this in this section. He stated that there is an opportunity to clarify this here.
Councillor Zondervan stated that in section 12.22.040 relates to temporary acquisition but it is not clear what temporary means. He suggested that language should be within ninety days of the start of use and would not impede the use of technology. Commissioner Bard this is outlined in 12.22.060(A)(2). Councillor Zondervan stated that this does not state about coming back to the City Council for approval. Commissioner Bard stated that the length of the surveillance is unknown, but the police department has to report to the City Council about its actions. Councillor Zondervan stated that the distinction he is trying to make is putting a time limit on how long it could be used because the City Council would not interfere with the use if deemed unlawful by the City Manager. He stated at this point it would be an existing use because use would have begun prior to City Council approval. He stated that he is suggesting a time limit when approval is sought or at least reported to the City Council about the use of the technology and the City Council cannot approve or disapprove because the police department needs to continue to use it, but this is being reported to the City Council that this is happening prior to some indeterminate determination that the situation is over. The City Council would not know when the situation is over. Deputy City Manager Peterson stated when a surveillance impact report is reported to City Council they must approve or disapprove it. This is a moot point when an annual surveillance report is being submitted. The City Council is being provided the information about the technology. Councillor Zondervan stated that the report only tells what happened and whether the City Council approves or disapproves of the report it does not approve the use of the technology. Commissioner Bard stated that the policy does state that any equipment used in exigent circumstance where approval was not sought that when the emergency ceases and any future use still requires the normal process to be followed to be approved by the City Council.
Councillor Kelley stated that he has a foundational question. He stated that there is blending or confusion about departments that are not the police department. He stated that an example is in section 12.22.030(A) City Departments Other Than Police Departments states. Unless it is not reasonably possible or feasible to do so (e.g. Exigent Circumstances, a natural disaster, or technological problems prevent it, etc.) any department head other than the Police Commissioner seeking approval he noted that exigent circumstances look to be solely directed at the Police Department. He stated that this needs to be cleared up. He stated that there are other ways that surveillance technology can be used for a variety of reasons and this needs to be understood that this could mean Inspectional Services that installs some type of technology. He stated that he would coordinate with the City Solicitor about where he sees some of the tension that indicate that the police department has authority that maybe other departments may share.
Councillor Kelley stated that there are amendments submitted by Mayor McGovern, amendments proposed by the public and amendments by ACLU, none of which are before the committee now. He suggested a motion to bring the amendments forward.
Mayor McGovern moved his amendments be brought forward (ATTACHMENT C). Mayor McGovern summarized the amendments. The first was to make the language gender neutral. The other is regarding enforcement and dealing with whistleblowers. He stated that this amendment would protect someone in the City who reports that surveillance is being done inappropriately because there would be no retaliation against this person who would be protected from any retribution from the City in 12.22.070 (D) Enforcement.
Councillor Zondervan stated that he is uncomfortable discussing this amendment because the City Solicitor has not seen these amendments or had a chance to comment on them. He stated that this can be reviewed and discussed next time. Mayor McGovern stated that all amendments should be referred to the City Solicitor for review to be brought up and addressed at a subsequent meeting.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked why this addition is needed based on the protections for whistleblowers that exist in the proposed ordinance. Mayor McGovern stated that this is specific to this ordinance. After discussing with the ACLU there should be something specific in this ordinance. Vice Mayor Devereux stated that the original draft had some discussion about how the City would be protecting whistleblowers. She asked if this is also coming for ACLU based on discussions. Mayor McGovern stated that the earlier discussions were for the general public; this is specific to City employees. Councillor Kelley noted that or the award of attorneys’ fees has been struck out in section 12.22.070 (B). He noted that this would be another amendment. Mayor McGovern noted that the reason for this amendment was that it may impede someone from being willing to report something if they felt that they would incur legal fees as well. This eliminates the potential burden and allows people to come forward more readily.
Councillor Kelley moved to refer the amendments submitted by Mayor McGovern, as attachment C, to the petition. The motion carried on a voice vote of six members.
Mayor McGovern moved ACLU amendments forward. Councillor Kelley requested Ms. Crockford to outline the ACLU amendments (ATTACHMENT D).
Ms. Crockford stated that the first suggested amendment was to tighten the language about the purpose.
The second amendment on page 8 of the draft ordinance in section 12.22.030(A) was to strike out the words in the first sentence “Unless it is not reasonably possible or feasible to do so” and replace with “Any Department head other than the Police Commissioner seeking approval.” She noted that in the interest of clarity it would be preferable to eliminate the first clause.
The third amendment on page nine of the draft ordinance in section 1222.030(C) would be to strike the paragraph and insert the following language “In approving or denying any proposal to use or acquire Surveillance Technology, the City Council shall consider the safeguarding of civil rights and civil liberties as well as public safety.” She explained the reason for the language change. She stated that the existing language casts public safety and civil rights as oppositional or binary and this is not the ACLU’s view of public safety or civil liberties.
The fourth amendment on page ten of the draft ordinance in section 12.22.050(B) is the major issue that the ACLU disagrees with the City. She read the language preferred by the ACLU. “In approving or denying the Surveillance Use Policy, the City Council shall consider the importance of safeguarding individuals’ civil rights and civil liberties, as well as the Police Department’s responsibility to ensure public safety.” This put all of the control about which technologies are ultimately approved and how they should be used with the City Council.
The fifth amendment on page eleven of the draft ordinance in section 12.22.060(B) refers to ongoing oversight. It is important for the City Council to be able to not only retain the authority to approve the technology and the use policies at the outset but also have the authority to, upon reviewing the reports from the City about how the technologies have been used, either recommend changes to the Surveillance Use Policy or invoke the nuclear option of actually withdrawing authorization for use of the tool. She stated that one of the issues that the City has is a concern that the City Council will perhaps be informed by voters who think that the use of a technology might be bridge too far even if the technology is only deployed pursuant to a warrant. This is about bringing the conversation, deliberations and decision making about the kinds of technology deployed and how into the public realm. She gave an example that if the City Council is approached by the police to use a type of technology if the ACLU and residents are opposed and the City Council decides to use the technology anyway and then later a report indicates that the technology has never been useful in preventing or stopping a crime, it is important for financial prudence and for the protection of civil rights and liberties for the City Council to be able to withdraw the authorization.
The sixth amendment on page twelve of the draft ordinance in section 12.22.070 deals with the enforcement. She noted that the City has the enforcement residing solely with the City Manager and the ACLU thinks that the public should be able to enforce the ordinance by bringing lawsuits if there is belief that the City has violated the ordinance. This amendment contained sections (A) - (D). She noted that section 12.22070 (B) relates to the question of the attorneys’ fees. Section 12.22070 (C) deals with city employees using technology that it is unlawful in the ordinance, using technology in a manner that is not consistent with the terms of the ordinance or any manner that is discriminatory or viewpoint based or violates the declaration of rights of the state constitution or the US Constitution. This provides for this employee to be effectively punished pursuant to any collective bargaining agreement that the City has to follow. She stated that section 12.22.070(D) is the whistleblower protection provision. She noted that this provision is important.
Vice Mayor Devereux noted that the ACLU and Mayor’s amendments relating to section 12.22.070 are the same and need to be clarified.
Councillor Zondervan asked if the current draft does not have a provision for the City Council to withdraw its authorization once provided. Ms. Crockford responded that the language the ACLU has suggested is different. She stated that if the intention is that the City Council has the authority to revoke or withdraw authorization for the use of a specific technology and the ordinance ought to state this explicitly. She stated that the draft that the City presented states that the City Council may recommend modifications; the ACLU language states that the City Council may withdraw City Council authorization for use of a specific technology.
Mayor McGovern had a question on amendment to 12.22.070(C). He stated that there were discussions about someone suing the City or be able to sue individuals. He stated that the language was that individuals themselves will not be held responsible. He noted that this is the first time he has seen this language change. He asked how this apply to what was discussed before. He asked can the police commissioner be sued as an individual or is it the City that is sued for a violation. Ms. Crockford stated that this section is not meant to indicate any kind of authority about litigation. This creates clear authorization for City departments to discipline employees who violate the law.
Mayor McGovern moved that the amendments submitted by the ACLU, as attachment D, be referred to the petition. The motion carried on a voice vote of six members.
Councillor Kelley stated that there is a form letter from the ACLU that have been submitted by the public which will be made part of the committee report as (ATTACHMENT E).
Councillor Kelley stated that an e-mail was received from Ben Green, Bergman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard (ATTACHMENT F) there are two e-mails from Richard Stallman (ATTACHMENTS G-1 & G-2). Councillor Zondervan spoke about the communication from Richard Stallman about the emergency, attachment F-1. Councillor Kelley moved that these be made part of the report. The motion carried on a voice vote of six members. Councillor Zondervan stated that there are redundancies in the reference to emergencies, exigent situations and temporary use and all refer to the same thing. He stated that it might be helpful to consolidate the language and have one concept of emergency use of technology. He stated that in section 12.22.020 (F) 4 (b) on page six embellishes what an is an emergency situation. He stated that it states that a City department head may, with the approval of the City Manager, acquire Surveillance technology without prior City Council approval for the sole purpose of preventing or mitigating such risk. He stated that the question asked by Mr. Stallman is the use of technology must end when such risk no longer exists, or the use of the technology can no longer reasonably reduce the risk. He stated that this determination is made entirely by the department head and there is no provision here as to when the City Council would be consulted or informed on the use of this technology other than in the annual Surveillance report. He commented that Mr. Stallman is suggesting that there could be a time limit on when the City Council needs to be informed but does not change the ability to use the technology. It just provides that if there is an emergency and the technology is being used at some point that could be predetermined the City Council would be informed that this is happening.
Councillor Kelley stated that the way he sees this process, there will be a committee report. The challenge between the City Council and the City Manager’s authority seems to be the major sticking point and the remainder is clarification with a major change proposed by ACLU that the City Council have the clear ability to withdraw authorization for the use of surveillance technology if the City Council deems it to be either a waste or inappropriate use of funding. When the committee report comes out he hopes that the text will all be in one place, making it easier to work through to figure out the issues. He stated that there is time to decide about the City Manager and City Council challenge. Councillor Zondervan stated that it is clear in the text on the issue of authority. He noted that clarification is needed in the language that the City Council will not approve or disapproving certain provisions if it conflicts with the authority of the City Manager.
Councillor Kelley opened the hearing to public comment at 7:01pm.
Ben Green, Fellow, Bergman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, lives at 37 Dimick Street, Somerville, spoke about emergency circumstances. He stated that emergency circumstances should not give an in-depth window during which the police or any other department is exempt from approval. He stated that the importance of the emergency circumstance would be that if there is a pressing need to immediately start using some technology that has not been previously approved should not be allowed to go on indefinitely. He suggested that the use of the technology be approved for a time period. He stated that in emergency situations the language should be stronger for the risk benefit analysis of the surveillance. He stated that now it states whether the technology can reduce the risk. He wanted the language to state whether the benefits in reducing the risk are value in terms of being weighed against the potential harm to civil liberties and the rights to peaceful protest. He commented that just because there is an emergency does not mean that the balancing act should not be considered. He stated that the initial definition of surveillance addresses identifiable individuals. It needs to be clear that the harm from surveillance can be broad and does not have to mean immediately or taking something that pertains to an individual. He cited license plate readers as an example that does not immediately identify individuals but can be combined with other records. This should be broadened in terms of the general harm of re-identification and identifiability data that on an individual record level does not seem to identify an individual but may as part of a larger data pool. His comments are attached above as Attachment F.
Christopher Lucas, 107 South Street, Boston spoke about the unrestrained application of police powers. He stated that we live in a country that has Constitutional protections and historic judicial precedent. He noted that Cambridge has an opportunity to provide civilian oversight for these technologies. He stated that he does not believe that any city manager’s department has any more propriety to judge the Constitutional legitimacy of any surveillance technology than the elected representatives. He stated that he believes that these powers belong with the elected officials and that this can be tested in court after the fact if improperly allowed to proceed.
Alex Matthews, Chairman, Digital Fourth, a civil liberties organization. He stated that the elected officials have the authority to consider surveillance matters. This is work for City departments to ratify the existing uses of surveillance in the City. He stated that this tells him that there is plenty of surveillance that is going on in the City and it is unknown what surveillance is on-going. He stated that under Plan E there is no concern about operational details referenced presenting a problem with this ordinance. There can be no interference, stopping of individuals, investigations or prosecutions by City Council members, because the technology used is unknown to the City Council with respect to investigation. He noted that the ordinance does not descend to the level of specificity that would enable the City Council to be informed through it to include things that could be abusive on the part of the City Council so there is no Plan E violation. He stated that when speaking about individual’s right to privacy and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizure from the government it is a right in the Constitution and while a generalized concern for the operational ineffectiveness of the police may be a genuine policy interest, it is not a right in the Constitution. He stated that it is inappropriate for the ordinance to attempt to trade off a policy interest against a Constitutional right. He stated that rights are explicitly the set of things that should not be traded off against ordinary policy interests but only against other rights. In this context the ordinance should reflect that and that you have an obligation to protect the rights of the people of Cambridge that transcends the quality and concerns for police effectiveness even if technology would impair that effectiveness.
John Hawkinson, 2 Clinton St., commented that the ordinance is not a model of drafting clarity. He stated that the language of the ordinance could be substantially improved. He suggested clarifying the ordinance without slowing down the process. He stated that process-wise he wanted the City Council to adopt a clear deadline time for when amendments can be submitted in advance of the next hearing. He noted that there is a distinction between the kinds of surveillance that require judicial process, search warrants or similar things and those at the discretion of the city staff. They are treated differently. He stated that there cannot be a free pass to those with judicial process and discretionary purchasing power and those needing a search warrant as they are fundamentally different, and he suggested separating them because it makes the ordinance confusing.
Saul Tannenbaum, 16 Cottage Street, stated that framing the right of revoking the use of technology as possibly shutting down an investigation and is framed falsely. He stated that if the police used optical license plate readers and the City Council chose to shut this down the investigations could continue despite the technology’s being shut down. He stated that there are tradeoffs. He stated that the opinion of City Solicitor relating to the authority of the City Manager and the City Council with respect to the Charter. He asked if the City Council has solicited other opinions on this matter. He asked if there has been a good faith effort to find a way within the City Charter to empower the City Council to do this. He noted that surveillance costs money and the City Council has the power of the purse. He added that there may be ways in the City Charter to give the City Council the power over surveillance as outlined in the ACLU amendments without violating the City Charter. He noted his support for the amendments submitted by the ACLU.
Jessica Seehan, 99 Norfolk Street, stated that she is heartened that ordinance is being crafted in consultation with the ACLU. Her biggest concern is with enforcement, in particular section 12.22070 (B). She stated that limiting the ability of individuals to sue for damages including attorneys’ fees can be problematic if the City fails to comply with its own ordinance and a failure results in harm to an individual or community. She stated that the current text requires that if someone took the City to court for a violation of the ordinance, even if the individual were to win the suit, that individual would be ineligible to recoup attorneys’ fees from the City. This is indefensible. She noted that not all are likely to be equally harmed by violations to the ordinance and that harm most likely would be felt by persons of color, immigrants and those who live and work in the City’s poorer neighborhoods, Muslims and activists. She stated that the current draft places a special burden on individuals in these categories. She urged the City to revise the ordinance before adoption to better address the concerns of the ACLU, especially the enforcement provisions. She noted that an ordinance without adequate enforcement is little more than a suggestion and the City must do better.
Councillor Kelley closed public comment at 7:17pm.
Councillor Zondervan asked for clarification from the City Solicitor if there a conflict between this ordinance and Plan E. City Solicitor Glowa stated there is no fundamental conflict between Plan E and the ordinance. She stated that there may be areas discussed where the City Manager has the authority to manage the executive and administrative affairs of the City and the City Council sets policy through legislation and hiring the City Manager who then manages the other administrative matters. The questions that have come up in the ordinance are the complexities of the budget. There are certain budgetary items that the City Council approves, but certain things cannot be approved by the City Council unless the City Manager has recommended them. She explained that there are checks and balances. The other question raised with respect to the new sections on enforcement related to the actions that should be taken with personnel, there could be a conflict with the provisions in sections 105 through 107 of the City Charter with the City Council not directing personnel matters. She stated that there are nuances in the areas of responsibility of the City Manager and the City Council. She stated that the main issue is the City Council and the City Manager have traditionally tried to work with one another collaboratively and would not want a situation where there a conflict that would have to be resolved in a conflictual situation. Councillor Zondervan asked if a particular technology was no longer approved or approval was withdrawn this would not automatically end the investigation because there are other ways to continue the investigation without the use of the technology. City Solicitor Glowa noted that there have been valid suggestions made to collapse the language about emergency, exigency and temporary and she noted that the City could do a better job to bring them together. She stated that if a technology is disapproved by the City Council then the technology would not be allowed to be used. It would then be up to the police department on how to investigate. She spoke about the ACLU suggestion about denying or sending it back and asking for comments and noted that the goal is for the City Council and the administration to work together. She stated that the draft language before the City Council is that it gives the opportunity for the City Council to point out problems that the City Council has with certain provisions put forth by the City Manager in a surveillance use policy report and if the City Council does not like it, it can be sent back to the City Manager for clarification or changes and to work collaboratively.
Commissioner Bard stated that the goal for him is not to use technology without coming to the City Council for approval. He did not want any secret processes and values the deliberative process. He wants to be transparent and open. He also wants to avoid any problems with investigations and he wanted to not hinder any investigation or hinder this process; not to circumvent this process. Councillor Zondervan suggested that if the City Council disapproves the use of a particular technology it would not affect any existing or on-going investigation.
Mayor McGovern praised Commissioner Bard for his exceptional work on this matter.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked how the City Council will move forward on this. She agreed having amendments submitted in a timely fashion. She wanted the Mayor and ACLU amendments combined. She commented that there is no way to incorporate the suggested amendments by the public into the draft ordinance.
Councillor Kelley stated that amendments can be given when Councilors want. He stated that the City Council cannot direct the Law Department to do anything. He suggested that any questions or concerns can be forwarded to the City Solicitor.
Councillor Carlone agreed about making this clear for the general public. On each petition he wanted an annotated clear description of what is being proposed. He hopes the next time around on this ordinance it is clear.
Councillor Zondervan wanted an editable copy of the current draft of the ordinance so that comments can be made in this format. He asked that this be forwarded to the City Council.
Councillor Kelley moved to refer the amendments from the Mayor McGovern, the ACLU, Mr. Stallman and Mr. Green to the City Solicitor for review to be included in the surveillance ordinance; said amendments being ATTACHMENTS C, D, F, G-1 and G-2 of the Committee Report. The motion carried on a voice vote of six members.
Mayor McGovern stated that he was working on these amendments up to the time of the hearing.
Councillor Kelley and Councillor Carlone thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 7:33pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Craig Kelley, Co-Chair
Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair
Committee Report #6
The Ordinance Committee, comprised of the entire membership of the City Council, held a public hearing on Mon, July 23, 2018 at 3:34pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code in Chapter 10.17 entitled “Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance” in section 10.17.070 entitled “Fees for Residential Parking Stickers.”
Present at the hearing were Councillor Carlone and Councillor Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Committee; Vice Mayor Devereux; Councillor Mallon; Councillor Siddiqui; Councillor Simmons; Councillor Toomey; Councillor Zondervan; Lisa Peterson, Deputy City Manager; David Kale, Assistant City Manager for Fiscal Affairs; Joseph Barr, Director, Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department; Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development Department; Susanne Rasmussen, Director, Environmental and Transportation Planning, CDD; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Gary Mello, 324 Franklin Street and Robert Winters, 366 Broadway.
Councillor Kelley convened the hearing and stated the purpose. He announced that the hearing was being privately audio recorded.
Mr. Barr stated that there was no formal presentation. He stated that he is here to answer questions on the topics. He provided data for 2018 permits. He stated that permits are issued November through August and 35,000 have been issued. He stated that during 2013 – 2017 38,500 permits were issued per year and he expects about that many this year, with a traditional late summer bump in registrations. Overall, registrations have dropped slowly but steadily since 2003’s 41,000 permits. He was asked how many large household have permits. Mr. Barr responded that in 2018 the number of households that have received permits is 16,551 and have one permit. He stated that the vast majority of households have 1-2 permits. He stated that the cost for a permit is $25 and includes 1 visitor permit. There is a charge of $25 for just a visitor permit sticker. He stated that for residents over 65 the permit is free. He noted that the last increase in the permit fee was in 2011 from $20 to $25 and before that it had gone from $8 to $20.
Mr. Kale noted that the revenue has gone down annually. It was $821,000 in FY18 and $888,000 in FY16.
Councillor Toomey noted that 41,000 resident parking stickers were issued in 2013. Mr. Barr stated 34,823 permits have been issued in 2018 and will increase with the influx of students. Councillor Toomey spoke about the City’s population has increased by 15,000. He questioned whether the trends been reviewed.
Councillor Zondervan asked about the cost to the City for the permit program. Mr. Barr spoke about the cost for personnel, VIT, material costs; so, it is difficult to say. It is somewhere in the $35-$50 per permit issued range. It is not $8, and it is not $100.
Vice Mayor Devereux suggested data be provided for the hearing. Mr. Barr stated it is the number of household versus the number of permits. There are 16,551 households that have a single permit. Vice Mayor Devereux asked is the cost looked at on a programmatic basis versus permit basis. Mr. Barr stated that this is taking the overall cost divided by the number of permits issued, with most of the effort being taken up by the first vehicle registered to a household. He spoke about the overall personnel cost because vehicle ownership needs to be determined by the staff.
Councillor Siddiqui asked how often do residents pay above the $25? She asked does the City have this data. Mr. Barr responded that it is a small amount; it is about $3-$4,000 per year. This was offered as an option in 2011 when fee was increased and has been trending down since then.
Councillor Mallon noted that in early summer and late fall there is a gap from this year compared to date compared to past complete years; is this historically the case and will there be the typical 4,000 registrations that seem to be needed to fill the gap at this point. Mr. Barr stated that he would investigate the data base for this information. He stated that this year the tracking is similar to last year.
Councillor Zondervan stated that his proposed amendment makes changes to the fee structure. He offered data on this. He stated that the number of permits has declined since 2003 and has been in the 38,000 range. His proposal is for permits to cost $30 in 2020 and $40 in 2022, with waivers available by discretion.
Councillor Kelley opened public comment at 3:53pm.
Gary Mello, 324 Franklin Street, read from a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT A). He stated that the annual resident parking sticker renewal process should be suspended. He alleged that the fees received from parking stickers are used outside of the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department. The focus should be on reducing traffic; not increasing fees.
Robert Winters, 366 Broadway, stated that if the fees are increased he will not go broke on this. He spoke about the bait and switch program. He spoke about the resident parking sticker program was to make sure that there was parking turnover in business districts and was not supported to be a revenue source. The permit parking program was to ensure that Cambridge would not be a parking lot and was supposed to make this for the resident. He spoke about the lineup for residents who are paying for resident sticker. He spoke about using data for this permitting process. It is absurd to line up the stickers year after year so why not issue a single permit that lasts until you leave?
Councillor Kelley closed public comment at 3:59pm.
Councillor Toomey spoke about the trends of those who are not using cars and the younger population.
Ms. Rasmussen stated that there has been a decline in all things reviewed: mode sharing, driving and commuting mobility. There is a 5% decrease in driving as commuters in the past several years. The resident parking sticker has dropped from one sticker per household to 0.75. She stated it is unknown about those who own a car that do not get a sticker. There is a general trend for less driving and less car ownership.
Councillor Siddiqui asked what the goal is. She stated that the operational cost for the residential parking sticker program cost is being offset. She spoke about what $35-$40 means to some residents. She wanted to set clear policy goals.
Councillor Zondervan stated that this amendment is focused on the fee. He spoke about limiting the conversation to increasing the fee or not. He noted that revenues are decreasing, and the number of parking permits issued is declining while the population increases, and the cost of the program is not being offset and it seems clear we are underpricing the permit. He spoke about compassionate fee collection for those who are in need should be accommodated. “Significant financial hardship” is vague language but is used elsewhere.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked why wait until 2020 to increase this fee; why not increase the fee in 2019? Mr. Barr explained that renewals start in November and supplies need to be ordered as soon as possible so this decision needs to be made quickly. Vice Mayor Devereux asked about streamlining the process and having a one-time fee for residents that can be done on-line; is this feasible, she asked? The number of new residents would make the numbers constant. Mr. Barr stated that residents would not need a new sticker every year and how would the price be set. The permit is not matched to the vehicle number. The visual inspection of the sticker is faster than by checking the license plate and there are privacy issues to consider. He would be hesitant about issuing an electronic sticker. He stated that scanning the Massachusetts license number did not work smoothly. He stated that if a bar code were put onto the sticker this is not a simple change in the operation of the department. 2/3 of people renew online and there are five days of cords. It is inconvenient but not so much so recently. Vice Mayor Devereux stated that she hears a good reason for keeping a physical sticker.
Councillor Toomey asked Mr. Kale if the revenue received matches the expenditure of staff time. Mr. Kale responded that a formula has been created; it is $35-$50 per permit but it has not been entirely analyzed but budget staff. Mr. Barr stated that the program is generally losing money and the price of the permit does not cover the cost of issuing it. Mr. Kale explained that the revenues from Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department covers the operating costs and other departments and capital costs such as work done at the First Street Garage. There are thirteen million dollars in Department costs and twenty-two million dollars in revenue. He stated that the capital budget fixes the streetlights and the garage and offsets revenues to other City department that are traffic related. Councillor Toomey stated that the justification for raising fees is because the cost of operating this program exceeds revenue received. He spoke about this type of thinking concerns him because he asked does this mean that programs in other departments should be raised to pay for the operating costs? Councillor Toomey stated that he cannot support this. He is concerned about the impact on families.
Councillor Mallon asked how the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department would verify the income-based need. She was not convinced there was a demonstrated need for the revenue. Mr. Barr stated that this could be onerous. He hoped to piggyback on other hardship-related programs such as food stamps or fuel assistance programs that could be followed. He stated that verifying income would be onerous to his staff and spoke about the concern for collecting data and what to do with the data. He stated that this is a City Council policy question. He added that operationally this is challenging. Mr. Kale stated that implementation for the renewal cycle would not accommodate this and that the Law Department would want to review the complexity and the legality of this. The data base would need to contain the criteria guideline. Right now, the only exception is a clear one for those over 65 years of age and other metrics may become very complex and cumbersome. Councillor Mallon expressed concern with using other departments’ means testing to use for this program. She stated that WIC and SNAP cases are down since President Trump. She added that this is a complicated issue. She asked what the goal is: less cars or increase fees. She suggested a tiered fee structure. Councillor Mallon stated that she cannot support something that does not consider those who have a financial need.
Councillor Zondervan spoke about means testing for financial need such as used for the housing program could be linked to the traffic program. A cap or tiered system should be looked at but currently this is to review the fee. This program should not be undercharged; the cost of a permit should be set at what the program is costing per permit.
Councillor Kelley stated that he does not like the idea of underwriting other people’s cars. As a non-car owner, he is happy to subsidize other programs, but not the parking permit program. He would support this proposal. He stated that he does not see a will on the Council to choose to change things. He spoke about the means testing amendment becoming a very complicated, time-consuming mess.
Vice Mayor Devereux spoke about waiving the senior fee and asked is the fee waived for the disabled. Mr. Barr stated that if there is a HP plate, which is issued by the state, one can park in resident parking spaces whether they are residents or not. He stated accessible parking is designed on residential streets, but they must provide documentation and need. Vice Mayor Devereux spoke about the free and reduced lunch programs and asked whether this program could be used as a means testing. Mr. Kale stated that this is something that the Law Department would have to review, and that implementation will require more analysis.
Councillor Carlone stated that parking is the biggest value in the City. This is talking about $.13 per day; $35 per year. It is tiny money. He spoke about parking during snow time and how when people do not move their cars it is an indication of how cheap parking is. He noted that parking meter fees are increasing in other communities and this makes Cambridge resident parking sticker a bargain. Our meter prices are also very cheap. He spoke about those who have a driveway and park on the street. This is pennies to bring this up to the cost and this is more money for street improvements.
Councillor Kelley spoke about referring this to City Council or keeping this in committee. Councillor Toomey moved to keep the matter in committee. Councillor Zondervan asked about the questions on means testing. He suggested voting this up or down. Councillor Toomey noted that there are reasons to keep this in committee. He wanted the information that Mr. Barr will provide to the City Council. This is his reason to review the matter.
Councillor Mallon stated that this needs more work around the means testing and she agreed with Councillor Toomey.
Councillor Carlone asked about what other areas does the City do means testing. Mr. Kale responded the DHSP after school program for scholarships.
Ms. Rasmussen commented that Blue Bikes have an income threshold and there is criterion that the person needs to comply with to get a financial hardship-related discount.
Councillor Zondervan moved to amend the motion to leave in committee after the information on means testing. Councillor Kelley commented that if the matter is kept in committee it usually dies and means testing may prove to be more complicated than it is possible solve. He would rather see staff time going to other challenging issues.
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that there may be five votes to move the amendment forward and that keeping it in committee would likely kill it. It is fairly easy to prove if there is a hardship. She noted that it is more valuable to get a discount for a sticker than a bike sticker.
Councillor Zondervan moved to amend the language to require the City administration to promulgated regulations or means test the program and report back to the City Council.
Councillor Mallon moved to refer this to the full City Council and figure out the means testing and whether there may be a way to figure out financial need. Councillor Kelley stated that absent a clear feeling that the Council, overall, would support an increase, this work on financial need is not supportable. He wanted a sense for more progress.
Councillor Zondervan stated that he wanted more information on implementing a means testing from the staff.
Councillor Carlone stated that the bike program began subsidizing even though initially that was said to be too complicated. The means testing could probably be done within a year. There should be a standard way to do means testing; means testing in this is important.
Councillor Zondervan moved the following motion:
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council with the cost of implementing a means testing for the resident parking sticker program for those who would receive a reduction in the resident parking sticker fee using existing means testing done by other department for other programs in the City for those who are in financial need.
The motion carried on a voice vote with Councilor Kelley voting in the negative.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked if the City Council did receive an inventory of the number of on-street parking spaces in the City. Mr. Barr stated that the City does not have this number but will have the number in the future.
Councillor Kelley stated that he is not in support of this and the focus on the substantial hardship issue will take a mammoth amount of time.
Councillor Kelley and Councillor Carlone thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 4:55pm on motion of Councillor Toomey.
For the Committee,
Councillor Craig Kelley, Co-Chair
Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair
Committee Report #7
The Public Safety Committee held a public hearing on Tues, Aug 7, 2018 at 3:01pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss gun violence, the Cambridge Police Department task force and the new initiatives and the Central Square sub-station.
Present at the hearing were Councillor Kelley, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Carlone; Vice Mayor Devereux; Councillor Siddiqui; Councillor Toomey; Lisa Peterson, Deputy City Manager; Police Commissioner Branville Bard; Deputy Superintendents of Police Leonard DiPietro and Daniel Wagner; Sandra Clark, Deputy Director, Community Development Department; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Victor Lutenco, 175 Richdale Avenue; Jun Mikcapma, l Western Avenue; Steve LaMastor, 395 Windsor Street; Elena Sokolow-Kaufman; Adrian Scott, 18 Bowdoin Street; Vikas Anaud, 11 Peabody Terrace; Clarence, 17 Lee Street; Hagar Carmi, 69 Columbia Street; Eli Hotordy, 46 Million Street, Brookline; Cristo Badmatas, 277 Harvard Street; Robert Winters, 366 Broadway; James Williamson, 1000 Jackson Place; Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street; Elizabeth Bohlen, 111 Chestnut Street; and John Hawkinson, 2 Clinton St.
Councillor Kelley convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He stated that the hearing was being privately audio recorded. An agenda was distributed (ATTACHMENT A). A presentation was provided (ATTACHMENT B). Councillor Kelley stated that we cannot talk about these public safety issues too much. The issues are about safety in Central Square, Wellington-Harrington and The Port. He spoke about the definition of the boundary of Central Square. He spoke about the map outlining the gun violence incidences. He stated that this is what gun violence looks like in Cambridge in terms of where it does and does not happen. Gun violence is hard to address; hand guns are easy to conceal. The Police gave him a training pistol and they are small, and it fits into his backpack and can be quickly removed. The guns are almost invisible. He displayed a YouTube video of how easy it is to conceal a weapon and can be shot very quickly and then put away quickly. He noted that the police are not invincible with multiple police having been shot in Massachusetts in recent months, including two officers who had confronted a man who was breaking bottles. He outlined gun violence solutions. He highlighted gun violence questions.
Councillor Kelley spoke about the location of the police sub-station in Central Square. He asked if this site can be used for other active things. He suggested having DPW at the location to do clean up or a public library. The question is the Sub-station just for the police activity.
Mayor McGovern stated that he appreciated the presentation. He noted that seeing the location of gun violence incidents mapped out is a good visual. He stated that he did not want Cambridge to turn into a community where police are frisking people and are highly visible. He does not want overly aggressive policing but with such easily concealed guns, what else can be done? He stated that some residents in The Port do not feel that police presence is what it should be, they want more and/or different policing. He stated that illegal activity is not going to occur where the police are. He spoke about the police response time being just a few minutes. He stated that the answer in not more police in The Port. He asked what the police patrols and the number of patrols in The Port, Wellington-Harrington and the response time has been.
Commissioner Bard responded that the task force is comprised of fourteen officers and detectives and a lieutenant, plus 3-4 sector cars, plus Hi-Vis bikes and more. In the eleven weeks leading up to task force there were nine shooting incidents and in the 8 weeks since the task force was formed only one shooting has occurred and within 90 seconds all members of the task force responded as well as the Commissioner. He stated that one of the measures of success is the absence of violence crime.
Councillor Carlone asked to hear from Commissioner Bard and his staff before proceeding to public comment.
Commissioner Bard spoke about abnormal trends being identified. He spoke about the hot spots and The Port is a traditional problem area for gun violence. He spoke about all the departmental resources that are allocated to The Port, not just those of CPD. He noted that gun violence happens in The Port; but there is no trend. He stated between 7AM -7 PM there is an average of 2 incidents for the last 10 years. This year the City is over the trends and at 14 incidents now and historically they have been at 9-10. He stated that this does indicate gun violence in the street but while there are more shootings, there are less shooting victims. Councillor Kelley asked about neighboring areas. Commissioner Bard stated that there is no spill over; crime does not know borders. Crime does start in other areas and can end in Cambridge or start in Cambridge and spill over to other areas and it is hard to do a detailed comparison.
Councillor Kelley stated that the citywide map shows all the shootings in Cambridge for 3.5 years; why is there such a concentration in The Port. Commissioner Bard stated that historically when looking at a map there could be other social issues in the area that is heavy with violence. Councillor Kelley stated that taking away shootings associated with bar closings and the Carnival there is still violence in this limited area. Commissioner Bard noted that some of it is targeted violence. At least four of the incidents have no solvability factor at all. Councillor Kelley asked if all the City is covered with the Shot Spotter. Commissioner Bard commented that it is not in the City’s best interest to talk about blind spots in that gunshot detection and location program. Councillor Kelley asked if shots are fired in Cambridge might they be in an area covered by Shot Spotter. Commissioner Bard responded again that it is not prudent to discuss this in a public forum.
Councillor Kelley asked about community guns. Commissioner Bard stated that in Cambridge they do not seem to be heavily utilized but CPD has little intelligence on the issue. Councillor Kelley how is Cambridge working with other organization on issues of gun violence such as the Public Health Department. Commissioner Bard stated that DPH is part of the multi-departmental process, but gun violence is a small sample size.
Councillor Carlone stated that the source of the problem is the changing times. He spoke about in general the number of guns around today. There are lots of guns in Virginia, where he visited a relative. He stated that the culture and the number of guns has changed dramatically today. He stated that guns are easy to get. Commissioner Bard noted that Massachusetts has some of the most stringent gun laws, but we are not immune to the problem. Councillor Carlone spoke about the 90 second response time. We cannot have police at every corner. He stated that the proliferation of guns is the number one issue and the availability that feeds this. He asked what more can be done. Are there examples beyond gun buybacks? Commissioner Bard spoke about gun buyback programs and the removal of any gun prevents violence, but buybacks may be of limited use. He spoke about the distinction of lawful gun owners or owners of guns for unlawful purposes. Councillor Carlone noted that plastic guns should scare everyone. Commissioner Bard agreed; this should be problematic for all and should scare everyone.
Vice Mayor Devereux spoke about armed robbery where guns are used and asked are they included in the data. Commissioner Bard stated that they get counted but not as gun violence if no gun shots are fired. He stated that there have been regional robberies. There have been 29 robberies committed across 7-9 communities by one person with one mask and one gun. He was arrested. This is one troubling pattern seen in the region. Vice Mayor Devereux spoke about the new emergency removal law and asked will this be helpful. Commissioner Bard responded that this provides another avenue/tool to remove a gun from someone who may do harm to themselves or to others. He stated that yes this is helpful but that chiefs have always had that right. This law expands it to household members. People make bad, permanent decisions with guns and this law may mitigate that. Vice Mayor Devereux commented on family members know that members of their family have a gun and may be a threat and do they come to the police. Commissioner Bard responded in the affirmative. Vice Mayor Devereux asked if there is a connection between drugs and guns. Commissioner Bard stated that this assists in the sale of drug. He added that where illicit drug trade is there are guns. People use guns for protection and to resolve issues outside of small claims court. Robberies are done to get money to support a drug habit. Vice Mayor Devereux stated that the opioid epidemic has spiked when the guns have increased. Commissioner Bard spoke about gun violence and auto fatalities. He stated that there were 2.5 more deaths from overdoses. He stated that the police are taking this seriously and that he is part of the opioid task force. Vice Mayor Devereux asked about duration of The Port task force. Commissioner Bard explained that the task force is supposed to sunset Sept 1, 2018, but it may last longer. They are there to engage individuals, investigate and use enforcement as a tool where needed. It is focused enforcement and is a very impactful job in the community.
Councillor Siddiqui asked about outreach and engagement. She asked has there been more engagement by the community and how are relationships measured. The first meeting at the Pisani Center was full of angst. Commissioner Bard stated that formal community surveys have not been done yet. He gave an example of removing a problematic bench at Clement Morgan Park and the situation involving marijuana smoking has been alleviated. He stated that there is outreach and community engagement in The Port. Councillor Siddiqui stated that residents being able to talk to the Commissioner is important. Addressing people’s concerns about police dogs, Commissioner Bard stated that the police dogs are family friendly dogs who will lick you to death.
Councillor Toomey asked Commissioner Bard on the new ERPO law and is there a procedure how this will be handled. He asked if there is counseling for the person who reports the threat. How does that person feel safe after reporting the threat posed by a family member? Commissioner Bard explained that the act allows for a judge to make the determination that a reason exists to remove a gun, the judge is a neutral power to protect the right to own a firearm. He added that if he can convince a competent person to admit that a person is a risk he can be taken into custody. Councillor Toomey stated that he wanted to ensure that the reporting person has counselling and is protected in this delicate situation.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked if legal guns are registered and do we know what that number is. Commissioner Bard stated that he could provide information of how many permits to carry were issued but individual guns are not registered. He added that it is the unregistered, illegal guns that are problematic.
Councillor Kelley asked about signage and social media use for problematic guns. He spoke about a public health message regarding guns and is the City looking into messaging about identifying guns and addressing both the right to own a gun and the opportunities to report problematic guns and gun ownership to the police. Commissioner Bard stated that he is looking into options for incentive-based rewards which are proactive. Councillor Kelley asked about messaging being done on guns. He wanted to target messaging in the mapped out affected area. Commissioner Bard stated that the police try to spread this message every day; especially with the youth in the City. He stated that his public relations communications are the best in the business and there is social media blast. Vice Mayor Devereux stated that a lot of money will need to be spent to change the Hollywood culture. She noted that the culture is saturated in violence.
Councillor Kelley now focused on The Port Task Force. He asked about the outreach He asked if the police ask for feedback from the community on how to do this better. Deputy Superintendent Wagner oversees task force. He spoke about the positive outreach and urging officers to knock on doors and get to know the community, to interact in a non-bad way and explain that the police are trying to reduce gun violence. He stated that the task force officers are communicating with those involved in gun violence and will connect them with resources and the Cambridge Works Program. He has witnessed officers being yelled at by resident and then weeks later engaged by the community. Commissioner Bard spoke about officers acting as role models and command staff being involved. Councillor Kelley asked if there is feedback for outreach from the community. Commissioner Bard responded that this is done all year long and that he wanted officers to be socially and equitable just. Councillor Kelley stated that the task force is police oriented and is not designed to have an interaction with public works, the library or PHD. Commissioner Bard this is a triage model originally triggered by gun violence but as it progressed there was other departmental involvement. He cited the Public Works Department removing the problematic bench. He stated that churches and other stake holders have been involved in the process to restore the community. It was never the intent that it would only include police. Councillor Kelley asked when the task force is disbanded where do the relationships and collaborative conversation end up. He stated that he wanted the task force work to continue. Commissioner Bard noted that in Cambridge the work is geared to social justice for the most vulnerable. Deputy Superintendent Wagner stated that the task force has worked with street worker in The Port, with the clergy and on the basketball courts.
Deputy City Manager Peterson stated that the task force is doing specific work that overlays with other efforts and those ongoing conversations will continue.
Councillor Kelley now focused on the Central Square Sub-station. He asked if the Sub-station is usable for other things not just police work and can be used by others. Commissioner Bard responded in the affirmative. He stated that there was an assessment done of Central Square of what needs to be done and it does include other departmental resources to make Central Square what is wanted. Councillor Kelley asked if the Sub-station will have a one-way mirror rather than a mirror to allow people to see inside. Commissioner Bard stated that this is not the intent; it is a small space. Officers are intended to patrol the area and be present in the Sub-station and there will be an emergency call button. His vision is to be able to see inside the Sub-station.
Councillor Carlone asked Commissioner Bard to share the e-mail about the Sub-station. He hopes it grows a little bigger. He stated having a presence in Central Square is a plus from an urban planning standpoint.
Vice Mayor Devereux spoke about CVS which could do blood pressure testing and the return of unused of pharmaceutical drugs in conjunction with the sub-station. She spoke about bring the communication outside for blood pressure screening done inside.
Councillor Kelley stated that he wanted the Sub-station reviewed after it was operational.
At 4:18pm Councillor Kelley opened the hearing to public comment.
Robert Winters, 366 Broadway, stated that he had previously suggested that the public toilet be incorporated into a storefront that would also include space for MBTA users, drivers and dispatchers, a Charlie Card charging location, and the Police substation. He stated that the substation should get going now and other uses could be revisited in the Spring. [edited]
James Williamson, 1000 Jackson Place, spoke about the bench in the park and he wanted better ways to deal with social problem rather than changing infrastructure. He suggested that as part of the participatory budget item to look at ways for more benches. He stated that a positive active police presence can make a difference. He stated that Central Square is a transit hub and spoke about the last train/busses leaving Central Square. He stated that the 83 bus allows people to wait on the bus, but other bus drivers do not allow passengers to wait on the bus. He noted that there are arguments that ensue. He suggested a shelter be provided in the Sub-station at 1am.
John Hawkinson stated that the problem is a neighborhood problem and while we, as a City, are smaller than Boston that is not so much the case on a neighborhood level. He asked how Cambridge’s problems differ from Boston.
Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street, stated that as a resident of The Port she was interested in the task force. She is happy that the shots fired in The Port have been reduced and the removal of the bench. She suggested putting the bench on the Columbia side of the park. She spoke about measures of success for the task force and she did not hear clear measures for that. The reduction of shots fired is a good measure as well as the bench removal. She wanted to hear specific measures from police. She spoke about art depicting social issues. She has been working with the Community Arts Center youth, which decided to work on gentrification, but police violence was an issue as well. She is concerned about the young people and the task force and she suggested spot follow-up with the youth about the police interaction. She suggested that personnel from DHSP could do this. Our information is anecdotal not systematic.
Elizabeth Bohlen, 111 Chestnut Street, from the Port spoke about the response to a shooting was very fast. She called the police station and asked if she was safe. The business line personnel at the police station stated that yes, the police apprehended them. She was impressed about this. She suggested that this information should be available on the computer. She stated that fast information is not always correct. The more people know about what is happening and what they should do about it. She spoke about the police knowing who was doing what in the neighborhood. She spoke about CPD knowing who is being released from jail so that they know who is back on the street. She commented about gang activity in the city and wondered if it was an issue. It is difficult for the police to head this off for the youth. She spoke about quality of life and getting away from the culture of violence. “What kind of life do you want?” could be a message. The task force should be a regular occurrence.
Councillor Kelley closed public comment at 4:33pm.
Commissioner Bard address the comment about the indicators of the task force success. He stated that the purpose of the task force was to reduce gun violence, and this has been reduced, though other issues may or may not be relevant factors. Disorderly conduct does not necessarily go down with the police.
Councillor Kelley asked about potential gang activity in Cambridge. Commissioner Bard responded that Cambridge does not have gangs, but there are individuals that have gang like activity. He added that this number is small.
Councillor Kelley commented on the bench. He stated that when a bench is removed this indicates a failure of not stopping the activity. He noted that there is no messaging about not smoking marijuana. He questioned was anything tried before the bench removal. Commissioner Bard explained that there has been daily police presence and the bench was an attractive nuisance that they eventually had to remove because lesser interventions did not work.
Deputy City Manager Peterson noted that removing the bench was a last resort. The bench will be relocated to the Columbia Street side of the park but needs to be handicapped accessible. There are 54 benches in Central Square that were relocated. She stated that the benches are not just removed because they are an important resource the City takes seriously.
A communication was received from Trudy Goodman, 1221 Cambridge Street, regarding shootings in Inman Square (ATTACHMENT C).
Councillor Kelley thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 4:39pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair
Committee Report #8
The Ordinance Committee, comprised of the entire membership of the City Council, held a public hearing on Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 3:53pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a City Council petition to amend the Zoning Ordinance in Article 5.000 as it relates to rainwater and flat roofs.
Present at the hearing were Councillor Carlone and Councillor Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Committee; Vice Mayor Devereux; Mayor McGovern; Councillor Siddiqui; Councillor Toomey; Councillor Zondervan; Liza Paden, Zoning Planner, Community Development Department; Khalil Mogassabi, Deputy Director, CDD; Arthur Goldberg, Deputy City Solicitor; Owen O’Riordan, Commissioner of Public Works; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Nicolai Cauchy, 387 Huron Avenue.
Councillor Carlone convened the hearing and stated the purpose. He announced that the hearing was being audio and video recorded. He outlined the format of the hearing as petitioners, city staff, public comment and questions/comments from the City Council. At the end the hearing the committee will make a recommendation on the petition. He stated that there is a memo from Community Development Department dated Aug 3, 2018 on converting flat concave roofs together with previous recommendations from the Planning Board on similar petitions. (ATTACHMENT A).
Councillor Kelley stated that this petition is narrowly focused on flat roofs and precipitation but in the larger context it is an attempt to do through zoning what the City Council might want to do from a policy perspective of resiliency planning and impacting climate change and related issues to climate change. He stated that the Brown petition was a large-scale petition to address various issues related to climate change, but that discussion did not go far. He noted that this is a more narrowly focused discussion about how water on flat roofs can be handled differently. There could be similar discussions about where back up power generation is installed or battery storage on property. He stated that the underlying point is that we are not going to build a resilient or a climate ready city without compromises, tradeoffs or costs.
Councillor Kelley, 6 St. Gerard Terrace, joined with Nicolai Cauchy who earlier applied for a zoning variance for his flat roof, but it was not approved. He wanted to install a peak and a zoning proposal was submitted last term and it did not go far. He stated that he felt that this discussion should be revisited. At this time Councillor Kelley gave a presentation (ATTACHMENT B). He stated that this is a proposal to amend Section 5.55 of the Zoning Ordinance, which would allow for residential flat roof conversion. He stated that vegetation may be put on a flat roof.
He spoke about the Climate Protection Action Committee’s goals and objectives for 2020, one of which is to minimize GHG emissions from all measurable sources. He stated that 14.1% of Cambridge’s GHG emissions are from residential buildings. He stated that this amendment would entice residential property owners to insulate flat roofs which would cut GHG for heating and cooling. This would protect roofs from frozen center roof storm drains. The petition would also provide extra height or FAR to compensate for the cost of the roof construction. He stated that the only way to recoup the construction cost is to exempt height and FAR limitations. This amendment would protect neighbors by requiring a special permit prior to any roof conversion and would retain stormwater onsite or by following natural paths without direct encumbrances onto abutting properties.
He spoke about insulated flat roofs likelihood to result in snow and ice buildup and associated ice dams in the center drain, flooding and structural challenges due to the weight of accumulated ice and snow. He stated that Mr. Cauchy is a licensed contractor with experience dealing with an insulated flat roof which created drainage problems. Mr. Cauchy explained what happens when well-insulated flat roof clogs the drains. He stated that when he purchased his house he put insulation above his ceiling. He stated his neighbor’s house, which is identical but has no or minimal insulation. He cleared his drain but snow compacts because the sun makes the top layer melt and compresses the snow. At night the underneath freezes and makes a solid sheet of ice. He stated that the difference in the elevation between the drain and the edge of the roof is around a foot. So, there is a buildup of ice or compressed snow piles up on the roof.
He stated that insulated flat roofs with central drains and climate change create ice damming, which does not happen on pitched roofs. He stated that the problem with insulated roofs are complex. When snow on a non-insulated roof melts it runs down the drain and joins the waste from the sewer pipe in most triple decker homes into the city combined sewer line. He stated that the first time he had an issue with his roof was in the winter of 2007-2008 when he removed in mid-January 65,000 lbs. of ice and snow from the top of his roof. He noted that this caused his ceilings to crack and the roof joint to fail.
He stated that with the increase in the concentration of precipitation and density of the snow that it will become more of a problem. He stated that an option is to allow or encourage property owners to insulate their roofs, but not by using blown-in insulation but rather by making some type of structure that sheds the snow and leaves. He suggested getting rid of the central drains and allowing FAR and height relief there can be green houses built on the old flat roof that enable a better functional use of the roof rather than just a dead flat space that can be problematic.
Councillor Kelley stated that there is a Cambridge specific example of the challenges of an insulated flat roof versus an uninsulated flat roof. He spoke about the effects seen by climate change and the different weather pattern being created. The accumulations of snow are heavier and denser and more intense rain events. He stated that with flat roofs there is a central drain. The water falls on the roof and flows to the center and goes down the drain and is made part of the MWRA sewerage system. This removes water from the local ecosystem and there is an emerging school of thought that a fair amount of carbon sequestration can be done by keeping water on the ground where it falls. He stated that keeping water where it falls is an important issue from ecosystem standpoint and keeping water out of MWRA treatment system. He explained that a single triple decker home gathers a lot of rain. He stated that Boston has 4 feet of precipitation per year and if this is multiplied by the square feet of roofs this is a lot of water per square roofs that is going into the MWRA system costing money as it goes into the system.
He outlined the purpose of the zoning petition to incentivize greenhouse gas reducing insulation of residential flat roofs. He noted that if this is not incentivized property owners will rarely do this on their own. He stated that a suggestion has been created of FAR and height exemptions to compensate for construction costs and reducing the concerns about clogged drains and snow build up by allowing for insulation that is above on a peaked roof. This will also eliminate rainwater from sewerage and will be returned to the local ecosystem. He illustrated an option with minimal impact. He stated that to address the zoning concerns it is suggested that 20% over existing FAR which means that an additional floor could not be added to a three-family home. Proposed setbacks of three feet on the sides and rear and six feet on the front would be appropriate. The height gain would be eliminated to ten feet overall. He stated that this is good for the economy and ecology. He gave the background language and the construction would need to meet the requirements and keep the rain water on the property.
Councillor Kelley noted that this petition is the opposite of the Doug Brown petition. He stated the City needs to get better at having these discussions. He stated that this zoning is a test case of how as a City we want to create a set of incentives and balances to get people to do something that is a good idea from a policy perspective while honoring previous expectations of residents and businesses without being in a place where change cannot happen. He stated that this is creating incentives as a policy issue.
Councillor Carlone asked if there are any clarifying questions about the petition.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked who would review and grant the special permit. Councillor Kelley responded that it would be a Planning Board special permit. Vice Mayor Devereux asked why the Planning Board rather than the Board of Zoning Appeal. Councillor Kelley responded no preference for either Planning Board or Board of Zoning Appeal special permit.
Councillor Carlone stated that design review may more likely take place at Planning Board to ensure what is proposed is consistent with the building and the neighborhood. This is one advantage over the Board of Zoning Appeal. Councillor Kelley said this is an important question to figure out. He noted that in the future there will be a variety of requests that will be received from residents because it will make their neighborhood more resilient.
Councillor Zondervan asked about the setback. The example did not show setbacks and water will flow off the side of the structure to the ground. If the water falls on a flat roof where does the water, go. Councillor Kelley stated to the gutters. Councillor Zondervan asked if the water still falls on the flat portion of the roof how does the water get to the gutters. Mr. Cauchy stated that this is the purpose of the gambrel shaped roof and the bulk of the water is captured with gutters at the break between the flat part of the roof and the steeper part of the roof. The three-foot setback is an area to have planters and the run off from the steeper part of the roof runs off the edge of the roof to the gutters to planters, barrels or the ground. Councillor Zondervan stated that the excess water needs to exit the roof down the side of the building. He stated that the bigger concern is the snow in the winter because this accumulation is not going to be captured by the gutters. If the snow falls of the roof onto the flat part of the roof. He stated that you need to store as much snow on the flat part of the roof because it would not drain in the center. He stated that the setbacks should not be used so that the snow/water would run off. Mr. Cauchy stated that this started with his issues with his property. He has specific ideas of what will be done so that the snow will be minimized and would in winter still be harvested by the gutters. He noted that plastic gutters do not freeze as metallic gutters do. He stated that in his view there is still the possibility of capturing rain water. The presented illustration is the way he envisions his roof.
Councillor Toomey asked for a clarification of why three-story buildings are used instead of 100 feet. He asked was there a reason why you did not go by height. Councillor Kelley responded that there was no reason. He stated that he is most familiar with three story flat roof buildings. There are several two story commercial buildings that have flat roofs, but this is not aimed at commercial buildings.
Mayor McGovern stated that in 2013 and 2016 this petition was submitted and both times the Planning Board rejected it. He asked why this petition is different. Councillor Kelley read from the Planning Board recommendations which read that in conclusion the board is generally supportive of the approaches that might allow greater zoning flexibility for home owners in exchange for making their homes more environmentally sensitive, the board members believe that more consideration is needed to determine what specific public objectives would be best served by allowing property owners to increase the usability and value of their homes and to determine a fair way to balance expected private benefit with those public objectives. He views this as a test case for the larger issues of how this deals with resiliency issues. These improvements will only be made if there is value to property owners. Mayor McGovern stated that if homes are made more energy efficient and more resiliency is this not a public benefit. Councillor Kelley stated that there is no public objective to limit or reduce discharge to the MWRA. He feels that this is the right thing to do. Mayor McGovern asked how many flat roof triple-deckers are there in the City. Mr. Cauchy responded 2400. Mayor McGovern spoke about the environmental impact and reducing the impact of clogged drain. He stated that the incentive is to come up a way to eliminate drain or have a different drain system rather than use the space differently. Councillor Kelley stated that a flat concave roof and if you want to change the shape of the roof it is costly and the risk against flooding is not concrete to invest in.
Mr. Cauchy explained that he applied for a variance in 2008 and the Board of Zoning Appeals suggested raising roof by four feet and pitch the roof. He stated that the expense to do this is costly and he will not go through this expense to eliminate the central drain. He stated that his water consumption measured from his water meter is about 2/3 of what he puts into the drain because 1/3 that is put into the drain is from rain water from the roof and goes into the sewer system. He asked why he would give this benefit to the City and the environment without getting a benefit.
Councillor Siddiqui stated that this proposal will benefit Mr. Cauchy. She asked what the need among his neighbors with this is - this is unclear. She wanted the negative aspects and how long will it take to construct a greenhouse porch. Councillor Kelley stated that there is no need from the individual home owner’s perspective. These buildings are not insulated and are using more energy creating more GHG emissions. This goes against the City’s goal. This put gallons of rainwater in the MWRA system which the City has spent time and money to separate. The need is more policy reflective and property owners will not do this unless there is benefit to them to cover the cost. The limitation is only the FAR and will impact neighbors by losing light or sun. This petition mirrors the goals of the City. He stated that incentivizing uses may end up being more problematic to others. Mr. Cauchy stated that triple-deckers are in more dense parts of the City and typically are five feet close to each other and no more than twelve feet at the most. He stated that the peaks will not be seen based on the setbacks.
Vice Mayor Devereux spoke about condos converted from triple decker. She asked who benefitted in a three-unit condo, would this be the person on the third floor. She asked has this point been thought through to see how this would work. Councillor Kelley suggested that the condo association will have to approve this, and the language could be put into the Zoning Ordinance. Vice Mayor Devereux stated you are increasing the share of condo ownership by increasing their FAR.
Councillor Carlone stated that during presentation the peak roof was turned down during the variance process. Mr. Cauchy responded in the affirmative. Councillor Carlone spoke about the four feet of precipitation, is this rain? Mr. Cauchy stated that it is 54 inches based on a 2016 54 national weather service. Mr. Cauchy stated that this is measured as water. Councillor Carlone stated that the house example in the presentation was referenced to the 1973 oil crisis. He stated that the houses were built around 1915. Mr. Cauchy stated that in 1973 two of the houses were allowed to add an additional floor in order to gain insulation and to allow for more living space. Councillor Zondervan asked about the comment that it is impractical to install solar panels on flat roofs. Mr. Cauchy stated that he was told by two solar panel installers that they will not install solar panels on flat roofs. Councillor Zondervan stated that he has experience with solar panels being installed on commercial flat roofs. He wanted information why this would be impractical. He stated that he was unaware of any solar panels being installed on triple-decker flat roofs. This is a salient issue because solar panels being installed may help this issue. Mr. Cauchy spoke about the inconvenience to property owners who have to shovel snow off the roof if he had to go around solar panels.
Mayor McGovern questioned if a building is already thermal efficient would you not be allowed to do this. Mayor McGovern stated that there should include wording that there is a significant improvement to the thermal efficiency of the building. Mr. Cauchy stated that this would improve the efficiency for his house in the summer. Mr. Cauchy there is 1/3 of triple-deckers are owned by single property owners and are having problem with their roof deck.
Councillor Carlone said installing insulation on a flat roof should be vented to provide air space. He suggested an option to alleviate the problem without using zoning.
Councillor Carlone invited the City staff to come forward to present the updated memo from Community Development Department.
Ms. Paden stated that the Planning Board hearing is scheduled for Aug 21, 2018 and have reviewed this in the past they had concerns about activity on roofs where there has not been activity as well as the issue of noise.
Public Works Commissioner O’Riordan stated that he had no significant additional comments to the 2013 Planning Board recommendation. There are 700 properties identified of which 67 have flat roofs. He stated that of the 67 flat roofs there are 48 with 2 pipes system, one for sanitary waste and one for storm water. He stated that of the remaining 19 they are single-stack and convey both storm water and sanitary waste. He would be supportive of something that would continue to remove storm water from the sewer system. This reduces backup to properties and reduces the charges to the MWRA.
He stated that Mr. Cauchy pays sewer costs based on the amount of water that is consumed and read from his water meter. He stated that the community at large pays for the additional storm water that flows to the pipe. He has a significant concern about the amount of storm water captured. He stated that 1/8 gallon of water per square foot of roof area is a small amount of water that has been captured. He stated that for a 2,000 square foot roof this is about 33 gallons or an inch of rain on a 2,000 square foot flat roof is 250 gallons and there may be a significant impact to adjacent properties. He stated that when people want to drain their property from their roof the City encourages the installation of dry wells and an overflow system so that during a significant rain event they can discharge into the municipal system. He stated that he has significant concerns about controlling storm water run-off of the roof and it needs to be more significant than stated. This needs more consideration.
Mayor McGovern spoke about the concerns in the Planning Board recommendations in 2013 and 2016. He read from the recommendation that allowing these buildings to add a story would significantly increase property values for some owners by providing greater floor area and views while other owners in the same neighborhood would not being able to enjoy these benefits. He stated that if he had a larger lot than his neighbor and went through the process to do an addition to the house and increases the value and my neighbor cannot do this because they do not have the area the City does not stop one property owner from doing this, this is no reason to deny.
Ms. Paden stated that this is about the differences between special permits, variances and as of right. This is reflective to what the standards would have to be and what the criteria would be when viewing the special permits or variances. She stated that currently it is a variance if you are adding additional height or floor area.
Councillor Carlone stated that single pipes are problematic and this needs to be resolved. He asked if other residents have come forward with similar problems. Commissioner O’Riordan stated that there have been property owners that came to City looking for assistance because they were getting backups on a constant basis. There are areas in the City that continue to have this issue.
The Commissioner said this can be dealt with by incorporating appropriate plumbing. The City provides walk through assistance to help to achieve this. He stated that there continues to be sewer back up due to significant rain fall.
Councillor Siddiqui stated that the Planning Board decision on page one states that the primary concern by allowing the additional space would create significant value for one group of property owners. She asked has the Planning Board quantified what this value could be. Ms. Paden stated not to her knowledge. She stated that this could be addressed going forward at the Planning Board hearing. Councillor Carlone stated that the only sites that bought additional FAR were in Kendall Square.
Councillor Kelley stated that increased value is a good point. He wants to reduce the barrier for people and this is done through the variance process. He spoke about the rain water number and help to mitigate the rain water impact to neighbors. He stated that no one wants the rainwater to go into the neighbor’s basements. He suggested a high-water storage standard. If the interior water has been separated and there is good roof insulation, then the public policy that is being pursued no longer exists.
Vice Mayor Devereux spoke on value. She asked if last year’s accessory dwelling units were allowed under a Planning Board special permit. Ms. Paden responded that she believed that this is a special permit from the Board of Zoning Appeal. Vice Mayor Devereux noted that she was unfamiliar with the criteria reviewed by the Board of Zoning Appeals. She noted that the Planning Board if more apt to look at design review on a design perspective.
Councillor Zondervan noted that to get a zoning variance you need to show hardship which is not the same with a special permit. He stated that he has a pitch roof and he has installed a 1,000-gallon collection system at the Hurley Street farm and it is already half way full this year. He stated that it does make sense to quantify how this water is stored or go into the ground.
Councillor Carlone stated that the Planning Board hearing is after the Ordinance hearing. He brought up the presentation’s option of the 4 houses, 2 of which had additions added after the 1973 oil crisis. He stated that if the petitioner really wants to do this, he should consider building a solid pitched roof that adds an attic and designed in a way that works with the architecture, much like the 1973 examples. This matter is more of a variance issue rather than zoning.
He recommended that this matter be kept in committee.
Councillor Kelley submitted proposed language changes based on the discussion tonight (ATTACHMENT C).
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that in comparison to the Brown petition which was broad and was rejected because the City is doing zoning work to meet climate change resilience and vulnerability could this be included into this zoning work. She noted that other homeowner retrofits that could be expensive and might need some zoning incentives.
Councillor Carlone stated this a good recommendation but deferred to the zoning staff if this can be done. He noted that there is merit to solve this problem. He stated that in this buildings case solving this in a traditional way is more sound and fits in better.
Councillor Kelley stated that Vice Mayor Devereux’s suggestion is a wise one. Councillor Kelley wanted this included in the Envision process.
Councillor Carlone opened public comment. No one appeared and public comment was closed.
Councillor Zondervan stated that he was fine to keep this in committee. He wanted to comment on the need to resolve these issues in zoning rather than using the variance process. It is problematic and burdensome to home owners to file a variance. He also had concerns about the solar panels on flat roofs. It is problematic for triple-deckers to install solar panels; this is denied due to the roof structure. This could be argued that this is a hardship that leads to a variance. Councillor Carlone stated that the one exception here is that there are other ways to solve this problem. Councillor Zondervan stated that if a home owner cannot install solar panels it is an issue. He noted that solar panels are mentioned in the petition as one of the reasons for filing the zoning amendment.
Vice Mayor Devereux spoke about the weight of snow on a flat roof and asked would the roof have to the reinforced for additional living space that people were standing on and for solar panels. This may be an additional cost to do this work.
Mr. Cauchy spoke about 65,000 lbs. of ice was removed from his roof. He stated that his roof would and has supported 20 people on the roof. If the City approved the zoning, there would have to be language for reinforcing the roof.
Councillor Carlone moved that the petition remains in committee.
The motion carried on a voice vote of seven members.
Councillor Carlone and Councillor Kelley thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 5:15pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair
Councillor Craig Kelley, Co-Chair
Committee Report #9
The Ordinance Committee, comprised of the entire membership of the City Council, held a public hearing on Thurs, Aug 16, 2018 at 3:37pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a petition filed by Randy Kasten for the Pizzuto Family Limited Partnership to amend the zoning map along the easterly side of New Street from Danehy Park continuing southwesterly along New Street to rezone Industry A01 to create a new overlay zoning district entitled “New Street Overlay District” and further amend section 20.900 in Article 20.00; amend the Table of Regulations by creating a new self-storage facility line, amend Section 4.37 in Article 4.000 ad Section 6.36.7 in Article 6.000 to add a new category entitled “Self-Storage Facility.”
Present at the hearing were Councillor Carlone and Councillor Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Committee; Mayor McGovern; Councillor Mallon; Councillor Siddiqui; Councillor Toomey; Councillor Zondervan; Khalil Mogassabi, Deputy Director, Community Development Department (CDD); Swaati Joseph, Associate Zoning Planner, CDD; Arthur Goldberg, Deputy City Solicitor; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez. Vice Mayor Devereux attended the meeting remotely.
Also present were Attorney James Rafferty, representing the petitioners; James Butler, 445 Concord Avenue; Daniel Markarian, 51 New Street; Donald Adamian, 21-43 New Street; Ging Harris, 15 Bellis Circle; Stuart Lesser, 115 Lexington Avenue; Roger O’Sullivan, 1105 Massachusetts Avenue; Mahmoud Abu-Rubah, 170 Brookline Street; Raquel Ortiz, 64 Reed Street; Susan Harison, 271 Huron Avenue; and Ruth Ryals, 115 Upland Road.
Councillor Carlone convened the hearing and stated the purpose. He announced that the hearing was being audio and video recorded.
Councillor Carlone, as Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee, announces that there is quorum of the Ordinance Committee physically present at the hearing.
Councillor Carlone announced that Vice Mayor Devereux will not be attending the hearing and will be participating remotely in the hearing and is in attendance at the hearing via teleconferencing. This information must be recorded in the minutes.
Councillor Carlone requested that Vice Mayor Devereux state for the record that the proceedings are clearly audible to her. Please have Vice Mayor Devereux confirm that the hearing is audible to her.
Councillor Carlone announced that Vice Mayor Devereux is clearly audible to both the Ordinance Committee members and the public.
Councillor Carlone announced that all votes taken at the hearing must be by roll call.
Councillor Carlone stated that the normal format is the petitioner, City Staff, City Council asked questions and then public comment. He stated that at the end of the hearing a recommendation by the committee will be made.
Councillor Carlone asked the petitioners to come forward. Attorney James Rafferty, 675 Massachusetts Avenue, on behalf of the petitioners, the principals of the company that intends to acquire the property from the petitioner is Mr. George Bachrach, David Williams, Director of Development and David Fulton, CEO, the three principals of SSG which has the property in question under contract. The petitioners are the landowners and it appears as the Pizzuto petition because currently it is owned by Mrs. Pizzuto in a trust.
Mr. Rafferty announced that there has been conversation with the operators of the Evolve Fitness Gym. He noted that a lot of the public commentary and feedback around this zoning proposal is related to the impact that this petition would have on Evolve. Recently there have been discussions about whether the SSG proposal could be modified to accommodate Evolve. He explained that the thinking is that the process may be of benefit and the committee’s efficient use of its time to consider a continuance. He noted that the petitioners are willing to continue to a later date. The petition expires in November and there is ample time to continue. The Planning Board has not held their hearing on the petition. The Planning Board’s hearing is scheduled for Aug 21, 2018. He stated that he would request that a hearing be held in a month. He stated that Evolve ownership is willing to engage in such conversation. He stated that if the committee deemed it appropriate the petitioners would be happy to request a continuance. He stated that there is a presentation that goes through the elements of the rezoning and discussion about issues around how this expanded use would fit in with the surrounding uses at this location. He stated that if this exercise is begun there may be an expectation that the hearing has been opened in a way that would suggest that all comments should be made. He stated that the petitioners would be willing to forgo a presentation at this time and return later when the committee deemed appropriate.
Mayor McGovern noted that the Ordinance Committee chair announced the possible outcomes of the hearing, one of which was to keep the matter in committee or making a recommendation to the full City Council. He stated that even if the committee wanted to make an unfavorable recommendation today that the committee is not allowed to take a negative action in the Ordinance Committee without the Planning Board’s recommendation. Councillor Carlone responded that the Ordinance Committee could vote negatively but could not vote before the full City Council before the Planning Board recommendation is received. Mayor McGovern stated that he has concerns with the current proposal before the Ordinance Committee. This is not about Evolve; the lease is up in December. He noted that the petition is calling for an increase in FAR but under current zoning they are allowed by right to building a storage facility, but it will be smaller. He has a concern about a storage facility and whether this is the best use of this site. He stated that Evolve would like the opportunity to discuss with the potential owners to determine if there is a way of incorporating their gym into a storage facility space. He stated that giving that both sides want to have a conversation he would be fine to keep this in committee. He stated that there is room for conversation to resolve the issues.
Councillor Zondervan agreed to keeping this in committee. He wanted to have discussion today about the specific proposal, its merits and potential alternative uses for the site. He wanted to hear the presentation and hear from the public and have a discussion.
Councillor Mallon stated that she would be in favor to keep the matter in committee without a presentation now. The petitioners have listened to the residents. She wanted to discuss the proposal when all the factors are before the committee later.
Councillor Kelley stated that he does not care one way or the other whether the committee discusses the petition now or later but would like to hear from the public.
Councillor Siddiqui stated that she wanted to hear from the public on this matter. She stated that it does seem premature in that the committee may be discussing this again in a month.
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that many comments from the community have been about the loss of Evolve, but have also commented negatively about a storage site use next to Danehy Park. This is a poor land use choice from a planning perspective. She is not ready to have a gym as part of a large self-storage facility. She stated that others have not had the opportunity to incorporate a gym with housing. She noted that the buyers have been discussing this site for nine months. She stated that when Evolve’s membership became aware of this change there was a lot of negative reaction by the members. Storage is not the best use for this site or the best use by this property owner for this site, financially or for the community. She stated that the public that have come to this hearing should be able to speak on this petition before the committee makes any decision. This is a zoning petition and not project review and the eventual building will have a different set of hearings. She added that the zoning only discusses the land use.
Councillor Carlone stated that the public should be heard. He stated that he has concerns about the park, street and the neighbors with this use no matter how it is modified on the ground floor. Councillor Carlone moved the question of whether there should be public comment. He agreed with the Vice Mayor that what the City Council sees is not always what goes to the Planning Board. On this motion the roll was called and resulted as follows:
YEAS: Councillor Carlone, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Toomey and Mayor McGovern – 8
NAYS: None – 0
ABSENT: Councillor Simmons – 1
and the motion - Carried
Councillor Kelley stated that he wanted a complete public hearing if we are hearing public comment. Councillor Carlone agreed and stated that he wanted a preliminary discussion on the petition. He stated that having public comment without a presentation is hearsay and it is much better to know where the petitioner is and what might change in general.
Attorney Rafferty noted that the petitioner had offered that if it was the will of the committee to defer the presentation, but since this does not appear to be the case Attorney Rafferty felt that there was no vote needed and offered to go to a presentation so that the public can comment on what was presented.
Attorney Rafferty gave the presentation (ATTACHMENT A). This is a petition that seeks to make a few changes in the zoning ordinance to the Industrial A-1 district on New Street. The petition identifies a form of self-storage use that currently is not included in the Table of Uses in the zoning ordinance. He stated that the type of special permit relief that is being proposed would be limited to a narrow form of storage, not a warehouse. He stated that the zoning ordinance divides storage into categories around the types of products contained in the storage. He stated that self-storage has evolved over the last 20 years and is distinct from all other storage uses in the ordinance. The petition creates a definition for self-storage, which is not included in the zoning ordinance. He stated that by amendment to suggest a self-storage use could be defined and language that would describe this. This is different from the large distribution, industrial size warehouses. He stated that this side of New Street was identified because the principle lot that is under agreement is the former Waltham Fruit Produce Warehouse, an active warehouse use for many years. He explained that for the last ten years this site has been the home of a fitness facility. He stated that the owner of the property is here and has a contract to sell the property to SSG. He expressed concern about actions that would disrupt the contractual relationship between the buyer and seller. The seller intends to sell, and the buyer intends to buy the property. He stated that these commitments are legally protected commitments in a purchase and sale agreement.
He explained that the lot is distinguished by its size, depth and relevant narrow frontage and this made it appealing for a self-storage use because the lots on the other side of New Street have wider frontages. He noted that the frontage and the streetscape are critically important in this area. He explained that if the building were turned so that it had wide frontage on the street and not depth it would have more impact on the street. He stated that the lots on this side of New Street were conducive to what the petitioners were trying to achieve. He stated that within the Industrial A-1 district the storage use is allowed.
The current zoning would allow for a building with a 1.25 FAR. He stated that Industrial A-1 district which the most low, industry district did allow for certain. He stated that the housing demands and the transformation of the street led to the introduction of housing. He noted that those favoring housing at this location did not express this sentiment with the previous special permit application for the property located at 75 New Street for a residential project. He noted that a balance of uses on the street might serve the neighborhood. He explained that Mr. Bachrach and his colleagues had their initial outreach with the members of the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance. There were at least three meetings during which the self-storage use and rezoning for a larger building was discussed in this location in exchange for a series of community benefits. He spoke about the importance of connectivity and the Envision Cambridge work.
He noted that there were multiple meetings with the staff of Community Development with the intention of understanding whether there was a feeling that this use would conflict with what was anticipated in the Envision process. He stated that the conclusion was that the petitioners should address how Envision looked at this site. He stated that along the edge of this lot there a connection to Danehy Park. This proposal would provide access. He spoke about the other public benefits, such as activating the front of the building with a community room. He spoke about other SSG sites that have a community room. He stated that the petitioners were moved more with the notion of amenities that would be supportive of the recreational activities at Danehy Park, such as storage for sports equipment.
He stated that a set of criteria was developed for the Planning Board to assess an application for the special permit. He spoke about the four public benefits. This building would be a net zero building. He spoke about providing affordable storage for families in transition. The proposed owners will make this work. Attorney Rafferty stated that the self-storage use is unique in terms of its impacts. He stated that the size of the building has low parking requirements and limited employees. He stated that the proposed plan has a 10-12 parking space layout. The language to create the new use category treats this as other uses in the ordinance as the proponent would propose a parking supply plan, evaluated by the Planning Board with input from Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and quantity would be established. The proposal addresses that parking would be established through the special permit process. He spoke about trip and traffic generation data for the storage facility.
He stated that design consideration should be paramount for the Planning Board and the established Urban Design Guidelines. He stated that there are images of what the building would look like and is well within the proposed FAR of the building. He noted that the depth of the building requires additional GFA, but the setbacks and height conform to current zoning. He stated that if the special permit were allowed the building could be longer and deeper. He stated that they were asked to use murals.
He noted that the difference between the l.25 and 3.0 FAR shows that two-thirds of the building would not be there. He asked what the value of the balance of the lot is. He commented that the petition requests policy makers to consider the fact that a building at this location with community benefits and sustainable features may be a good use of this site given its depth and its surroundings. He noted that it does abut Danehy Park on one side, but the zoning would allow for a range of uses. He stated that another allowed use at 2.5 would be a housing building that would require having parking. The petition is simple. He spoke about the demand for self-storage. He spoke about the extent of the outreach on this petition. He stated that there has been significant engagement with the property owners.
George Bachrach, a partner of SSG Development, stated that this is not the perfect project. He gave an overview of his company - it is a locally owned business that has operated for 12 years. He listed all the communities that his company has done business with. He stated that because he builds on high visibility areas the building needs to be good looking. He stated that he has cleaned up contaminated sites. He is trying to build a gold LEED net zero building in the City. He stated that within one year after being built it will be full because it will be a local neighborhood closet. He noted that 600 square feet will be used to house athletic equipment, low-income families in transition, elders or college students returning to home to store their stuff. He stated that there are small businesses that are running out of space and cannot afford to pay to offload their wares. He stated that he has tried very hard to listen to the community. He met with the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance and he heard traffic, flooding and climate as the concerns. He stated that he could build as of right a smaller storage facility without amenities, but this is a tradeoff to building a larger facility with amenities.
He stated that SSG has no relationship with Evolve. They are a tenant in a building that is being sold. Mrs. Pizzuto wants to sell this building. This tenant has been in this building without the rent being raised for several years. He stated that he is willing to work with Evolve, both financially or in other ways. He stated that on Jan 1, 2019 Evolve will be in the street because their lease is up. He stated that he wants to be problem solver. He stated that if this is kept in committee SSG will work to resolve the issue with Evolve. Attorney Rafferty stated that this concludes the presentation.
Councillor Carlone asked if there are any clarifying questions.
Councillor Zondervan asked about the need to create a new use for self-storage facility. Attorney Rafferty stated that currently the Table of Uses does not distinguish between the types of storage warehouses. He stated that self-storage today is treated by the zoning ordinance is in a category of use described as storage warehouse and storage warehouse is not an accurate description for self-storage use. He noted that the amendment is an attempt to create a distinct use called “self-storage use”. He stated that the storage warehouse is currently allowed. He stated that what is proposed is a larger size building and limit the opportunity for the larger building singularly to the self-storage not for the other type of storage warehouses that are covered in the ordinance. Mr. Bachrach said this is an attempt to modernize the ordinance in the definition of a warehouse and a storage facility. He further stated that this decreases parking and increases FAR; and FAR has a different meaning here.
Councillor Mallon asked about the outreach to the abutters especially those who are not in the overlay. Attorney Rafferty stated that there are two parcels in the overlay district. He noted that this had to do with the geometry of the parcels and the amount of street frontage. The adjoining parcel is owned by Jack Markarian, who operates High-tech Autobody. He went to visit Mr. Markarian and learned that he is in Greece. He stated that his son was objecting to this. He suggested that Attorney Rafferty call his father in Greece who informed Attorney Rafferty that his position is neutral, he is not in opposition but wants to understand the impact to his property. His son would attend this hearing and would listen and did not intend to speak. He stated that other property owners have been spoken to. Mr. Bachrach stated that the representation of the objections are not represented correctly. As far as impacting Danehy Park, he was sent by the Recreation Department to youth athletic organizations and users of the park and from this input the community use was switched from a community meeting room to a 600 square foot of storage to accommodate the athletic equipment.
Councillor Carlone said since the rezoning includes the adjacent site Mr. Markarian also could build a storage facility with the petition’s approval. Attorney Rafferty stated that he could apply for a special permit for a storage facility.
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that the property next door is a pie shaped parcel and the zoning proposal only includes parcels that have street frontage of 150 feet or less. She asked could this parcel in its current dimensions be used for self-storage under this proposal. Attorney Rafferty replied it would require a sub-division of the parcel to a reduced street frontage. Councillor Carlone added it was very possible. Vice Mayor Devereux asked why this parcel is included. Attorney Rafferty responded because it shares the same characteristic of the Pizzuto site regarding depth. He further stated that the lots on the other side of the street do not have the depth that is being discussed. This was to identify one side of the street because of the depth of the lots.
Councillor Carlone asked the City staff to come forward.
Mr. Mogassabi and Ms. Joseph appeared. Councillor Carlone stated that there is a memo from Community Development dated Aug 3, 2018. He asked staff to give an overview of the memo (ATTACHMENT B). Mr. Mogassabi stated that this petition will be before the Planning Board on August 21. He said the main issue with the petition is of land use. He stated that the Envision Cambridge is in process and the work will conclude at the end of the year. Along with the final report there will be recommendations addressing land use for Alewife area and the adjacent Alewife area. There will be recommendation for zoning concepts. He spoke about the urban form and the potential housing opportunities in the area.
Ms. Joseph, Associate Zoning Planner, said the items of concern appear at the end of the memo. The most critical issue is how this petition correlates to Envision for this particular area, the land use and urban design guidelines, resiliency and the environmental impacts. There may be a more conclusive report at the end of the Planning Board hearing.
Councillor Zondervan asked what some potential alternative would be uses that might be recommended by Envision Cambridge for this area. Mr. Mogassabi responded generally the mix of uses and the activation in the Alewife area and the issues of climate change and climate preparedness and affordable housing. This area is a moving target and until the conclusion of the Envision Cambridge process the detail and the land use will be considered. He noted that the appropriate land use needs to be identified then the zoning and urban form can be translated. The City is not ready to make a conclusive comment on the uses. Councillor Zondervan asked if this site is potentially useable for housing. Mr. Mogassabi would have to familiarize himself with the site. He stated that the site has strong amenities including green space. This is an area in transition. Councillor Zondervan asked if housing as a possibility would be excluded. Mr. Mogassabi stated that mixed use is being considered.
Councillor Kelley asked about the bike parking under section 6.107.3 in the Table of Use in the zoning ordinance. He spoke about open air storage and when you get down to long and short-term bicycle parking. What does N5 mean; does this mean five parking spaces. He stated that in the zoning petition it is being proposed as an A and that it be subject to the Planning Board. He wanted in whatever is passed that there is a requirement for short term bike parking. Ms. Joseph stated that this petition does not elaborate that Cambridge promotes bike usage. She stated that there are not enough accommodations for other modes of transportation other than a motor vehicle and are awaiting input from the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department.
Councillor Carlone opened the hearing for public comment at 4:54pm.
James Butler, 445 Concord Avenue, stated that he was a member of the Alewife Envision Working Group. He stated that the Envision process was meaningful - the community was engaged and wanted to see this process come forward and see what it enfolds. This overlay is spot zoning dumped in the middle of this. This is unfair and inappropriate. He works for Cambridge Self-Storage which provides the services suggested by the petitioners. He spoke about engaging the zoning process in a meaningful way, driven by the community and encouraged the City to stay with this process and vote no on this overlay.
Donald Adamian, Black Magic Stove Shop, received the property from his parents, has run his stove shop for forty-eight years. He stated that Attorney Rafferty informed him that he would get something in the mail about this proposal. He stated that Vice Mayor Devereux is opposed to this proposal. He stated that this is not the best use of the property. The street is a mess and the electric company told him that a power station will be built on this property. He stated that he was threatened if he did not support the proposal. He was told that he will be blocked to develop his property when he wanted to sell his property.
Roger O’Sullivan, 1105 Massachusetts Avenue, spoke about the development of Danehy Park and New Street. He spoke about losing Evolve which has become a community meeting area. He stated that he cannot support this development on New Street. He is glad that they are trying to work it out.
Stuart Lesser, 115 Lexington Avenue, stated that the present FAR is 1.25 and the request is to make it 3. In exchange for this what are the benefits to the City. He stated that the City is being asked to increase the FAR and in exchange for this what does it get. It is the largest net zero energy building in Cambridge is due to the increase in the FAR. This could be achieved with a smaller building built on this site if the FAR was left intact. He asked if there is affordable housing or a mixed use and noted that none of this are in the proposal. He spoke of the benefit of storage space for sports equipment. He stated that the City should be providing this. He commented that Danehy Park has an area where a small storage facility could be built; this has been done by the City in other locations. He stated that storage of low-income families who are losing their homes - there is nothing that states what this is. Storage space for the homeless to be determined. He asked what the benefit is. He does not see the need to move forward. There is a planning process in place and it is wrong to take an isolated piece of land and increase the zoning and worry about the future later.
Mahmoud Abu-Rabah, 170 Brookline Street, stated that his parents own a business at 9 Brookline Street. He is an active member of the Cambridge school community. He spoke about the benefits to the City. He lives in a home with a family of nine and his family operates Brookline Lunch. He left his belongings at school in DC when he returned home. He noted that he would use this storage space. He stated that he played sports and his coach put all the equipment in their car or home. He does not like the argument is it enough with what SSG is offering and is better than what is offered by private companies. He does not like the interference with the sale of property. He noted that he wanted to see this project move forward.
Ellen Lispen-Mendelsohn, 24 Bay State Road, stated that she has been blown over by the amount of change and the quality of the change all in keeping the scale of this once mixed-use neighborhood which makes it is special. She stated that she speaks for those who enjoy the neighborhood this is reversing the direction that the City has taken; but is starting off in a new direction on the wrong scale. If you start with a big building you will end up with a big building. She asked the developers, all these amenities, in terms of sustainability can be obtained in a small building in the existing FAR. She stated her opposition to this petition.
Christy Thera, Belmont Street, Belmont stated that it was surprising the small list of positives compared to the negatives on this proposal. She noted that many people go to Evolve Gym which is a positive space. This does not impact the traffic as it is through traffic. She spoke about interference in a contractual agreement.
Ruth Ryals, 115 Upland Road, stated that she is not a member of Evolve. She thought this would be a good place for affordable housing. She asked is the City going to build housing on every spot. She stated that self-storage is an alternative uses as are movie theatre. She wanted Evolve to survive and stay. She is in favor of this proposal.
Councillor Carlone closed public comment at 5:18pm.
Councillor Kelley stated that earlier this term he submitted a memo to the City Council on alternative types of storage for the homeless. If this moves forward discussing storage for individuals experiencing homelessness the City needs to look at storage for all individuals experiencing homeless and the storage that may be provided to help alleviate some of the challenges seen in parts of the City as people lug their belongings all over in shopping carts. He encouraged all to read the memo (ATTACHMENT C).
Mayor McGovern stated that self-storage is important to the overall fabric of the City; but this is not the location for it. He noted that MIT decided to eliminate Metropolitan Storage and when it closed there were seniors who stored things at this facility and they had to find affordable storage outside of Cambridge. He stated that he would prefer that this was a housing facility or development, but there is no guarantee that this will be housing. There can be a smaller storage facility at this site by right. He stated that given that the Planning Board has not had their hearing, the Evolve issue and the issue of a community benefit. He wanted to keep this in committee and there may be a way to increase the community benefits that would make people feel more comfortable with a self-storage facility. He stated that he would not vote in favor of this proposal today. Let see if we can come up with something better.
Councillor Zondervan stated that he has concerns. The sustainability initiatives and the storage appeal to him. The Evolve question is challenging but is encouraged that this is being worked on. He wanted lower density housing built on this site. He suggested building housing for the future that is net zero that is 100% affordable without car storage, but this will not happen. He noted that there is no way to get the type of use for this location that the City would like to see. He commented that there was a news story about a storage building in Boston that people were renting storage space and living in it because they could not afford housing. He is glad that the conversation will continue to make progress on how this space will be used.
Vice Mayor Devereux thanked those who spoke in public comment. She suggested the City staff contact Eversource to see what they are planning for their site. She stated that if the corner of Concord Avenue and New Street is going to be used for a new electric power building this is a consideration for Envision and the city planners and will affect the future of New Street and with the additional storage facility the plans for the transformation of New Street are ground to a halt.
Councillor Carlone spoke about land use and what is appropriate. He stated that with land use goes location. It includes what is appropriate for the street edge, park edge and this is the key for zoning and planning in the City. He stated that the City is considering a housing overlay to promote housing and this proposal could be viewed as a disincentive for housing. This is about two parcels, including the Markarian site.
Councillor Carlone stated that Vice Mayor Devereux submitted her comments (ATTACHMENT D).
He stated that a list of all the e-mails concerning the impact this proposal would have on Evolve that will become part of the report (ATTACHMENT E).
A communication was received from Don Giller urging the City Council to override this proposal as it is the antithesis of how Cambridge envisions the future of Fresh Pond (ATTACHMENT F).
A communication was received from Hurst Hannum, 9 Walden Mews, in opposition to the Pizzuto petition which offers no compelling argument for an exemption from the current zoning regulation (ATTACHMENT G).
A communication was received from Pamela R. Giller, Pemberton Street, noting that a large lifeless building makes no sense for the “new” New Street (ATTACHMENT H).
A communication was received from Laura Lynch, 105 Walden Street, urging the City Council to protect the prospect of the neighborhood that is growing along New Street (ATTACHMENT I).
A communication was received from Phil Terri’s, VP Project Planning, Acorn Holdings, LLC, One Gateway Center, Newton, MA transmitting opposition to the New Street zoning change (ATTACHMENT J).
A communication was received from James Butler, Director of Marketing, Cambridge Self Storage, 445 Concord Avenue, noting that this zoning proposal is a break from the Envision planning process and urging the City Council to vote against this proposal (ATTACHMENT K).
Councillor Carlone moved that this petition stay in committee awaiting the hearing by the Planning Board and the petitioners are considering a revision. He suggested meeting again September on the petition. On this motion the roll was called and resulted as follows:
YEAS: Councillor Carlone, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Toomey and Mayor McGovern – 8
NAYS: None – 0
ABSENT: Councillor Simmons – 1
and the motion - Carried
Councillor Carlone and Councillor Kelley thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 5:31pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair
Councillor Craig Kelley, Co-Chair
AWAITING REPORT LIST
16-26. Report on the possibility of the City Council implementing a zoning change, on the permitting of all new restaurants where a wood-fired oven is used as a significant method of food preparation. On a communication from Councillor Kelley requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Councillor Carlone, Councillor Devereux, Councillor Kelley (O-5) from 4/4/2016
16-42. Report on plans for the former Riverside Community Health Center on Western Avenue, including transfer of ownership of the building to the City and the process for determining future usage. On a communication from Councillor Kelley requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Vice Mayor McGovern (O-1) from 5/2/2016
16-83. Report on drafting possible legislation and other recommendations for interim actions to identify and address the public health impacts of any commercial wood-fired ovens. On a communication from Councillor Kelley requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Mayor Simmons (Calendar Item #4) from 10/31/2016
16-101. Report on the potential of building below market rental housing on City-owned parking lots along Bishop Allen Drive. On a communication from Councillor McGovern requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Vice Mayor McGovern, Mayor Simmons (O-4) from 12/12/2016
16-108. Report on whether people displaced and qualify for Emergency Status who are using Section 8 in other cities or towns can retain their resident preference for the purpose of Inclusionary Housing. On a communication from Councillor Kelley requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey (O-4) from 12/19/2016
17-22. Report on the potential growth of next-generation wireless technology in the City, to include: the expected footprint of citywide coverage from just one company and what market competition might produce; the integration of public and private infrastructure to support the network; what local standards the City might hope to maintain relative to aesthetics and safety; and how this new technology fits into our Broadband access plans. On a communication from Councillor Kelley requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Devereux, Councillor Kelley (O-14) from 2/27/2017
17-60. Report on the feasibility of making the section of Kinnaird Street between River Street and Western Avenue into a one-way. REFERRED BACK TO THE CITY MANAGER TO ARRANGE COMMUNITY MEETING ON MOTION OF VICE MAYOR MCGOVERN ON NOV 13, 2017 . On a communication from Councillor McGovern requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Vice Mayor McGovern, Mayor Simmons (O-4) from 8/7/2017
17-87. Report on a schedule for resubmitting a revised draft of the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance that incorporates clearer wording and/or more clearly explains each section in less technical jargon and is more coherent in its entirety, with the goal of seeing such an Ordinance adopted by the end of this City Council term. On a communication from Councillor Kelley and Councillor Devereux requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Councillor Carlone, Councillor Devereux (O-8) from 9/18/2017
18-4. Report on exploring mechanisms for achieving greater levels of snow clearing by the city and increase the public response during major snow events or heavy snow winters.
Councillor Zondervan, Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux (O-5) from 1/22/2018
18-6. Report on information regarding electronic device usage by City-elected officials.
Councillor Toomey (O-7) from 1/22/2018
18-7. Report on the possibility of changing the snow removal exemption to include two and three-family houses.
Councillor Toomey (O-1) from 1/29/2018
18-9. Report on necessary repairs to the Gold Star Mothers Park and all play and water feature, including drainage issues, with an eye towards mitigating the impacts of local construction and the development of a plan with the community for improving this significant piece of open space.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Toomey (O-3) from 1/29/2018
18-10. Report on creating a list of mitigated meeting and conference room private spaces that are available to the public, what the exact eligibility of using these spaces is, and making the list available to the public.
Councillor Toomey (O-5) from 1/29/2018
18-11. Report on the potential of utilizing trenchless technology, micro tunneling and/or pipe jacking to lessen the time and impact on the residents of Gore Street.
Councillor Toomey, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Mallon (O-6) from 1/29/2018
18-12. Report on maximizing the community benefits from and mitigating the impacts of the Cambridge Crossing sewer construction.
Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Toomey (O-8) from 1/29/2018
18-15. Report on any other relevant City Department to gain a sense of who is purchasing buildings in Cambridge.
Councillor Simmons (O-3) from 2/5/2018
18-21. Report on the feasibility of initiating a formal transit study and action plan of the Alewife area in response to unanimous concerns of the Envision Alewife Working Group.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Siddiqui (O-7) from 2/26/2018
18-27. Report on why there continues to be significant audio and video difficulties during live internet broadcasts of City Council meetings.
Councillor Simmons (Calendar Item #1) from 3/5/2018
18-29. Report on the possibility of re-evaluating the fees associated with community block parties, specifically entertainment fees for unpaid, local musicians.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Siddiqui (O-1) from 3/5/2018
18-30. Report on the possibility of Cambridge joining this national suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon (O-3) from 3/5/2018
18-37. Report on the possibility of accepting the City of Boston's invitation to join their intergenerational housing pilot program.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Toomey (O-1) from 3/26/2018
18-38. Report on inventory of all City-owned vacant buildings and lots and the City's plans for them, if any.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Simmons, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui (O-2) from 3/26/2018
18-40. Report on notifying the owners of the former Harvard Square Theater to provide a firm schedule for when they will submit their application to the Cambridge Historical Commission and a projected timeline for the rest of the process.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-8) from 4/2/2018
18-44. Report on ensuring an additional commitment of $20 million from the City’s budget is devoted over the next five years toward the City’s efforts to preserve and create affordable housing units.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui (O-6) from 4/23/2018
18-53. Report on an updated schedule for resubmitting a revised draft of the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance that incorporates suggestions from the Light Cambridge Committee by June 11, 2018.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-1) from 5/14/2018
18-54. Report on prioritizing the revitalization of the Gannett-Warren Pals Park and to take action on the suggestions brought forward by the neighbors. See Mgr #16
Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Toomey (O-2) from 5/14/2018
18-58. Report on the Housing Committee and how the City could establish a method of eviction data collection.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui (O-5) from 5/21/2018
18-60. Report on a small business parking pilot that would allow temporary on-street employee parking during typical daytime operating hours.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Simmons (Calendar Item #1) from 5/14/2018
18-61. Report on commissioning a public art piece, statue, or memorial that would commemorate the dedication of women in Cambridge to passing the Nineteenth Amendment.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Simmons, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui (O-5) from 6/4/2018
18-62. Report on acquiring Big Belly Solar trash cans to replace the current open top trash receptacles, with an emphasis on the business districts.
Mayor McGovern, Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-1) from 6/18/2018
18-64. Report on establishing an aggressive new strategy to reduce the violence in the Port and Wellington-Harrington neighborhoods. See Mgr #12
Councillor Simmons, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Zondervan (O-4) from 6/18/2018
18-65. Report on working with the Mayor’s Summer Youth Program and other appropriate City departments to organize a Town Hall Meeting for Cambridge youth.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern (O-5) from 6/18/2018
18-66. Report on establishing a Young Adult Civic Unity Committee to be modeled after the Citizen Civic Unity Committee and to recruit applicants from all across the community and across all socio-economic backgrounds.
Councillor Simmons (O-7) from 6/18/2018
18-67. Report on allocating additional supplemental funds in the FY19 Budget and a line item allocated in the FY20 Budget for legal aid contracts so that more legal assistance is available to residents facing displacement and other housing-related emergencies.
Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Carlone, Mayor McGovern (O-10) from 6/18/2018
18-68. Report on determining the permitting and legality issues of Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing in the City of Cambridge.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Zondervan (O-11) from 6/18/2018
18-69. Report on identifying additional opportunities to plant trees in public spaces throughout the city, particularly in underserved areas of the city, and present a timeline in which this will happen including any necessary fiscal appropriations, as a part of the broader effort to rebuild our declining tree canopy.
Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Simmons (O-12) from 6/18/2018
18-70. Report whenever a city owned public tree (not considered a “street tree” under 87.3) must be removed for reason other than disease or threat to public safety, and that a public hearing be scheduled prior to its removal.
Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Kelley (O-13) from 6/18/2018
18-73. Report on establishing and implementing a dynamic new initiative that will seek to place Port residents (ages 18 and over) on paths to jobs with family-sustaining wages.
Councillor Simmons (O-6) from 6/25/2018
18-74. Report on ensuring water features in all City-owned tot-lot parks are in proper working condition. See Mgr #15
Councillor Toomey (O-8) from 6/25/2018
18-76. Report on including a Job Linkage fee to the list of topics being evaluated in the upcoming Incentive Zoning Nexus Study.
Councillor Siddiqui, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Simmons (O-11) from 6/25/2018
18-78. Report on meeting with representatives from DCR, Friends of Magazine Beach, the cycling community, and all other stakeholders to develop a design and funding plan to ensure that the essential safety upgrades to the Paul Dudley White Community Path are completed to complement the ongoing Magazine Beach renovations.
Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux (O-13) from 6/25/2018
18-79. Report on the Grand Junction Overlay District and provide update in September.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-2) from 7/30/2018
18-80. Report on the Sherman Street train crossing and related train traffic with the goal of implementing whatever street and intersection changes are necessary to get this area re-designated a “quiet zone.”
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Toomey (O-3) from 7/30/2018
18-81. Report on efforts to be made to ensure that at least one public building at an accessible location can be open on a Sunday or holiday that coincides with an extreme heat event.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui (O-4) from 7/30/2018
18-82. Report on discussions with Lesley University or the Episcopal Divinity School about purchasing the property for affordable housing development and the results of any such discussion. See Mgr #7
Councillor Toomey (O-8) from 7/30/2018
18-83. Report on an action plan to work with the City’s Community-Based Organizations to create a network of summertime evening programming to reduce the threat of violence in the City’s public spaces in 2019 and beyond.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Toomey, Councillor Mallon (O-9) from 7/30/2018
18-84. Report on requesting information from the Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission on answers to additional outstanding housing-related questions. See Mgr #29
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon (O-10) from 7/30/2018
18-85. Report on the feasibility of appointing an advisory committee to work through resiliency elements raised during the Envision process and through the Brown petition.
Councillor Toomey (O-13) from 7/30/2018
18-86. Report on the feasibility of adopting a policy of replacing any failed 4000K LED streetlights with warmer alternatives as opportunities arise, and offering shielding/filtering upon request from nearby residents whenever possible.
Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux (O-14) from 7/30/2018
18-87. Report on the navigational editing capabilities of the City of Cambridge.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux (O-16) from 7/30/2018
18-88. Report on contracting with an outside survey company to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of inclusionary tenants' experiences, with a particular emphasis on biased practices.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Simmons, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui (O-17) from 7/30/2018