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Sullivan Elected as Mayor on First Ballot

By Dana Levine


In its inaugural session, the Cambridge City Council elected Councillor Michael A. Sullivan as mayor of Cambridge. Sullivan, who has served on the City Council since 1994, was elected unanimously on the first ballot.

The 2001-2002 City Council, which was installed Monday by City Clerk Margaret Drury, includes incumbents Sullivan, Henrietta Davis, David P. Maher, Marjorie C. Decker, Kenneth E. Reeves, Anthony D. Galluccio, and Timothy J. Toomey Jr, and two new members, E. Denise Simmons and Brian Murphy.

Sullivan initially received votes from Davis, Maher, Murphy, Simmons, and himself. Councillors Decker, Reeves, Galluccio, and Toomey initially voted for other candidates, but changed their votes after Sullivan had earned a majority.

Sullivan was inaugurated by his uncle, Middlesex County Clerk of Courts Edward J. Sullivan, who served as mayor from 1956 to 1968. Sullivan’s father, Walter J. Sullivan, served on the council for 34 years, including three terms as mayor.

Following Sullivan’s election, six councillors voted to elect Councillor Henrietta Davis as vice mayor. Davis has served on the council since 1996, and has chaired the council’s Health and Environment Committee.

Town-gown committee announced

Following his inauguration, Sullivan announced the creation of a new standing committee on university relations. “There needs to be good neighbors in our universities,” he said.

Sullivan said that past city-university relations have consisted of “piecemeal” dealings between a university and one or two councillors, and this has led the council to consider such a committee. “The difficulty for the city has been that it has not had a committee that worked on town-gown relations,” he said.

Sullivan emphasized the need for Cambridge universities to publicize long-term development plans. In addition, he called for appropriate “in lieu of tax” payments. Although Cambridge universities are non-profit, and therefore do not pay property taxes, MIT makes an annual voluntary contribution to the City of Cambridge. However, Sullivan said that this payment is insufficient, and he hopes that the town-gown committee will allow the City Council to renegotiate annually.

Education, housing important

Sullivan said that education and affordable housing will also be hallmark issues for the current City Council. He called for a joint meeting of the Cambridge school board and City Council, which will allow the council to begin to address educational issues. He also said that the council “will use zoning to ensure that people of moderate and middle income are allowed to stay in this city,” he said.