Friday, April 19, 2024

Taha Jennings, budget director for Cambridge, has prepared a coronavirus version of the city’s finances as well as a pre-coronavirus version. (Photo: Derek Kouyoumjian)

Budget appropriations, masks and Twitter reform

City Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. Budget talk begin with appropriation orders from the city manager, though the full budget – led by the city’s Taha Jennings – is due to be submitted in a week. “We’ve had to do two budgets,” City Manager Louis A. DePasquale said Monday. “We did a budget that was pretty much done before Covid-19 really hit, to give everyone enough time to do what they needed to do to put it together, and then we went back and revisited every decision we made and made adjustments based on Covid-19. And we’ll have a long discussion about that.”

The meeting is also due to include discussion about a May 3 social media slip, when Cambridge Police Superintendent Jack Albert, a 32-year-member of the department and native Cantabrigian, accidentally used the department’s official Twitter account in an online conversation to bash U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III as “another liberal fucking jerk” – in a city renowned for its liberalism. Some councillors want information on discipline for Albert, even if they hear it in a closed-door session, and to know how social media policies have changed to prevent another such incident. There’s also interest in reopening the Recycling Center for a short time to help people handle materials built up since stay-at-home orders began, and an order on policies for wearing masks outdoors is bound to return.

The meeting will be televised and stream online. Sign up for public comment here to get instructions about how to use the necessary Zoom video conference platform.

Handling coronavirus, last day of school year

School Committee virtual special meeting, 6 p.m. Tuesday. The committee plans to engage the community “in a conversation about a Covid-19 plan” and an appeal to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education about determining the last day of school for the year – one version of which will cost the city another $2 million. Mandatory signup for public comment runs through noon Tuesday by phone at (617) 349-6620 or 5:30 p.m. online at​​.

The meeting will be broadcast over Cambridge Educational Access TV channels 98 and 99 and should stream online. More information is here.