A City Council committee hearing about neighborhood groups – their successes and challenges and how the city can better support them – was great, but not all groups attended. And there is still work to be done at making all feel welcome at neighborhood meetings and City Council meetings.
With the city’s growth to 105,162 people, talk of changes to voting wards, districts and precincts arose at a City Council roundtable, as well as the problem of falsely “inactive” voters and better reporting of election night data.
The U.S. Census is holding a job fair Monday in hopes of hiring 1,000 people to serve mainly as enumerators, also known as census-takers — the people who go door to door to find people who failed to answer the census packets that will be mailed to them this month.
Many times during the eight weeks it took to elect a mayor city councillors said some variation of “This is our system. The system works.” They weren’t saying that at the end of the process, and for good reason.
Despite much talk Monday about electing a mayor, the City Council took no vote — there was tacit agreement not to hold one while councillor Tim Toomey was away — and wound up only incrementally further along on addressing the issue: awaiting a report from the city solicitor and prepared to hold additional meetings, and votes, if the situation isn’t soon resolved.
The council’s fourth and fifth mayoral ballots failed Monday, leaving the city without a permanent mayor into the second month of its term. Henrietta Davis picked up a vote, and Ken Reeves lost one.
Every four years there is a call to abolish the U.S. electoral college. In Cambridge, elections incite calls to end proportional representation — our rare form of voting in which candidates are ranked instead of just chosen or rejected. Let’s not.
City councillors failed Monday to reach the five votes needed to elect a mayor, meaning — with Martin Luther King Jr. Day coming in a week — the city will be without one for at least two weeks. The delay has precedents and is nowhere near a record set in the 1940s.
A proposal to name part of the new Main Library after the late storyteller Brother Blue prodded the City Council into voting Monday to explore its habit — some would say compulsion — of honoring residents by naming things after them.