New Cambridge City Commissioners sworn in

Dorchester Banner/Gloria Rojas The new city commissioners were sworn in at the July 25 meeting, ready for four years of decision making. From left, City Manager Sandra Tripp-Jones, Robert Hanson, Dave Cannon, Donald Sydnor, La-Shon Foster, and Steven Rideout. Mayor Victoria Jackson Stanley was out of town for the meeting, and could not attend.

Dorchester Banner/Gloria Rojas
The new city commissioners were sworn in at the July 25 meeting, ready for four years of decision making. From left, City Manager Sandra Tripp-Jones, Robert Hanson, Dave Cannon, Donald Sydnor, La-Shon Foster, and Steven Rideout. Mayor Victoria Jackson Stanley was out of town for the meeting, and could not attend.


CAMBRIDGE — Two council meetings took place on Monday night. First the old council conducted the business of their last meeting, approving some major events in the city.
The Richardson Museum will again sponsor the Schooner Rendezvous, from Oct. 20 to Oct. 23. This has got to be one of the proudest events in a waterfront city. The beautiful and historic schooners arrive for the 11th Annual Rendezvous this year.

Crabtobefest, which fills the city streets with German music and dancing, sponsored by the Duren-Dorchester County Partnership, will take place on Sept. 24.

Also approved were the annual Back to School Party on Aug. 20, sponsored by the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church; and the ”Strut Your Mutt” event at Great Marsh Park on Sept. 17.
The council’s big job of determining the progress of the Sailwinds Project was next.

A proposal for a market analysis was sent out and the City Manager reported on four responses, ranging in price from $7,000 to $32,500. The highest bidder, Delta Associates was the recommendation of City Manager Sandra Tripp Jones. The firm’s qualifications included a background of land use development, diversified staff with market analysis skills, and an impressive history of working in both large and small municipalities.

The commissioners had questions and alternatives. Outgoing Commissioner Frank Cooke suggested that local skilled people could be drafted to do the market analysis, saving the city some money. Others objected, citing that the waterfront project has been “in irons” for decades. Outgoing Commissioner Jackie Vickers suggested that the ongoing project decision be left to the next council. Outgoing Commissioner Gage Thomas disagreed because this council has the history to conclude at least this chapter.

Commissioner Thomas’ history goes back to the last century. But the majority decided to forego a decision on the market analysis proposals.

A last piece of business, the certification of the General Election results, and it was over. Time to swear in the new members of the City Council. From Ward 1, Steve Rideout fills the seat vacated by Jackie Vickers. Thanking voters for their confidence, he promises to stay focused on the problems facing Cambridge, including race relations and education.

From Ward 3, La-Shon Foster took her oath with her hand on her family Bible, which she had brought for the occasion. Next to be sworn in as Commissioner of Ward 4 and accompanied by his wife was Dave Cannon, a frequent attendee of council meetings in the past.

A second meeting began with a council consisting of two holdovers and three new members. City Manager Sandra Tripp Jones promised the newly-elected commissioners “a rigorous schedule to learn about the workings of the city departments.” “Government work is serious work, and we want you to enjoy it,” she said. With that, the new council was seated. They elected veteran Robert Hanson of Ward 5 as president and Donald Sydnor of Ward 2 as chairman pro-tem. A new era begins.

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