Cambridge InsideOut - May 14, 2019
1) Preview – May 13, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting
2) News Around Town
3) More Monday Madness - May 6, 2019 Cambridge City Council Curiosities
4) Modifying the Municipal Ballot Design
5) A few more words on the "Overlay" proposal - now officially a zoning petition
6) Amateur Hour - Items of interest at the April 29, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting
7) On the horizon – rent control proposed at State House (H.1316) and HD.1100
8) Living on a Budget (A Big Budget) - April 22, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting
9) Candidate Updates - 2019 municipal election
Which potential 2019 City Council election campaign accounts have been active?
10) Books on Cambridge history
11) The Paper of Record - Selections from the Cambridge Chronicle
12) Civic Calendar
It’s May in an odd year and political engines are warming up across Cambridge. But you won’t hear any noise coming from my campaign bike because I will not be joining the race this year.
My decision not to seek re-election for a third term on the City Council is personal, not political. I am very proud of my policy work and my record, and of the positive contributions I've made to civic engagement and civil discourse.
But I have found it difficult, if not impossible, to strike a healthy, sustainable work-life balance, and I need to step back and reclaim time and space for my family, my friends and myself. I appreciate all the kind words, support, expertise and mentoring people have offered me over the course of my political journey, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow through public service.
There are still seven months left in this term, and I look forward to continuing to serve as Vice Mayor without also having to juggle campaigning. There’s still plenty left on the Council’s docket and more is sure to be added between now and the end of the year.
Here are a few items that might be of interest (or not):
Manager's Agenda #4. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-139, regarding the possibility of planting a tree at the corner of Inman Street and Massachusetts Avenue, directly in front of City Hall.
This responds to a City Council Order that sought to "make a statement" by planting a prominent tree in front of City Hall. There are, of course, other statements that might go along with that gesture. As the response notes: "the area on the east lawn in front of City Hall has become an increasingly popular with families and neighbors who enjoy the afternoon and evening sun. Finally, there are concerns that the planting of an additional tree in front of a landmark building would obscure the view of City Hall and detract from the restoration of the landscaping that occurred during the 2000s."
Active use is a statement. Historic preservation and restoration are also statements. I would say that our esteemed Public Works Commissioner has offered a rather perfect remedy to plant one tree at the corner and three along the Inman Street side of City Hall - an otherwise forgetable patch of lawn that could use some dressing up. I'm sure former Councillor Born (who spearheaded the restoration of the area in front of City Hall two decades ago) will approve.
Communications #1. Written Protest to the zoning petition filed by Stephen R. Karp, Trustee of Cambridgeside Galleria Associates Trust (c/o New England Development), to amend the Zoning Ordinance by adding a Section 13.100 that creates a new PUD-8 District and to amend the Zoning Map by adding the new PUD-8 District, which District would include the property located at 100 Cambridgeside Place (currently zoned in the Business A and PUD-4 Districts).
This degree of protest may well cause this petition to require 7 of 9 votes to pass - a steep hill to climb. Perhaps if the petition were amended to replace the Cambridgeside Galleria with 100% subsidized housing it would sail through. Perhaps a local socialist State Representative would even get on board since it would involve smashing capitalism. I expect we may simply see some alteration of the proposed development, e.g. some height reductions.
Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Community Development Department, Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and Department of Public Works to determine what facilities, parking changes, and other improvements to the pavement conditions would be necessary and feasible to make Massachusetts Avenue a quick-build Complete Street between Sidney Street and Putnam Avenue. Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Carlone
Do elected officials even bother any more to confer with the various stakeholders, e.g. business owners, transit agencies and their passengers, delivery vehicles? Or does it all come down to sucking up to social media savvy interest groups in a municipal election year? At the very least I would have expected the City Council Order to look more holistically at the parallel streets as part of any plan for better accommodating all vehicles passing through this part of Cambridge.
Order #3. City Council support of special commission to recommend changes to the seal and motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Carlone
I'll repeat what I wrote 3 years ago when this last came up: Here's what Wikipedia has to say on the subject: 'The seal was adopted by the Provincial Congress on Dec 13, 1780. The shield depicts an Algonquian Native American with bow and arrow; the arrow is pointed downward, signifying peace. A white star with five points appears next to the figure's head. A blue ribbon (blue, signifying the Blue Hills of Quincy, Canton and Milton) surrounds the shield, bearing the state motto "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" This comes from the Book of Mottoes in the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, Denmark; written about 1659 by Algernon Sydney, English soldier and politician. It was adopted in 1775 by the Provincial Congress and the literal translation is, "With a sword, she seeks quiet peace under liberty." Although the looser English translation more commonly used is, "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty." Above the shield is the state military crest: a bent arm holding a broadsword aloft. The sword has its blade up, to remind that it was through the American Revolution that independence was won."
Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to work with relevant departments to explore establishing a partnership between the City of Cambridge and the MBTA to offer CharlieCards at certain public buildings throughout the city. Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Siddiqui
Better yet - consult with the MBTA to have ATM-like CharlieCard charging stations in stores everywhere so that people can put money on their cards before they board a bus or enter a T station. The availability of cards is the easy part.
Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to direct the Department of Public Works to work with the Recycling Advisory Committee and other stakeholders to draft an ordinance banning single-use plastic items in Cambridge. Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui
One bit of advice — this time consider heeding the advice of the Advisory Committee and don't make changes on the fly at a committee hearing. Even better, spend some time learning about the recycling industry - from recovery of materials through the end markets. Recycling is as much about practicality as it is about idealism, and getting out too far ahead of the curve can often be counterproductive.
Order #7. That the City Manager is requested to direct the Electrical Department, Department of Public Works, Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and the Community Development Department to explore a pilot for Level 1 (110V) EV and Micromobility charging stations on street light poles throughout the city. Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui
I'm sure maintenance won't be an issue nor will vandalism. Yeah, right.
Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Chair of the Government Operations, Rules & Claims Committee, for a public hearing held on Apr 10, 2019 to discuss the possibility of pursuing a home rule petition to lower the voting age in City elections to 16 years old.
Trade in those diapers for ballots! Seriously, even though age thresholds are pretty arbitrary I have not yet heard a convincing argument in favor of this change. As one person at this hearing pointed out - if a 16-year old can vote can he/she also run as a candidate? Would he/she need parental permission to be a candidate? In any case, the age for voting eligibility should be the same throughout the Commonwealth, so if anyone is so hot about this issue they should talk directly to the State Legislature. - Robert Winters
Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) advisory board.
Made up of 11 members who serve three-year terms in a volunteer capacity, the CCPD board meets on the second Thursday of every month at 5:30pm. CCPD seeks to build a membership that reflects the cultural and racial diversity of the city, is cross-disability in nature and representative of the different geographical areas of the community. Members must be current residents of Cambridge.
CCPD works dynamically to maximize access to all aspects of Cambridge community life for individuals with disabilities, and strives to raise awareness of disability matters, to eliminate discrimination, and to promote equal opportunity for people with all types of disabilities – physical, mental and sensory. CCPD members are expected to work with other members and CCPD staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the CCPD Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.96). CCPD members are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in subcommittees, and work on various short and/or long-term projects, as needed.
For more information, contact Kate Thurman, Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities at email@example.com or 617-349-4692 (voice) or 617-492-0235 (TTY).
Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and résumé or summary of relevant experience and the kinds of disability-related issues or projects that interest them can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. For assistance with filling out applications, contact the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-349-4692 (voice) or 617-492-0235 (TTY). The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, May 31, 2019.
The City of Cambridge is seeking volunteers to serve on the Participatory Budgeting Outreach Committee for the upcoming 2019 Participatory Budgeting cycle. Volunteers will help ensure that the next Participatory Budgeting process, which will run from June – December 2019, engages as many community members as possible.
This year, $1 million will be set aside to fund the winning projects. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of the City’s capital budget.
Outreach Committee members will serve from May-December 2019 and will assist with:
Cambridge residents interested in serving on the PB Cambridge Outreach Committee can apply online at pb.cambridgema.gov or by contacting Matt Nelson in the Budget Office at email@example.com or 617-349-4270. The deadline to apply is May 17, 2019.
City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the city’s Bicycle, Pedestrian or Transit Advisory Committees. Members are expected to attend monthly meetings as well as review materials and engage in projects outside of regular meetings. Below is more information on each of these committees.
The Bicycle Committee works to improve conditions for bicyclists in the City of Cambridge and promote bicycling as a means of transportation. Activities include: organizing and participating in public events such as biannual community bike rides; reviewing plans for street construction; commenting on proposed development projects; creating promotional materials to encourage bicycling in the city; and working with city departments on network planning. Committee members must be prepared to work on projects outside of standing meeting times. This committee generally meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:30pm at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Cambridge. For more information about the Cambridge Bicycle Program, visit: CambridgeMA.Gov/bikes. For questions about the committee, contact Cara Seiderman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-349-4629.
The Pedestrian Committee works to promote walking and to help create a more comfortable, safe, and pleasant environment for walking in Cambridge. It advises on the design of roadway projects and policies related to traffic calming, traffic signals, and sidewalk design. It also identifies intersections and other locations where it is difficult to walk, makes suggestions about proposed development projects as they affect people on foot, and undertakes other activities to promote walking. Committee members must be prepared to work on projects outside of standing meeting times. This committee generally meets on the fourth Thursday of each month from 6-8pm at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Cambridge. (Note: November and December meetings are on the third Thursday.) For more information about walking resources in Cambridge, visit: CambridgeMA.Gov/citysmart. For questions about the committee, contact Cara Seiderman, email@example.com or 617-349-4629.
Transit Advisory Committee
The Transit Advisory Committee advances an agenda for a robust public transit system for all who live, work, and visit Cambridge, including the transit services provided by the MBTA and EZRide, among others. The committee membership represents a cross-section of stakeholders, including: businesses and large institutions; commuters; persons with disabilities; neighborhood residents with low income; elderly, youth, and students; and transit advocates. The committee advises on city positions and policies on transit service planning, scheduling, infrastructure modernization, expansion and long-term sustainable funding for transit by the Commonwealth. This committee generally meets on the first Wednesday evening of each month from 5:30-7:30pm. For more information, contact Tegin Teich, firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-349-4615. Visit the committee’s webpage at: CambridgeMa.Gov/transitadvisorycommittee.
Applications are sought for a diverse group of dedicated individuals who are representatives of people who live and/or work in Cambridge. Members are expected to attend monthly meetings, review materials, and engage in projects outside of regular meetings. Appointments are made by the City Manager and are for two years of service. Applications to serve on any of these committees can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply and selecting the respective committee(s) of interest. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications for above referenced boards is May 17, 2019.
The City of Cambridge has partnered with UTEC, a nonprofit organization serving proven-risk young adults, to provide free weekly curbside mattress and box spring recycling services. Approximately 100 tons of mattresses are trashed in Cambridge each year, taking up a massive amount of space in landfills compared to other waste. This initiative will support the city’s goals of reducing waste and is launched in accordance to guidelines from the City’s Zero Waste Master Plan.
“This program will build upon our current waste diversion programs,” said Commissioner Owen O’Riordan, Department of Public Works. “By scheduling a pickup, you can divert mattresses from clogging landfills, while helping an outstanding social enterprise. UTEC will pick up, deconstruct, and recycle mattresses. The textiles and foam will be recycled into new carpeting or padding. The steel will be melted and recycled into a new steel product.”
The Mattress Recycling Program is partially funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. This is a free service to Cambridge residents, but advanced scheduling is required. For more information, visit CambridgeMA.gov/Mattress. To schedule a pick up, visit https://utec-mattress.org/schedule/.
Note: Mattress Recycling is one of three social enterprises that offer paid work experience as part of UTEC’s intensive programming for young adults. UTEC is dedicated to helping young adults ages 17-25 overcome the very real challenges of poverty, gang involvement, unemployment, and cultural barriers that are pervasive in our communities. When these young adults succeed, the community sees the greatest positive impact on public safety, public health and economic development. To learn more about UTEC’s mission and its social enterprises, visit www.UTECinc.org.
Capture the rainwater from your roof and store it in a rain barrel for later use in your garden. If rainwater is not captured and allowed to soak back into the ground, rivers and streams do not have the chance to sustain or "recharge" themselves. By capturing rainwater, you are reducing stormwater runoff, conserving water and recharging the groundwater.
A 60-gallon rainwater collection system is available to Cambridge residents for $69. This offer is valid until midnight on May 15, 2019. To provide the lowest cost, the company is arranging for a general delivery of the rain barrels on Wednesday, May 22, from 4-7pm, to Cambridge Public Works, 147 Hampshire St.
For more information, to order online and to check out the design and variety of color options, visit The Great American Rain Barrel Company website, www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com select “Massachusetts” and “Cambridge” under Shop Community Programs. You can also order by phone 1-800-251-2352 and specify the City of Cambridge promotion.
Phase II-1 Will Be Starting Soon
Bids are in and in the next weeks DCR will sign a contract to improve the shoreline and Powder Magazine surround. The goal of this work is to replace invasive plants with native ones; to add trees, seating and a dry shoreline path; and to expand the patio and terrace, making it a better site for its future community tenant. $55,000 of community contributions will go towards these improvements, along with many City and State dollars. Thank you, all!
DCR Begins Planning for Memorial Drive Greenway Improvements—Phase III
April 11, DCR held a Listening Session for parkland improvements from the BU Boathouse (east of the rotary) to the Eliot Bridge. We are thrilled that DCR will be replacing broken paths and planting new trees, in this way realizing ideas from their 2002 Charles River Master Plan. But first, they want to hear our priorities. Please share your thoughts by Thursday, May 9 here or mail them to: DCR Office of Public Outreach, 251 Causeway Street, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02114. For more about the project and Thursday's program program, click here.
AECOM is overseeing this design process for DCR. They are currently gathering information on existing conditions and their next public meeting will be in late June. They hope to have bid documents out by June of 2020 and to complete construction by 2022, before work starts on I-90.
Thank You, Volunteers!
Many thanks to the CRLS’s Charles River Cleanup Project for gathering fallen branches and sticks into piles along the park’s paths and to DCR for whisking them away. With high winds, dead wood is falling, including two mature trees in the grove on Feb. 25. Many thanks also to Boston College High and Riverside Boat House for cutting down some of the shoreline’s willow hedges before the red-winged blackbirds nest there. And thanks, CRC, for loaning the tools. As part of Phase II-1, we’ll be opening up some river views.
Third Grade Charles River Curriculum Rolls Out at Park
In late April, start watching for schools groups at the park. They will be learning by observing about the river habitat—the plants and animals that live there—and they will be collecting data about river herring needs at different stages in their life cycles. The herring will be appearing soon, too.
UMass Amherst Landscape Architecture Students Design Magazine Beach
Three UMass students are focusing on the park this spring as their senior capstone project. April 29, they’ll present their designs. We’re eager to see the fruits of their studies!
*ArtBoat Paintings on Exhibit at MIT, Opening: Monday, April 22nd, 4:30-6:30 pm (at the Wiesner Gallery, MIT student center, 2nd floor) Through May 23. Last July Laura Perovich of the Media Lab brought ArtBoat to Magazine Beach. Now she’s bringing to the public images from this event and others from Chelsea and Herter Park in Participatory Self-Portrait. This is collaborative exhibit investigates art, environment, and community in our past and present. Come shape and be shaped by this interactive installation.
*Earth Day Cleanup April 27, 9am-12noon, rain or shine To sign up, contact Sasha at email@example.com. It’s great to be working outside!
*Run of the Charles Relay at Magazine Beach Sunday, April 28, 11am-3pm The CRWA needs volunteers on and off the water. For further info, click here. Contact Meg Rivett at 508.698.6810 X10 to sign up or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Magazine Beach Summer Events 2019 Kick-Off Friday, June 21 and the Veterans Memorial Pool Opens Saturday, June 22. Summer is just ahead! More about our programs here in the next month.
Magazine Beach Updates is brought to you by the Magazine Beach Partners, a 501c3. We work with the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to make Magazine Beach a more welcoming and vibrant park, connecting its community and stewarding its natural grounds. We advocate for the park; we raise money for park improvements; and we organize events and cleanups with partners the Charles River Watershed Association, Charles River Conservancy, the Riverside Boat Club, and so many others! It won’t happen without you, so please join in our efforts and like us on Facebook, too.
City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Outstanding City Employee Award. The annual award recognizes a select number of employees for superior performance, positive attitude, hard work and dedication to public service. The recipients will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, May 10, at 9:00am, in the Sullivan Chamber of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. All are welcome to attend.
During the ceremony, the City Manager will also present the Brian Murphy Award to a City employee who is committed to making government improve the lives of others. [Note: Deputy City Manager Lisa Peterson was chosen to receive the Brian Murphy Award.]
Congratulations to our 2019 Outstanding City Employees:
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) Committee will hold an organizing meeting Thursday, May 16, from 6-7:30pm, in the Ackermann Room of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.
The purpose of this working committee meeting will be to discuss CPA financials, anticipated 2020 funding resources, and refinement of the proposed schedule.
Upcoming Community Preservation Act Committee meetings include a public hearing on project recommendations June 20, a public meeting on CPA Allocation recommendations on July 31, and a decision-making meeting on Sept 17.
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was created by a state law (MGL Chapter 44B) to help cities and towns preserve the character of their community. In 2001, Cambridge residents voted to adopt the CPA which allowed a 3% surcharge on Property Tax bills to fund affordable housing, open space, and historic preservation projects. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides "matching" funds in addition to those raised locally by the surcharge. The percentage of the state "match" will vary from year to year, depending on the number of participating communities and fees paid at the Registry of Deeds. Each year, at least 10% of annual CPA revenues shall be spent or set aside for later spending on open space, historic preservation and community housing. The remaining percentage can be used towards any of the three funding categories.
For more information, visit CambridgeMA.gov/CPA.
More Monday Madness - May 6, 2019 Cambridge City Council Curiosities
The Nine will again convene to recite their ABCs. Here are a few things I thought looked marginally interesting:
Manager's Agenda #4. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-143, regarding requiring a Business Entity’s Beneficial Ownership and Residential Real Estate Beneficial Ownership Transactions be Disclosed in all Cambridge Real Estate Transactions.
I would certainly like to know who is gobbling up Cambridge real estate and apparently there may be a way to get some of this information. I am a bit curious about the questions posed by our esteemed City Solicitor, specifically: "would it apply to both for-profit and non-profit organizations; would it apply to trusts, or only to corporations; and if the corporation's beneficial owner is another corporation, would the disclosure of the name of that other corporation be sufficient?" My cynicism leads me to believe that no matter what disclosure requirement might be established there will always be a way to obscure things. That said, I am steadily becoming more distrustful of the City's possible intent in getting hold of this information. It is becoming clear that our ever-controlling City Council has preferences regarding which entities should own property in Cambridge.
Applications & Petitions #5. A petition was received from residents at Thomas Graves Landing opposing PUD-8 by New England Development requesting Special Permit to exceed the 85' height limit at CambridgeSide.
I honestly don't know how to feel about all this. The Cambridgeside Galeria could use a little re-envisioning (though perhaps a less loaded term would be preferable). First Street is a failure by any standard, and shopping centers all over are being reinvented as mixed-use developments. The Galeria owners apparently are seeking heights up to 185 feet. Is that necessary or desirable in order to reinvent the complex? Is anyone in the City administration looking at the Bigger Picture (and I don't mean height) that includes the Galeria complex, the not-too-distant Sullivan Courthouse development (assuming that doesn't become a Million Dollar Per Unit Affordable Housing Contradiction), the future redevelopment of the Lechmere site after the Green Line Extension relocates the station, and what is sure to be a very different-looking McGrath/O'Brien Highway? [By the way, did anyone ever talk about any of this during the "Envision" process?]
Applications & Petitions #6. A Zoning Petition has been received from the Self Storage Group, regarding a revised Zoning Petition seeking to create the New Street Overlay District. Based on the feedback received concerning their earlier petition.
This is the 2nd pass at this.
Order #1. City Council support of bills opposing Weymouth Compressor Station/Fracked Gas. Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone
I do have an opinion about this, but I'm afraid to say it publicly lest I have Mothers Out Front of my house holding signs.
Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Cambridge Police Department and other relevant City staff on how media collected by hand-held photo/video recording devices is used, stored, and shared. Councillor Kelley, Councillor Siddiqui
Perhaps we can reinvent the Fusion Center as a suburban mall for people who don't trust the government.
Order #7. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and the License Commission to establish a "play streets" permit. Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui
I actually like ideas like this. An easier solution would be to just post Do Not Enter signs at both ends of the street.
Order #8. Welcoming Community Ordinance. Councillor Carlone, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux
As near as I can tell, this is mainly a rebranding of "Sanctuary City" as "Welcoming City" just to confuse the President.
Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councilor E. Denise Simmons, Co-Chair and Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui Co-Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on Apr 25, 2019 at 6:00pm in the Sullivan Chamber to continue discussion on the Affordable Housing Overlay District and other related matters.
This travesty is apparently not yet filed as a zoning petition. The proposed Order contained in the committee report says: "ORDERED: That the Housing Committee requests that the Chairs of the Ordinance Committee schedule hearings to further review and discuss the attached draft of the proposed citywide Affordable Housing Overlay District as prepared by the Community Development Department." It will be rammed through soon enough as a zoning petition and the clock will then start ticking.
Will there actually be any substantive discussions or just continuous streams of virtue signaling and innuendo directed toward anyone who questions the "wisdom" of this proposal to have different zoning codes for different players? Will there be a sunset provision or will this stand as a permanent policy to transform private property to "social ownership" in the Peoples Republik of Cambridge? Will this relieve our neighboring cities and towns from the burden of zoning modifications to permit multifamily housing? Inquiring minds want to know. The jury is still out regarding the minds of our elected councillors. - Robert Winters
UPDATE: Councillor Simmons amended the Order contained in the Housing Committee report to formally send the Subsidized Housing Overlay to the Ordinance Committee and Planning Board as a zoning petition. Nobody objected. The clock is now ticking. The juggernaut continues.
The City Council also ordained the Accessory Dwelling Unit Zoning as amended on an 8-0-1 vote (McGovern ABSENT).
City of Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners
Modifying the Municipal Ballot Design for the City of Cambridge
The City of Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners would like to invite the public to a meeting on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at 5:30pm at the Election Commission, 51 Inman Street, 1st Floor to discuss modifying the design of the City Council and School Committee Municipal Election ballots. The Board requests that anyone who is unable to attend the meeting, please submit questions and comments at email@example.com.
In Cambridge Municipal Elections, voters rank the candidates in order of preference by marking numbered ovals next to the candidates’ names. With twenty-six (26) candidates for City Council in 2017, the highest number of candidates since Proportional Representation was computerized in 1997, it became evident that ballot modifications would be needed to address a further increase in the number of candidates and to improve the usability.
Instead of having the same number of ovals as candidates, the Election Commission is considering capping the number of ovals at fifteen (15). There would be no limit to how many candidates run for City Council or School Committee, but the ballot would only have fifteen ovals next to each name, even if there are more than fifteen candidates.
Most Cambridge voters will be able to continue voting the same way they always have. In the past five elections, the average voter ranked five candidates on their ballot. Over 95% of voters ranked fifteen or fewer candidates.
The modified ballot will not change the results of the election. Election data from the 2013, 2015 and 2017 Municipal Elections was tested, and it was determined that the results would have been the same if voters had been limited to fifteen choices.
The Election Commission anticipates that this change will make the ballot easier for the voter to read and mark, leading to fewer spoiled ballots.
Personally, this Overlay proposal obliterates over 35 years of what changes could be expected around where I live, and I don’t live in the upper crust part of town. The limiting factor has been the floor area ratio (FAR) – 1.0 for commercial and 0.75 for residential. I have always lived with the possibility that a higher building could appear next door, but that the footprint of the building would have to be smaller and additional setbacks would create a little breathing room between the buildings. That seemed like a reasonable expectation – one that I could easily live with.
During the time I have owned my triple-decker I negotiated with one neighbor so that a small extension would have a roof line that allowed light to continue to get to my first floor apartment. When the neighboring building changed hands and they wanted to add air conditioning units on the roof, I negotiated to ensure that they would be located far enough from my windows so that the added sound would be acceptable. These are the kinds of negotiations that happen when buildings are at or somewhat above the allowable density. Through it all I maintained very reasonable rents to all of my tenants since 1985.
If this Overlay proposal is approved, a new owner could build straight up to a height taller than my building with no setback whatsoever from the property line. Furthermore, the building could cover almost the entire lot yielding a density between 3 and 4 times what is allowed today. No sunlight whatsoever would get to my building. I would have no rights whatsoever to object.
Do I take this personally? Yes. If this were to happen I would likely look for another place to live after being here for over 40 years. So I’m looking now at the few potentially reasonable city councillors to step in and prevent this from happening. If adding to our already high percentage of subsidized housing units is your priority, you should really find a way to do this that doesn’t involve throwing me and others under the bus. – Robert Winters
Amateur Hour - Items of interest at the April 29, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting
The Nine will meet at the appointed hour on Monday to go through the usual ritualistic motions and possibly assist in the proliferation of cannabis retailers as they redefine Cambridge retail. Soon they'll take up the question of how to replace existing privately-owned residential housing with "social housing" where you have to apply to a City department to access the new dense-pack housing units. Honestly, I don't even know these councillors any more.
Here are some items that may get some attention (or not) - with minimal comment:
Manager's Agenda #8. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the transfer of $24,000 from the General Fund City Clerk Salary and Wages account to the General Fund City Clerk Other Ordinary Maintenance account to pay for costs associated with required legal advertising for legal notices, hearings and petitions through the end of the fiscal year.
A few years ago the Massachusetts Legislature considered a bill that would have replaced the requirement that legal notices be placed in "a paper of general circulation" with alternatives like web listings. I don't know whatever became of that proposal but I imagine it would have removed one of the more significant revenue streams for local newspapers.
Manager's Agenda #10. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Council Order No. O-10 of Apr 22, 2019 regarding questions related to the draft Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance posed in Communication and Reports from Other City Officers No. 2 of Apr 22, 2019. [Solicitor's Responses]
I hope the councillors pay attention to the advice of the City Solicitor - because watching them write regulations about things they don't understand is like watching kids play on the monkey bars in the school playground. Maybe they should draft an Affordable Cannabis Overlay next.
Charter Right #1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-127, regarding draft zoning for urban farming; Awaiting Report Item Number 19-23, regarding allowing lodging houses in Residential A1, A2 and B Zoning Districts; and Awaiting Report Item Number 19-28, regarding a timetable for updating retail and small business components of the zoning table of uses.
Unfinished Business #6. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the proposed Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance. [On or after Apr 22, 2019 the question comes on passage to be ordained]
Unfinished Business #7. 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 Mar 27, 2019 to discuss a zoning petition filed by Melissa and Christopher Grippo et al to amend the Zoning Ordinance by adding at the end of section 5.30.11 a sentence that reads: “notwithstanding the foregoing, in Industry B District, a hotel use (Section 4.31.2) shall be governed by the section number (4.0) for purposes of determining the maximum ratio of floor area to lot area. [On or after Apr 22, 2019 the question comes on passage to be ordained]
Order #2. City Council endorsement of Fossil Free Divest Harvard. Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Zondervan
Committee Report #1. 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 Apr 3, 2019 to discuss the zoning petition filed by Stephen R. Karp, Trustee of Cambridge Side Galleria Trust to add a new Section 13.100 to Article 13 and to amend the zoning map to add a new PUD-8 District Overlay.
Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Chair of the Transportation & Public Utilities Committee, for a public hearing held on Apr 3, 2019 to discuss Applications and Petitions # 4 of Mar 4, 2019, submitted by the Cambridge Taxi Drivers Owners Association on whether additional regulations on Transit Network Companies (TNC) could be implemented in Cambridge.
The medallion owners thought they had an exclusive cartel and they got burned by Transit Network Companies who exploit marginally competent drivers for fun and big profits. How's that disruption working for you?
Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councilor E. Denise Simmons, Co-Chair and Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui Co-Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on Mar 20, 2019 to discuss the Affordable Housing Overlay District.
Lotsa people talking and nobody listening - solving problems symbolically, not actually. This is what democracy looks like? - Robert Winters
Living on a Budget (A Big Budget) - April 22, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting
As the councillors play their fiddles and cannabis outlets poke up through the ground like spring crocuses, the Manager will deliver the FY2020 Budget on Monday. Two departmental budgets appear to have vanished - General Services and Weights & Measures. The full budget details won't be available until the actual meeting, but the summaries are available now.
Here are some agenda items that piqued my interest (grouped as appropriate). The agenda is pretty full on its own, so I'll keep my comments to a minimum:
Manager's Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the FY2020 submitted budget and appropriation orders.
The Bottom Line is that the total proposed FY2020 Budget is $665,550,940. That's up 6.9% over last year's FY2019 budget of $622,477,255. You may want to take a longer view at the multi-year comparisons.
Communications & Reports #1. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a memorandum regarding the School Department FY20 Budget. [At the Regular Meeting of Apr 2, 2019, the School Committee voted that the General Fund Budget of the Cambridge Public Schools be adopted in the sum of $201,770,255 for FY20.]
That's a 5.6% increase over last year's School Department budget.
Manager's Agenda #2 through 9: The Annual Big Loan Orders (appropriation and authorization to borrow) for:
#2 - $800,000 to provide funds for various Schools for repairs to entrance doors, upgrade of energy management software, replacement of analog phone system with the voice over internet protocol (VOIP), and the replacement of an emergency generator.
#3 - $22,000,000 to provide funds for the construction of improvements at the Fire Station Headquarters Building located at 491 Broadway.
#4 - $4,000,000 to provide funds for the reconstruction of various City streets and sidewalks.
#5 - $20,500,000 to provide funds for various water pollution abatement projects, including construction of sewer separation, storm water management and combined sewer overflow reduction elimination improvements within the Alewife area.
#6 - $4,000,000 to provide design and construction of Eliot Street between JFK St. and Brattle St. which is a continuation of the Harvard Square Kiosk and Plaza and Surface Enhancement project.
#7 - $10,000,000 to provide funds for the construction of improvements at City Hall.
#8 - $3,000,000 to provide funds for the Municipal Facilities Improvement Plan.
#9 - $10,000,000 to provide funds for the design and reconstruction of the Tobin School building.
In addition to the Operating Budget, the City also each year seeks authorization to borrow significant amounts for various capital projects (presumably at very favorable interest rates thanks to our multiple AAA bond ratings). This year's loan authorizations total $74,300,000.
Manager's Agenda #13. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following person as a member of the Grand Junction Multi-use Path Design Project Working Group: Joseph Aiello, Rebecca Bowie, Christopher Cassa, Carlone Lowenthal, Bill McAvinney, Sarabrent McCoy, Miguel Perez-Luna, Jose-Luis Rojas, Dalila Salcedo, Katrina Sousa, Florence Toussaint, Jason Alves, Nicholas Dard, Tom Evans, Amy Flax, Kathryn Lachelt Brown, Tony Lechuga, Brad Pillen, Michelle Lower, Diana Prideaux-Brune, Robert Ricchi and John Sanzone.
Manager's Agenda #16. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 19-9, requesting that the City determine what facilities, parking changes, and other improvements to the pavement conditions are possible to make Cambridge’s stretch of Webster Avenue a complete street.
Manager's Agenda #17. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to adopt the City Council Zoning Petition to amend Section 4.22 "Accessory Apartments," following further staff review and improvements to petition language.
Committee Report #2. 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 Apr 2, 2019 to continue discussion on a petition filed by the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge in section 4.22 to allow for a special permit for the alteration of a single, two-family or accessory structure in existence as of January 2019 to provide one accessory apartment, if appropriate conditions are met.
Manager's Agenda #18. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Numbers 18-144 regarding a report on eviction data, and 19-10, regarding a report sharing information to assist in analyzing displacement.
Communications & Reports #5. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez transmitting a memorandum from Councillor Siddiqui, transmitting the submission of the Mayor's Blue-Ribbon Task Force on Tenant Displacement Mar 19, 2019 meeting minutes.
Manager's Agenda #19. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-127, regarding draft zoning for urban farming; Awaiting Report Item Number 19-23, regarding allowing lodging houses in Residential A1, A2 and B Zoning Districts; and Awaiting Report Item Number 19-28, regarding a timetable for updating retail and small business components of the zoning table of uses.
Manager's Agenda #20. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-37, regarding the possibility of expanding the City of Boston's intergenerational housing pilot to Cambridge.
Manager's Agenda #21. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Central Square Business Improvement District (BID).
Applications & Petitions #2. A petition was filed by Kenneth S. Barron, 614 Massachusetts Avenue, et al property owners, pursuant to MGL Chapter 400, petitioning that a Business Improvement District (BID) be established for the Central Square Business Improvement District.
Communications & Reports #4. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a communication from the Assessors Department, transmitting certification regarding the petition from Kenneth S. Barron, 614 Massachusetts Avenue, et al property owners, pursuant to MGL Chapter 40O, petitioning that a Business Improvement District (BID) be established for the Central Square Business Improvement District.
This has been discussed for over two decades and it has finally arrived. I should really buy someone a beer (or better yet they should buy me a beer). Special gratitude goes out to Michael Monestime, Executive Director of the Central Square Business Association for bringing this from theory to reality. Additional gratitude goes out to all the Central Square property owners for believing that the future can be better with a little cooperation and vision.
Charter Right #1. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a memorandum regarding the update on the search process to hire a new City Clerk to replace Donna Lopez when she retires.
Order #9. Appointment of Paula Crane as Interim City Clerk in the event that a City Clerk has not been named in time to begin service on June 1, 2019. Vice Mayor Devereux
Unfinished Business #5. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the proposed Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance. [ON OR AFTER APR 22, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON PASSAGE TO BE ORDAINED] [Attachment A][Attachment B]
Committee Report #3. 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 Apr 11, 2019 to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code to add a new Chapter 5.50 entitled “Cannabis Business Permitting”.
Communications & Reports #2. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a communication from Councillor Kelley, transmitting a memorandum regarding Cannabis Business Ordinance Follow Up Inquiry.
Communications & Reports #6. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a communication from Councillor Zondervan, transmitting a memorandum regarding proposed amendments to the Cannabis Business Ordinance.
Perhaps the 2018-2019 City Council will one day be remembered for making Cambridge the Cannabis Capital of Massachusetts. I suppose they had to do something to look busy.
Order #1. City Council support for H.692 extending voting rights to certain noncitizens. Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Zondervan
Order #5. City Council support of the EMPOWER Act (H.720/S.389: An Act ensuring municipal participation of the widest eligible range). Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Zondervan
Order #6. City Council support of H.78: A proposal for a legislative amendment to the constitution to provide for no excuse absentee voting. Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Zondervan
Variations of these pop up every few years - generally when some politicians are desperate for attention. Of the three Orders listed above the only one that has merit (and a lot of merit) is the one calling for "no excuse absentee voting". This will require a state constitutional amendment to make it so, but this is by far the best way to increase flexibility in when registered voters can cast their ballots.
In my view citizenship equals the right to vote to elect your government. Non-citizens are welcome to be residents and to pay taxes and receive services, but voting to determine the government should be for actual citizens of the United States, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Cambridge. As for lowering the voting age to 16 or 17, my feeling is that you have to draw the line somewhere, and maybe that line is somewhat arbitrary, but age 18 seems about right. Even if there was a strong movement to adjust that age downward, such a change would have to be uniform across the Commonwealth or across the country. It should not vary from town to town. Fundamentally, it's just populist horse pucky.
Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to provide an update from Eversource and any other relevant City departments regarding the finance, health and safety, building design and the long-term electricity needs that was requested by the City Council before the construction of a substation on Fulkerson Street in East Cambridge. Councillor Toomey, Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui
Order #3. That the City Council go on record in opposition to the site owned by Eversource on Fulkerson Street to have a substation and that the City Manager be and hereby is requested to urge Eversource to reconsider its acquisition of the property. Councillor Toomey, Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui
I have my own issues with Eversource, but from these Orders you would almost think that nobody in East Cambridge or Kendall Square uses electricity or that the demand is dropping. (It isn't.)
Communications & Reports #3. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a communication from Councillor Kelley, transmitting a memorandum regarding CPSD, the Achievement Gap, and a Review of 8th Grade Math MCAS Results.
Various iterations of the Cambridge School Committee and the Cambridge School Department have been talking and talking about "The Achievement Gap" for decades, and all that talk has accomplished little. Perhaps at some point they should readjust their focus on simply doing the best possible job teaching and motivating students and just let the chips fall where they may. I suppose, however, that this is just not the way we do things in Cambridge. - Robert Winters
The incumbents (assuming, for the moment that they all seek reelection) will be joined by a number of challengers. Here's the list so far:
|Name||Address (Nov 2018)||Birth Year||Notes|
|Adriane Musgrave||48 Haskell St., 02140||1985||ran in 2017|
|Charles Franklin||162 Hampshire St. #1R, 02139||1992||filed March 5|
|Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler||19 Trowbridge St #6, 02138||1992||filed March 11|
|Nicola Williams||8 Brewer St. #5, 02138||1963||filed March 12|
|Ben Simon||67 Bishop Allen Dr. #2, 02139||1984||filed April 2|
|Burhan Azeem||471 Memorial Drive, 02139 (MIT)||1997||filed May 7|
Several other candidates who ran in 2017 are expected to run again in 2019. They'll be added as confirmed.
2019 Cambridge City Council Campaign Bank Reports
You can sort the table by any field or open the full spreadsheet which will be frequently updated.
PS (May 14): There is also at least one new School Committee candidate – Ayesha Wilson, 15 Concord Ave., 02138; Birth Year 1982.
Feb 10, 2019 - I'm cleaning up some old email today and found something I wrote a couple of years ago in response to a question about books on Cambridge history. Perhaps you'll find it useful. - RW
It's hard to say where to begin. There was a tradition of Cambridge history-writing in the 19th century that was largely lost during most of the 20th Century. The tradition seems to be having something of a 21st Century revival. Some of my favorites (and I've picked up many of these on eBay) are:
Lucius Paige's History of Cambridge (1877) - you can also read this on the web, e.g. https://archive.org/details/historyofcambrid00paigiala
I mention this one first because it is so often referenced in later histories.
The Cambridge of Eighteen Hundred and Ninety Six (a 50th Anniversary compilation published in 1896 commemorating the transition of Cambridge from Town to City in 1846)
This has a lot of good history in it. I have loaner copies available.
Survey of Architectural History of Cambridge, Volumes 1-5, by the Cambridge Historical Commission
These you can still pick up on eBay and they're at the Cambridge Public Library. I have multiple copies of each volume as loaners.
Volume 1 was originally published in 1967, but a 1989 update is practically a whole other book.
A City's Life and Times, Cambridge in the Twentieth Century, various authors, published by the Cambridge Historical Society, 2007.
Building Old Cambridge, by Susan Maycock and Charles Sullivan of the Cambridge Historical Commission, recently published and available (no sales tax!) at the Cambridge Historical Commission office as well as local bookstores (with sales tax).
This volume started out, I believe, as a successor volume to Volume 4 of the Survey of Architectural History of Cambridge (Old Cambridge), but it grew into something far more comprehensive.
There are at least, I believe, 5 oral history volumes put together by Sarah Boyer and the Cambridge Historical Commission. I believe they may all still be available for purchase at the CHC office, but some are also available at bookstores (and at the Library).
Cambridge on the Charles, by Alan Seaburg, Thomas Dahill, and Carol Rose, published by Anne Minerva Press. Alan and Thomas are friends and fellow Board members with the Middlesex Canal Association (I'm also the webmaster).
There are lots of other miscellaneous books that I really love, including Ten No License Years in Cambridge, published in 1898, that provides great insight into the temperance movement in Cambridge and the roots of the "good government" movement in the 20th Century. It's available in the Cambridge Room of the Main Library.
The books by Tip O'Neill all have some interesting bits and pieces about Cambridge in the 20th Century.
Cambridge Emergency Communications recognizes dispatchers (Apr 23, 2019)
Early risers blossom at Mount Auburn Cemetery (Apr 19, 2019)
City renames streets to honor women’s suffrage (Apr 18, 2019)
Study examines changes to Cambridge’s Port neighborhood (Apr 16, 2019)
DCR kicks off Memorial Drive project in Cambridge (Apr 15, 2019)
Cambridge will require separated bike lanes (Apr 10, 2019)
Top earners: Who earned the most in 2018? (Apr 8, 2019)
Proposed affordable housing district in Cambridge speaks to ‘the lost middle,’ official says (Apr 2, 2019)
[Note: There are several misrepresentation of fact in the statements of public officials in this article.]
LETTER: Tearing Cambridge in two for affordable housing (Apr 2, 2019)
GUEST COLUMN: Demystifying Cambridge’s proposed Affordable Housing Overlay (Apr 1, 2019)
[Note: This is a propaganda piece was written by two Board members of A Better Cambridge (ABC), a subsidized housing advocacy group with an affiliated political action committee (PAC) promoting candidates in the 2019 municipal election.]
GUEST COLUMN: Why the zoning appeal on Vellucci Plaza matters (Mar 18, 2019 by John Pitkin)
GUEST COLUMN: Proposed zoning overlay in Cambridge is a major opportunity (Mar 20, 2019)
[Note: This is a propaganda piece was written by two Board members of A Better Cambridge (ABC), a subsidized housing advocacy group with an affiliated political action committee (PAC) promoting candidates in the 2019 municipal election.]
Housing crisis fuels homelessness in Cambridge, statewide (Feb 20, 2019)
A breakdown of 40B affordable housing (Feb 13, 2019)
Tues, May 14
6:00pm Roundtable Meeting of the School Committee (Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway)
The purpose of this Roundtable meeting will be a presentation on Strategic Initiative 4.4: College Success. It is anticipated that this meeting will end by or before 8:00pm.
6:30pm Planning Board meeting (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)
1. Update from the Community Development Department
2. Adoption of Planning Board meeting transcripts
6:30pm Cambridgeside PUD-8 Zoning Petition
Zoning petition by Stephen R. Karp, Trustee of Cambridgeside Galleria Associates Trust, to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge by adding a Section 13.100 that creates a new PUD-8 District and to amend the Zoning Map of the City of Cambridge by adding the new PUD-8 District, which would include the property located at 100 Cambridgeside Place (currently zoned in the Business A and PUD-4 Districts). (Materials)
3. PB# 231A (materials)
• First Street Assemblage Open Space – Design Review (continued from 7/31/2018)
• First St Assemblage Parcels A, B & C – Informational Update
4. PB# 303
• MIT Kendall Square "SoMa" Building 4 – Informational Update (Materials)
Wed, May 15
5:30pm Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Board Meeting (Police Station, 125 Sixth St., First Floor Community Room)
6:00pm Peace Commission meeting (2nd Floor Conference Room, 51 Inman St.)
5:30pm Cambridge Election Commission meeting (1st Floor Meeting Room, 51 Inman St.)
1. Executive Director's Report
2. Assistant Director's Report
3. Commissioners' Reports
III. PUBLIC COMMENT
IV. ACTION AGENDA
Discussion on Modifying the Design of the City Council and School Committee Municipal Election Ballots
Mon, May 20
5:30pm City Council meeting - Budget Adoption (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)
6:00pm School Committee Buildings and Grounds Sub-Committee meeting (School Committee Conference Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway)
The purpose of this meeting is to review the facilities policy, update on building plans, and to review status of past School Committee motions related to building plans for the upper schools. It is anticipated that this meeting will end no later than 7:30pm.
1:00pm The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the “City of Cambridge getting to Net Zero Action Plan: Fiscal year 2018 progress report “and to receive a general update on the Net Zero Action Plan. (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)
5:30pm Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Tenant Displacement meeting (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)
Wed, May 22
12:00pm The City Council's Civic Unity Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Massachusetts Equal Pay Law that was enacted in 2018 – What employees, supervisors, and City Leadership should know, what are the best practices, and how metrics must be established to ensure compliance with this new law. (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)
2:00pm The City Council's Transportation and Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Eversource site on Fulkerson Street and a potential expansion project at this site. (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)
3:00pm License Commission Public Hearing (Lombardi Bldg., 831 Mass. Ave., Basement Conference Room)
6:00pm LGBTQ+ meeting (Windsor St. Health Center, 119 Windsor St.)
6:00-8:00pm Pedestrian Committee Meeting (4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)
Tues, May 28
1:00pm The City Council's Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee will conduct public hearing to receive an update on the Election Commission’s discussion of potential changes to the ballots used for Municipal Elections that would limit voters to marking only up to fifteen candidates. (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)
5:30pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing on a petition received from Verizon New England, Inc. to amend the zoning map of the City of Cambridge by creating a new Overlay Zoning district entitled “Ware Street Innovation Space Overlay District” encompassing 10 Ware Street and to amend article 20.000 of the Zoning Ordinance by creating a section entitled “Ware Street Innovation Space Overlay District”. (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)
Wed, May 29
5:30pm The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a joint public hearing with the Climate Resilience Task Force to receive an update on the task forces progress to date and to receive input and feedback. (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)
6:00pm Police Review and Advisory Board meeting (2nd Floor Conference Room, 51 Inman St.)
Thurs, May 30
5:30pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to continue discussion on a zoning petition filed by Stephen R. Karp, Trustee of Cambridge Side Galleria Trust to add a new section 13.100 to Article 13 and to amend the zoning map to add a new PUD-8 District Overlay. (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)
Sat, June 1
11:00am-6:00pm 40th Annual Cambridge Arts River Festival (Central Square Cultural District - Mass. Ave. from Prospect St. to Sidney St. and beyond)
For the 40th anniversary of the Cambridge Arts River Festival, we'll be bringing the river to the Central Square Cultural District. The move from the East Cambridge waterfront into the heart of the city celebrates the state's recent recertification of Cultural District, the work in progress for the area to be identified as a Business Improvement District, and the seven new murals in the neighborhood thanks to the Central Square Mural Project. This year’s community celebration of the arts promises to be a big SPLASH, with music, food, immersive art experiences, and more. Learn more: cambridgeartscouncil.org/riverfestival