Kresge, Firehouse Polling Sites For Cambridge City ElectionsBy Christine R. Fry
Cambridge voters will elect city councilors, school committee members, and will decide the fate of the Community Preservation Act this coming Tuesday.
There are 19 candidates this year running for nine city council seats, including seven incumbent councilors running for re-election. The city is run by a city manager, a position that is not chosen by the citizens.
Cambridge has a “weak mayor” system of government, meaning that the city is run by the city manager and the city council. The mayor is chosen from among the city councilors, by the council, and mostly keeps order at city council meetings and serves as a leader of the city.
The school committee is in charge of the management and budget of the Cambridge city schools. It consists of seven members, six of whom are elected by the voters. The seventh member, and chair of the committee, is the mayor. There are ten candidates for the six open seats.
There is only one question on the ballot this year. The voters will be asked to decide whether the Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a good thing for Cambridge. If the CPA is passed, the state would match funds provided by Cambridge to help protect natural spaces (parks, playgrounds, etc.), produce affordable housing, and save historic sites in Cambridge.
In addition to the CPA, there are several issues that have been brought up during the campaign. Affordable housing has been a big concern for the past few years due to the end of rent control and an influx of people who want to reside in Cambridge. The CPA may help to alleviate this.
Other hot issues this campaign include lowering the voting age to 16, increasing MBTA service in Cambridge, and making Memorial Drive safer for pedestrians.
The election process is slightly different from the national presidential election. Voters rank candidates in order of preference, but they do not have to rank all of the candidates. There are spaces provided for write-in candidates to be ranked.
The polls will open on Tuesday, November 6 at 7 a.m., and close at 8 p.m. For more information, call the Election Office at 617-349-4361 or visit the Cambridge City Election web site