Cambridge City Council candidates, part II

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Tuesday, Nov. 8 marks election day in Cambridge. On Tuesday we profiled eight candidates for Cambridge City Council, and today we follow up with nine more. The following information was compiled from interviews with the candidates, or, if they did not respond to Tech inquiries, information from (many thanks to Robert Winters!).

Gregg J. Moree


•Innovative planning to solve city problems, such as hydroponic greenhouses (mini gardens that are easily maintained anywhere).

•Increased funding for public services: firefighters, police, teachers, and emergency medical technicians.

•Preserve Cambridge’s rich culture, experience, tradition and history as we move forward.

•Renew City Manager’s contract.

Denise Simmons

Background: 6 terms on council, 2008-2009 mayor; small business owner and lifetime Cambridge resident


•Seniors: access to fully-funded senior centers and reliable public transportation.

•Creation and retention of affordable housing; aid in finding gainful employment.

•Support small businesses.

•Quality education for children: parental workshops, more collaboration between council and school administrations.

Kenneth E. Reeves

Background: 11 terms on council, 3 terms as mayor, 3 terms chairperson of Cambridge School Committee


•Close achievement gap in public schools, particularly for minority students (are majority of student population).

•Mentoring initiatives similar to Baby University, program that helps parents of children ages 0–3 prepare for future academic success.

•Implement final report of mayor’s Red Ribbon Commission concerning Central Square: make Central better place to work, live and play; foster better relations with MIT.

Tim J. Toomey

Background: 11 terms on council, 2 terms on Cambridge School Committee, State Representative of Cambridge and Somerville, co-creator of Cambridge Energy Alliance


•Quality of life and public safety: increased bicycle patrols, expanded anti-drug unit, noise ordinances, support for neighborhood initiatives.

•Reduce expansion of commuter rail traffic through Cambridge; encourage ride sharing, mass transit, and bicycling as alternative transportation.

•Intelligent expansion of business in Cambridge, especially revitalizing Kendall Square with housing and retail development.

•Utilizing green technologies (LEED certification standards met for new projects, solar panels for municipal buildings, recycle old building materials).

David P. Maher

Background: Current mayor, 6 terms on Council, four terms on Cambridge School Committee; Director of Development for Cambridge Family and Children Services


•Cooperative neighborhood coalitions: improve zoning requirements, reducing potential density, etc.

•Improved relations between local businesses and universities.

•Renewing Cambridge’s public school system with focus on elementary and middle schools.

•Affordable housing: promote public and private partnerships.

•Maintain quality public safety services; road and sidewalk improvement.

•Discussion of possible changes to property tax legislation.

Craig A. Kelley

Background: 3 terms as councilor; environmental consultant (Greenpeace, Boston College Law School)


•Long-term, sustainable housing policy.

•Fairer and more predictable property taxes.

•Local neighborhood concerns (overdevelopment, potentially dangerous business uses in residential areas, etc.).

•Safe streets: citywide traffic enforcement and education policy.

•Strong school system: budgetary oversight and more teamwork with public school system.

Sam Seidel

Background: 2 terms as councillor; background in urban planning (president of board of Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House)


•Expand early childhood education options.

•Reduce carbon footprint: encourage more efficient transportation, and make Cambridge a more bike-friendly city.

•Urban planning: main projects include development of Kendall Square, Central Square, and Massachusetts Avenue corridor. Requires full involvement of neighborhoods and universities. Possible aftereffect to consider: economic competitiveness.

Marjorie C. Decker

Background: 6 terms as councilor; graduate of Harvard Kennedy School


•Increase affordable housing options.

•Support GLBT rights.

•Consolidate and clarify city resources for Cambridge parents and children.

•Environmental initiatives involving Cambridge youth (monitor and reporting with city).

Gary W. Mello

Background: Lifetime Cambridge resident


•Cap city budget at $450 million per year (5% reduction, return to 2010 spending).

•Cambridge Health Alliance as baseline insurer for all city employees: keep money in house; will reduce cost of employee health insurance.

•Transition to new City Manager in March 2012.

•Affordable housing; alleviate overly populated neighborhoods.

•Transition to new water supply: Cambridge’s drinking water currently sourced from watershed alongside state’s busiest highway.