Essay: How MIT’s doing it wrong in Kendall Square

whitespaceIn spite of a severe Cambridge housing crisis, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology plans to build on-campus towers for lease to commercial tenants.

Under a zoning petition before the City Council’s Ordinance Committee, the university is seeking permission to upzone 26 acres south of Main Street, east of Ames Street and north of Memorial Drive. Officially known as the PUD-5 District, this represents a substantial portion of MIT’s East Campus by Kendall Square.

To be fair, the petition is praiseworthy for its contemporary approach to urban renewal. It calls for high-density, mixed-use, transit-oriented development complete with interconnected open spaces, LEED Gold building standards and a streetscape conducive to bike and pedestrian traffic.

Nevertheless, the petition remains deeply flawed because it skews far too heavily in favor of commercial real estate development while ignoring the institute’s pressing need for graduate student housing.

At its core, the project seeks to redefine the East Campus with a gateway of corporate towers – some likely rising 300 feet. At a committee hearing last week, councillor Minka vanBeuzekom noted that the proposal represents “a complete blurring of what’s academic and what’s commercial.”

Of course, Kendall Square has one of the hottest commercial real estate markets in the country, and commercial real estate development is far more lucrative than residential development. From a purely financial perspective, upzoning makes sense. What remains unclear, however, is whether the institute’s quest for rental income is compromising its broader academic mission.

The focus on profit seems to be exacerbated by the fact that MIT does not have a typical campus planning committee with faculty and student participation. Instead, its decision is apparently being driven by Steve Marsh, the real estate director of the institute’s Investment Management Corp. Marsh takes home nearly $700,000 annually, plus bonuses based on financial returns.

No relief for grad students

Longtime Cambridge activist James Williamson sums up the situation in simple terms: “It’s money versus people.” And without a doubt, the people who are affected the most are the institute’s graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Currently, MIT is unable to offer housing to approximately 4,000 of its 6,500 graduate students, according to Nathaniel Schafheimer, co-chairman of the Graduate Student Council’s Housing and Community Affairs Committee.  (Figures from last year’s Town Gown Report Summary are different.)

About 2,400 of these students end up renting market-rate apartments in the city. Given our extremely tight rental housing market, it’s no wonder most of these folks say they are “very dissatisfied” with the cost of housing. Last year alone, off-campus rents for MIT graduate students jumped by 8 percent.

020213i vacancy rates

Schafheimer put these numbers into perspective at last week’s committee hearing. “Rent makes up nearly half of our pretax income, so when rents off-campus are rising at this extremely high rate, stipends can’t follow at the same rate, and students’ purchasing power and standards of living are decreased,” he said.

Part of the reason: citywide vacancy rates are at an all time low. In the Central Square neighborhoods closest to campus, vacancies hover around 1 percent. “That’s Manhattan-level demand,” Schafheimer elaborated.

If the graduate students were just your average young professionals, they might be able to relocate to some less expensive community – Watertown or East Boston, for instance – and spend a couple of hours per day commuting.

The problem is that doing world-class scientific research is not a 9-to-5 job. “Living near campus is not a luxury,” Schafheimer said. “Many scientists need to be near the lab at all hours to check on experiments, and those who don’t still need interdisciplinary time with their peers. For many types of research, the power of proximity is vital.”

“MIT’s graduate students are the human engine that drives research and development activity,” said Jonathan King, a professor of molecular biology who – despite his deep ties to the institution – is outspoken in his opposition to the plan. “The reason the high-tech industry wants to come to Cambridge is because of these graduate students, not because of these commercial buildings being built on the campus.”

At the end of the day, half of all graduate students leave the institute’s campus after 6:30 p.m., and more than a quarter of all graduate students leave after 8 p.m. The question we must consider is whether it makes sense for some of our nation’s brightest researchers to spend their time commuting between Cambridge and other more affordable communities.

A lost opportunity on housing

With its emphasis on commercial development, not only does the MIT proposal fail to address the needs of graduate students; it deprives the people of Cambridge of a unique chance to alleviate some of the pressure imposed by our terribly overheated rental housing market.

That’s because the 2,400 institute graduate students who rent in Cambridge tend to occupy some of our more modestly priced apartments. If the university offered additional housing to this group, these apartments would become available to the general population of Cambridge.

The importance cannot be underestimated. It represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our city to effectively recover a large stock of not-so-expensive rental housing. For a rough comparison, consider that in the entire 15-year history of the city’s inclusionary zoning program, only some 450 units of affordable housing have been created. Again, that’s not a perfect comparison, but it speaks to the scale of the opportunity that lies dormant in these plans.

Despite the lack of graduate student housing, supporters of the MIT plan have been quick to tout the “strong housing component” in the current proposal.

In the context of our citywide housing crisis, that seems like a stretch.

Granted, the proposal does call for at least 240,000 square feet of new housing; the institute figures this will yield up to 300 units.

But these units will be largely inaccessible to graduate students, with 80 percent of the new housing looking extremely expensive (think 25th-floor views overlooking the Charles River). With a torrent of additional corporate development already in the pipeline for Kendall Square, it’s doubtful this housing will have any perceptible impact on our city’s exorbitant rental prices.

Advisers in, advice out

020213i Kendall Square graphic

Another common argument in support of the plan: “It’s consistent with the recommendations of the Kendall Square Advisory Committee.”

This may be true – but it’s hardly a surprise.

One year into the public planning process for the proposal, City Manager Robert W. Healy selected members for a newly commissioned Kendall Square Advisory Committee (aka “the K2 Study”).

Unfortunately, the committee was stacked in favor of major real estate developers. Forest City, Boston Properties, Alexandria, Twining Properties, and MITIMCo were individually represented, and even Joseph Tulimieri, the chief of the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority asked to resign for potential finance improprieties, was given a seat at the table. Meetings were typically held between 8 and 10 a.m. on weekdays, and formal minutes were never recorded.

In the end, the committee placed a heavy emphasis on commercial real estate development. But is that any wonder? For most of these big developers, new corporate space is the real pay dirt. On a committee dominated by so many powerful interests, actual neighborhood leaders such as Barbara Broussard were left complaining that their voices weren’t being heard.

Fortunately, the East Cambridge Planning Team, a respected neighborhood group with a track record of working in concert with developers, took the unusual step of commissioning its own study. The results – produced by Boston’s CBT Architects – were truly impressive. Noting a “land use imbalance” with too much focus on commercial office and laboratory space, the independent study called for 446,000 square feet of new residential space, more than double the amount of residential space than was recommended in the city’s K2 Study.

When city officials presented both visions to the Cambridge Planning Board in September, several members said they preferred the independent CBT study to the city’s own.

Yet the council is just weeks away from rewriting the zoning code to open the door for on-campus commercial towers.

The month ahead

At last week’s hearing, Ordinance Committee chairman David Maher said he planned to schedule two more meetings in February to review the MIT petition. The Planning Board is expected to complete its work around the same time. The proposal will likely be voted on by the full council, probably sometime in March.

In response to growing faculty dissent and student concerns, MIT Provost Chris Kaiser has commissioned an 18-month task force to look at the issue of graduate student housing.

King remains skeptical: “If they want to do a year-and-a-half study, then it should be the other way around. The proposal should be amended to include graduate student housing, and the study can tell us if commercial real estate development makes sense.”

Given the fact that the graduate students have been clamoring for additional on-campus housing for more than 10 years, King seems to have a point.

In the final analysis, beyond all the excitement surrounding Kendall Square’s revitalization and beneath all the hype over bike sharing, tech incubators and the pastel renderings of tree-specked canyons of glass and steel, the issue of student housing really boils down to “money versus people.”

The question now is whether the MIT community and people of Cambridge can decide upon something better.

People wishing to oppose the plan and encourage the construction of more graduate student housing are invited to sign this petition.

The graphic comparing proposed commercial and residential development was updated Feb. 4, 2013, to correct what had been reversed color codes and maps. 

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15 Responses to Essay: How MIT’s doing it wrong in Kendall Square

  1. Dave Mattei

    Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 10:08 am

    It’s about time someone decided to fully research issues affecting housing in Cambridge. Thanks Mike Connolly for your efforts in this area- it shows a real commitment to our community.

  2. JohnM

    Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Mr. Connolly,

    This is a well written piece and I especially like the links, however, I would like to raise a couple of questions as well as present a couple of differing opinions:

    1). I have seen your name in several places with resect to you being a candidate for Cambridge City Council. If that is indeed the case, I look forward to watching the upcoming election and the issues you will raise. That said, if you are indeed a candidate, you should include a disclosure advising the readers of your candidacy.

    2). You say that MIT’s approach to campus planning is not typical and provide a link to Cornell that appears to have a structure more to your liking. Is there anything out there though that would show or describe the most used approaches to campus planning? It’s hard to compare when you only have two choices.

    3). You point to the salary and bonuses earned by Steve Marsh as an example, I think, of how profit takes away from other interests. To sure I agree with that, but I want to point out that I think you are reading the chart incorrectly. I see his base salary as being around $300,000 with bonuses, etc. taking him to about $700.000 not “nearly $700,000 annually, plus bonuses based on financial returns” that you describe.

    4) You did not mention in your essay that there was also an MIT Faculty Task Force that recommended that the filing of the current MIT petition move forward. This would seem to be an important point to consider when referring to faculty dissent as there seems to be some faculty that do not dissent.

    5). With regard to the housing proposed for Kendall Square, you seem to have determined that it will all be high cost market rate housing based on you essay. Do you know this to be true. From reading the petition, the only thing that I could be sure of is that the housing development will follow the inclusionary ordinance and MIT will provide middle income housing for 25% of the housing built above 250 ft.

    6) You set up the argument as if there is nowhere also that graduate student housing could be built. You ask people to sign a petition opposing the MIT zoning petition and seeking more graduate student housing. Isn’t there also the possibility that the commercial development could be done in Kendall Square and the graduate student housing could be constructed somewhere else? Could this be an outcome of the housing study that has been commissioned by MIT?

    You have stablished an us vs. them paradigm in your essay. This may work in attracting certain voters to you or drawing attention to your cause, but as we have seen with the Tea Party and Occupy movements, being loudly opposed to something does not necessarily accomplish anything. Rather, as we see in Washington DC, it can often lead to gridlock and sub optimal results. I hope you reconsider how you approach this issue and others as I think you have a lot to offer Cambridge. Your passion and desire to help comes through loud and clear and I look forward to seeing more of that and less of the us vs. them approach.

    I appreciate your essay, I do not agree with it, but I do appreciate the time your have taken to express your views in a manner that is easy to understand.

    Thanks and I look forward to watching you in the City Council race.

  3. Elise Moussa

    Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Dear Mr.Connolly, as an entrepreneur based in Kendall Square working
    on the problems to make higher education both affordable and
    accessible, I appreciate your concerns for graduate students however,
    I would like to point out a few key points in response to your post
    here.

    We agree that students go to college to better their lives to get
    trained for a career.

    We agree that businesses need to exist, it makes the economy go round.

    We agree that students go to college to get a job / start a company
    with their “education”. This education is key to their contribution in
    business, non profits, political life, the community and the world.

    Therefore, we need to look at the entire ecosystem here. We need to
    look at the big picture of “revitalizing Kendall Square” as a whole
    community, to benefit the whole community, as an ecosystem. To take a
    stab at graduate student housing is actually an internal issue at MIT
    and should not come at the expense of the entire community losing out
    on revitalizing Kendall Square. When you think of the community as an
    ecosystem, you will realize that all investments go back to MIT and
    MIT can leverage these investments to provide a better experience for
    students.

    Many universities face the problem of student housing in Boston, but
    MIT is one of the best at trying to address student housing. Do keep
    in mind that every year, there are 250,000 students in Boston.

    I would like to point out that:

    1. MIT has committed to a broad study in graduate housing with grad
    student reps.
    2. This proposed investment has been vetted for 3 years. It involves
    70′k of new retail, significant open space improvements, innovation
    requirements, significant new housing and significant lab space.
    3. The entire community stands to benefit as an ecosystem, so it is a
    win for MIT, win for Kendall Square and win for the community.

  4. Mike Connolly

    Monday, February 4, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Thank you David, John, and Elise for the feedback!

    In response to the comments, I’d like to offer my view that the revitalization of Kendall Square does not have to be contingent on the development of large corporate buildings on MIT’s East Campus.

    When MIT articulates its vision for Kendall Square, a heavy emphasis is placed on the kinds of things that most of us would welcome, such as connected open spaces, innovation space equal to 5% of total new commercial office space, and new retail options, etc.

    But in my estimation, the dominant feature of this proposal is a request by MIT to build corporate office and/or corporate bio-lab buildings on East Campus.

    And while I appreciate Elise’s notion of Kendall as an ecosystem — I would argue that with this proposal, MIT is actually compromising the future vitality of the district by leading us down the path to monotony.

    Cambridge already has Genzyme, Biogen, Millennium, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Google, Microsoft, Akamai, and now Amazon, just to name a few.

    And that’s absolutely terrific — as a city, we are proud of our status as a global hub for high-tech and biotech innovation — and there’s no question that we benefit from a very strong tax base in commercial properties.

    But does this mean that MIT ought to lop off a chunk of its East Campus to make way for a few more big names?

    To do that would be shortsighted, in my opinion.

    We would be better served by a strong commitment to additional graduate student housing, and while we are at it, I would also encourage an even greater commitment to innovation space for start-ups.

    More of an emphasis on these kinds of uses would enhance the long-term diversity and vitality of the district (and be good for the Institute and the city of Cambridge as a whole).

  5. frank.gerratana

    Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Mike, thanks for writing this. As a Cambridge resident, former engineering grad student, and member of the high-tech community, I’m really interested to see how this plays out. I’m sure there is a way MIT can better address the huge demand for housing while still allowing for further growth in the tech sector. This piece will go a long way toward raising awareness of this issue.

  6. Paul Steven Stone

    Monday, February 4, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Bravo to Mike Connolly for his thoughtful and insightful commentary on the highly-praised and totally wrong-headed approach MIT is hoping to take with its 26-acre development site. Regardless of whatever you think of their proposal, it should be unacceptable for the city to allow such massive up-zoning to such a large chunk of Cambridge real estate without some sort of citywide plan in place.

    Nor as Mike points out, should we allow MIT to impose such continuing pressures on the city’s housing stock, through its shortage of graduate student housing, at the same time they’re asking for permission to build outsized towers to bring in more dollars for the school’s already bulging coffers.

    How long are we to go on accepting self-enrichment development plans to sail through the planning board and city council without any real consideration of the long- and short-term impacts on the city and its residents?

    Should MIT, which enjoys a non-taxable status as an educational institution, be allowed to use that non-taxable status to enrich itself at the expense of the rest of us? Does anyone in power or on one of our regulating bodies even care?

    Or perhaps we should bring back the rogue Cambridge Redevelopment Association, and its rogue self-salaried executive director, to rubber stamp this project, then have the City Council vote it through at the end of one of their interminable meetings when they’ve outlasted the rest of us?

    In spite of A Better Cambridge’s support for this proposal, I would maintain there is no valid way to appraise the value or impact of MIT’s vision without a citywide plan, something the City Manager and the CDD, and the business community apparently have little interest or need for.

    How can we keep Cambridge livable if no one is willing to study and define what it will take to do just that? We’ve seen these bogus K2 and C2 committees serve as a cover to the agenda of the developers and the CDD, and we the people are left to exhaust ourselves fighting back recommendations for developments totally out of proportion, rhythm or logic to our communities.

    Be careful, Cambridge, today’s K2 and C2 study committees are just the forerunners of the P2 and NC2 studies coming down the road.

    Thanks again, Mike. Great job!

  7. Dave Mattei

    Monday, February 4, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I agree with Mike, and I reject the idea that the only way to make Kendall Square vital is to stuff close to a million square feet of commercial space into East Campus. How can we ignore this quote from the MIT President of the Graduate Student Council, Brian Spatocco:

    “To get straight to the point: It is our belief that, if left unchecked, the Cambridge rental housing crisis will not only have a profound effect on the quality of life of our many off-campus MIT community members, but it may also markedly impact our ability to attract the talent as well as maintain the level of productivity which fuel our academic pursuits.”

    Source: http://web.mit.edu/fnl/volume/245/spatocco.html

  8. patrickbarrett

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Mike,

    Here you are at it again trying to widen the divide between developers, citizens, and local business. This opinion piece may as well have been penned by John King himself and I think you aught to give him credit for it. The “faculty dissent” cited provides a link directly to John’s “faculty news letter” something I believe he has penned since 87-ish? Do you consider the 140 units going online in Kendall this summer? How about the 200+ units going online in the Alexandria project? No, those are inconvenient facts so you omit them to prove the premise of your argument; whatever that is.

    Clearly you feel that not agreeing and not listening are one in the same. There are many voices of dissent in this city, a good number of people did show up at the K2 and C2 board meeting both lauding and some offering what I will politely call “a difference of opinion.” By your premise if the ideas of those dissenting voices were not drafting into the proposals made by either group then “they weren’t listened to.”

    The video clip linked shows a very rational young man, not claiming that MIT doesn’t get but, that a housing study is needed. He also says that vacancy rates drop from 2-1% in some areas of the city. This then turns into a lovely bar graph stating Cambridge has a city-wide 1% vacancy rate?

    The C2 advisory plan (found here: http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Projects/Planning/K2C2.aspx) addresses many of these housing concerns you claim to have for Kendall. You’ve criticized these recommendations for not having paid attention to the voices of the people, yet in these recommendations are the exact kinds of development guidelines you claim Kendall lacks. Who here has the master plan?

    There is a painful amount of vitriol in this city right now, and the city council has done there best to fan those flames with what I think is more apathy than the kind of invidious backhandedness you have accused them of. I find it troubling that you’d seek a seat in council when you do not wish to even consider the opposition and it truly makes me wonder why an “occupier” would seek to represent the real 1% in Cambridge. There are vast amounts of citizens in this city that can’t come to these meetings, that aren’t welcome at the local “residents groups” and yet despite those handicaps still should have a voice. I understand that in Cambridge politics it makes mathematical sense to seek out small contingencies to get those 1000k #1 votes, but this strategy only seeks to divide the population.

    There is also the commercial interest in Cambridge, which currently pays 80% of the current tax base. What have you said to those people? Are you willing to increase the residential tax base to accommodate the corporate interest you seems to think aught to look elsewhere? Are you aware that right now many startup companies are using residential space because of the complete lack of viable commercial space in the city? What do you say to these people? I agree that the graduate population needs more housing options. I house a great many of them right now. However I also see a shift in young families, professionals, and elderly citizens wanting to remain in the city. The problem really isn’t one thing or the other. If you wish to foster King’s issue with Steve Marsh, that is your business, but don’t sling a bunch of nonsense and questionable citations in the middle of an at least three year conversation as an attempt to drum up business. It really adds nothing to the conversation.

    We need balance, and we need someone who does not represent the 1% of bile filled ire who wish only to keep Cambridge forever encased in amber. If we were to adopt the C2 recommendations we would diffuse these housing issues within a very short span of time. So I really am asking a favor Mike, please tell the whole story, stop trying to enlist the help of people who’d rather see Cambridge run into the ground simply to prove a point. I already have no voice/advocacy on the city council I really don’t need yet another person sitting there who ignores the business community, ignores market rate housing, ignores the rights of private owners, and is so beholden to the presumed prestige/paycheck associated with being a councilor that they continually ignore what is right and favor what keeps them in that seat.

  9. Lars M

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    patrickbarrett, thank you again for an insightful response!! It’s too bad you can’t run for city council this year.

  10. Saul

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    What’s really reprehensible about this essay – and I use that word advisably – is the attempt to substitute Cambridge municipal processes for MIT governanace. This is nothing more than an attack on acdemic freedom by those who couldn’t convince their own institution that their vision is appropriate.

    Suggesting that the City of Cambridge should intervene in MIT planning and second guess its motives is a terrible precedent, and backing it up by appealing to the populist impulse by talking about compensation of MIT staff is just a cheap shot. Here’s a thought experiment: How little would MITIMCO staff have to be paid to make this proposal better?

    Support or oppose this based on whether it’s good for Cambridge and leave MIT decision making to MIT.

  11. davidlelandlewis

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I am writing to correct some misinformation presented by Patrick Barrett in his post yesterday concerning the MIT Faculty Newsletter (FNL).

    The FNL is run by an Editorial Board of 12-15 senior faculty members who come from diverse departments from all over the Institute, and are elected by the faculty at large. Over the years nearly six dozen different faculty members have served in that role. Each issue is directed by a subcommittee comprised of 3-4 members of the Editorial Board. Prof. King currently serves as the elected Chair of the Editorial Board. Content of the Newsletter is comprised mainly of articles by MIT faculty members, and many dozens have contributed in the 25 years of the FNL’s existence, as have past Institute Presidents, Provosts, Deans, Chairs of the Faculty, and other administrative officers, as well as staff and students.

    The MIT Faculty Newsletter is one of the leading such journals published at a U.S. university, and is widely read by individuals worldwide who are interested in research universities. Please feel free to visit our Website: http://web.mit.edu/fnl.

    David Lewis
    Managing Editor, MIT Faculty Newsletter

  12. patrickbarrett

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    David,

    True enough King does not run the news letter in its entirety however linking to an article with him listed as editorial staff and then suggesting that dissent is unanimous or even nonexclusive is not being on the level.

    This plan really aught to be held amongst the MIT community. Only in the context of zoning relief should the city or a candidate vying for a spot on the council be concerned. Pointing out Marsh’s salary is a tell that really disrupts the conversation as it is not relevant and seeks to rile and nothing more.

    I appreciate the correction, I really do, we need nothing but the facts laid down before us. However I think my claim is well founded. Its a bit suspect. If I consistently referenced a blog that I was the elected chair of, as proof positive that
    the sky was falling and then linked you to said blog as further proof of, would you not raise an eyebrow?

  13. JosephAiello

    Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 11:07 am

    38%

    That’s the percentage of graduate students that are currently living in MIT provided housing. With limited research, I can only find one other university in the country that houses more (that would be Stanford, but they also have over 8,000 acres of space). Just to compare this number to another area school – BC houses 7%.

    It’s sad to see another City Council candidate take up Jonathan King’s “anti-Steve Marsh” stance for no other reason than to pick up the NIMBY votes.

    It’s even sadder to see a self-described “progressive” candidate be so vocally against progress.

  14. David Mattei

    Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Joe- I can’t understand why you would attack Mike Connolly and the factual information provided in this essay. After all, it’s the students themselves who are telling us that there’s a serious problem with graduate student housing at MIT. It sounds like you’re blaming Mike for listening to these students and caring enough to write about the problem from an alternative perspective.

    This essay cites dozens of good sources like public hearings, news accounts, and official reports. And yes, one of the facts mentioned in the public record is that 39% of MIT’s graduate students are housed on-campus. But the public record also offers ample evidence for why that is insufficient, starting with the testimony of graduate students and faculty themselves. It has been noted that at many of these other schools, the campuses are “literally ringed” with affordable housing options nearby.

    Another point that has been well established is that MIT graduate students are fundamentally different than say, BC graduate students. For example, BC has a law school, and law students typically spend a few hours per day in class, and then they can do their reading assignments from anywhere… It’s not nearly as big of a deal for those kinds of graduate students to spend time commuting. On the other hand, as expressed by Mr. Schafheimer in this essay, at MIT, “proximity is vital” because of the fact that many graduate students need to be in the laboratory at all hours of the day. So again, why are you attacking Mike? I don’t see anything “NIMBY” about Mike’s point of view here. He’s not saying “do nothing” in Kendall Square. He’s saying that MIT’s current plans are “skewed far too heavily in favor of commercial real estate development.” It’s worth adding that people like O. Robert Simha, MIT’s chief planning officer for over 40 years, are saying the same thing. See here: http://bit.ly/Y81V3T

    Finally, to your point about Steve Marsh, Mike is not the only one who has raised questions about his role at MIT. Our very own City Councillor Ken Reeves has taken the extraordinary step of calling for his ouster due to “lies, greeds, and insensitive and unseemly behavior.” See here: http://bit.ly/bZm3zf

  15. HeatherHoffman

    Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Mattei. Too bad Councillor Reeves v.2013 never listens to Councillor Reeves v.2010 (see the full letter at http://tech.mit.edu/V130/N49/land.html ) or Councillor Reeves v.1998, when the Globe reported his “tirade” in the IPOP debate: “Although rampant development had put the city in ‘dire danger,’ it seemed some councilors would never vote against developers, he said. It made him sick to see how some councilors were ‘a slave to developers.’ He put those councilors on notice, saying he would ‘name names’ during next year’s election.” Perhaps we need to name names this year and vote accordingly.

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