Cambridge City Council updates City Manager hiring plans

Cambridge Seal
CAMBRIDGE — The City Council meeting on July 27 was brief in comparison to most other meetings and it was very sparsely attended. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley updated the matter of progress in the city manager hiring. The consultant for the search committee has interviewed all the commissioners to ascertain what qualities and experience they want in the candidates. A closed meeting for Commissioners, search committee and consultant is scheduled for Aug. 10.

Tim Saunders, resident of Cambridge and involved in real estate, spoke to the commissioners about his view of the unfairness of fines. People wanting to buy a property and fix it up are deterred by existing fines on record. (The city fines property owners for violations due to unsightly negligence and neglect of cutting grass, which encourages rodents.) Mr. Saunders thinks buyers should not be responsible for others’ dereliction. Oden Wheeler, acting clerk-treasurer, agrees. He says the city is not going to erase the fines, but a buyer can include in his contract that the payment of fines comes out of the money the buyer brings to the sale, definitely out of the sellers’ share. The city, says Mr. Wheeler, must have a mechanism to insure compliance with standards and regulations. Fines are the answer.

A noise variance was issued by council to Youth serving Youth, represented by Khadijah Sampson. The group wants representatives from Youth Serving Youth to discuss their 3rd annual back to school giveaway on the city-owned property on Schoolhouse Lane on Aug. 15.

Approval to bid for road repair was brought to council by Oden Wheeler for the Department of Public Works passed with a 4-1 vote. The “No” vote by Commissioner Sydnor of Ward Two is consistent with his voting pattern on other city improvements that do not include his ward. Commissioner Sydnor had the list examined ward by ward, which ward was getting what, making the point that Ward Three was getting most of the money and Ward Two was not getting any repairs or funds allocated to it. When asked if there was reason for his ward to be considered a higher priority, Commissioner Sydnor agreed to tour Ward Two with a reporter and Mr. Wheeler. The tour was set for later in the week and the results will appear in the next issue of the Banner.

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