Thursday, May 23, 2024

The city manager’s suggested appointments to the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority board — and to the Kids’ Council — are in. According to the posted agenda for Monday’s meeting of the City Council, the authority could quickly have a full roster of four city-appointed members:

Margaret Drury, who was city clerk from 1992 through February, former executive director of the Cambridge Rent Control Board and an attorney, for a one-year term ending April 12, 2013.

Kathleen Born, an architect and former city councillor. “She co-chaired the Ordinance Committee” while on the council, City Manager Robert W. Healy said in a letter postdated to Monday, “and is thus very familiar with the zoning process.” Born is proposed for a full five-year term ending April 12, 2017.

Chris Bator, an assistant U.S. attorney serving in that role since 1990 and before that an assistant to the commissioner of health and hospitals in Boston and as executive assistant to Boston Mayor Kevin White. Bator would serve a three-year term ending April 12, 2015.

Conrad Crawford, director of partnerships for the Department of Conservation and Recreation, whom Healy describes as having experience in energy-efficient transportation products. He would serve a four-year term ending April 12, 2016.

Drury is especially popular with the councillors from her years working so closely with them, but there is a special urgency to all the appointments and thus incentive for all to be approved: The authority has been active recently but apparently without the legal right to be, since there are no board members as demanded by the authority’s bylaws. Longtime Executive Director Joseph Tulimieri seems to have been pursuing development and zoning decisions in Kendall Square on his own.

The recent activism on the part of the authority — including a 47,000-square-foot proposed park and “gateway” to the city at the Longfellow Bridge — has inspired councillor Minka vanBeuzekom and vice mayor Denise Simmons to introduce a policy order asking:

That the city manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the city solicitor’s office, the city auditor and the Community Development Department to explore the City of Cambridge’s relationship with the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority and any of its current and future development projects.

Somewhat less controversial is Healy’s appointment as executive director of the Cambridge Kids’ Council: Nancy Tauber, who first ran for School Committee in 2007 and was unseated in November. She is said to have won the executive directorship over several locally prominent candidates, including a former city councillor and council candidate.

Until recently, the head of the Kids’ Council was Mary Wong, who was one of three women getting settlements with the city after filing civil rights lawsuits. Wong and Linda Stamper, once a lawyer for the city and now in private practice, won undisclosed amounts when their cases were settled in October; a month earlier, Malvina Monteiro had paved the way by winning $8.3 million from the city in years-long litigation after claiming retaliation and wrongful termination during her time as executive secretary for the city’s Police Review & Advisory Board.

Tauber’s job begins April 24. The council is described by the city as being chaired by the mayor, “comprised of a diverse group of community stakeholders [and] responsible for developing policy recommendations and programs aimed at improving the quality of life for children, youth and families in the city.”