Cambridge Council examines ethics code

CAMBRIDGE — On Monday night, Commissioners attended an hour-long session to study the city code on ethics. The code, drawn up in 2011 and approved by the state in 2012, is a detailed guide of behavior on donations, conflicts of interest, gifts, tickets, meals, financial interests, compensation … a host of behaviors. Did you know that, according to the Cambridge Code of Ethics, elected officials and all candidates for elected office are required to file an annual financial disclosure? (Federal elections have their own less stringent rules.)

The only event on the Consent Calendar was the Cambridge-Dorchester Christmas Parade. The committee sought noise variances and the waiving of vendor fees on Dec. 3, starting at 5 p.m. at Long Wharf. Council approval was unanimous.

The next item on the agenda affects everyone. Delmarva Power and Light company has proposed substantial increases … 40 to 50 percent are the rate increases mentioned at the meeting. The council will protest the increases and ask the Public Service Commission to turn down the request. Commissioners also want other agencies and communities to join the public outcry.

The presentation to council of a new community, the Chesapeake Grove project, saw Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley recuse herself from the presentation and discussion since her husband works for the ambitious new project, a creation of Delmarva Community Services. Santo Grande is the executive director and provided plans and charts of the development. The intergenerational approach to common areas and recreation provide both tricycle paths and sitting areas for seniors, a senior center and a child care center, market-rate apartments and some low-income housing. Santo Grande also envisions a fitness center and a pool on the property.

Funding for the development of 30 acres, which includes 20 acres for wetlands, is provided by a private philanthropic contribution of $1,000,000 by Harry and Jeanette Weinberg and a number of grants for assisted living housing, a senior center, a child care center, and three buildings of housing units. Delmarva Community Services is only asking for the city to pay for the sidewalk that circles the development. That infrastructure expense is estimated to be $225,000. Commissioner Donald Sydnor reported that the city has funds collected as impact fees, which could be available. Those fees were collected years ago due to construction. Commissioner Steven Rideout praised the project but thought the instant allocation of funds was too hasty and needed more discussion, and the majority disagreed. Members of Delmarva Community Services were in the audience and were elated to win approval.

To close the meeting, Police Chief Dan Dvorak reminded the community of the safety measures necessary for Halloween. Trick or Treating is limited to the hours of 6 to 8 p.m. on Halloween night. Walk with the children.

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