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Especially after a bunch of public testimony pointing out flaws in an unpopular decision – and even the potential for death to result – and one public official (in this case, city councillor Denise Simmons) calls Cambridge a “city that prides itself on public participation,” it’s probably a bad idea for another public official to say:

I’m going to have it both ways. I’m going to say yes, there’s a need for more discussion. But no, I don’t think it’s going to change, and nor do I think it should change.

That was Mayor Henrietta Davis talking Monday about a smoking ban coming Aug. 1 to Cambridge public housing, but she wasn’t alone in this “let’s keep talking even though the decision isn’t going to change” message. The cynical might take it as the unofficial slogan of Cambridge government.

It sounds bad, am I right?