Attend meetings on the past (and next) elections, historical buildings and increasing ‘linkage’ fees
Council, committee on elections
City Council and School Committee roundtable, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday. All the elected officials gather with the city manager and election commissioners to discuss how the past election went, including new polling locations and practices, and conflicts and problems that have arisen between state redistricting and the city’s own voting map. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.
Teen health survey time
School Committee School Climate Subcommittee, 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. It’s time to discuss the newest teen health survey, which is one way education officials stay on top of issues such as drug use by Cambridge kids and trends such as vaping. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.
Real estate ‘linkage’ fee leap
Housing Committee, 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday. This committee run by city councillors E. Denise Simmons and Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler resumes its look at a potential jump in real estate “linkage” fees that could be a serious shock to the system, going to $33.34 a square foot from the current $20.10 – money that must be paid by developers of big, nonresidential construction to fund affordable housing. The meeting notice is confusing, saying the meeting will be conducted virtually yet the committee will meet at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square.
American Rescue Plan funds
Finance Committee, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. This committee made up of the whole City Council and run by members Dennis Carlone and E. Denise Simmons will hear an overview and update on money received from a State and Local Fiscal Recovery Grant of the American Rescue Plan Act. Cambridge is getting around $65 million to use on items related to Covid-19 recovery. (In practice, that appears to mean spending it on whatever the city manager wants, given that a long-promised municipal broadband feasibility study is among the first-announced projects to be paid for by the grant.) The meeting notice is confusing, saying the meeting will be conducted virtually yet the committee will meet at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square.
Gas-Light and Friends buildings
Historical Commission, 6 p.m. Thursday. Landmarking at the historic 1912 Cambridge Gas-Light Co. Building at 727 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, gets more discussion, as do plans to add a boutique hotel and some office space atop the structure. Similarly, there’s a citizens landmarking petition that might get in the way of partial demolition (and a bit of relocation and enlargement) at the former American Friends Service Committee office building at 2161 Massachusetts Ave., North Cambridge, which was sold in July for $2.9 million. Hearings on the preservation petition and the reconstruction plans for the Friends’ building were postponed from Nov. 10.
Lesley University plans
Lesley University’s plans, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. The Porter Square Neighbors Association offers a chance to learn more about Lesley University’s plans in Porter Square and the rest of Cambridge – the properties Lesley has put up for sale, the renovations being made to existing properties and long-term plans for the Porter Square campus. Participants for the first hour include Janet L. Steinmayer, Lesley’s president, Jan Devereux, its director of government relations and university communications, school executive Joanne Kossuth and general counsel Shirin Philipp as well as a representative for Austin Architects. The final half-hour will continue the conversation without the school officials. The Zoom is here, with a meeting ID of 557 647 1494 and passcode 7KcPAW.