Thursday, March 22, 2007

All but one present and accounted for! Cambridge City Council learns to obey Open Meeting law?

Once again I arrive at City Hall to find a vehicle illegally parked and blocking access both the the emergency egress to City Hall during a schedualled meeting, but also blocking the accessible route and dedicated HP space. click on the photo for a large view and see the Traffic and parking supervisor in the window looking at me, even as I photograph the car. Below is the supervisor, who identified himself to me as Paul Doyle. he responded to my question of why he didn't ticket the car that was illegally parked by ststing that he disagreed with me that it was illegally parked, blocking the emergency egress, the accissible route and the Accissible HP space, because he observed, "people can walk around the car so it is not illegal, it is not blocking anything." The cambridge Police later told me the police do not have jurisdiction over the parling at City Hall, because it is "private property!" LOL I sent an email question about this to Michael Muehe, and I am still awaiting a reply. (Don't worry, I won't hold my breath.) BTW, by law the State Police do have jurisdiction over State Property.
Below is a photo of three City Councillors in attendence at the march 19th City Council meeting. Craig Kelley, Anthony galluchio and Michael sullivan are usually present at the start of City council meetings. The empty seat belongs to Marjorie Decker, who, usually is not in her seat at the beginning of meetings.
Surprise, Surprise! In the photo below, all four City Councillors that sit by the windows were in their seats at the begining of the City Council meeting. Everyone commented on this, the public section was abuzz with this unusual appearance of our elected representivitives. We, those members of the public who came to speak, and be heard by the City Council before they vote on matters before them, we were treated to a special and surprising treat. These four city councillors were actually present and accounted for at the meeting and for public comment! This is very unusual, as, like Marjorie Decker, these four, Vice Mayor, and State Rep Tim Toomey, Denice Simmons, Henrietta Davis and Brian Murphy are usually absent for public comment.
Below is the Mayor, and master of ceremonies, Ken Reeves. he was unusually subdued, and stated that everyone had to obey the rules. The Cambridge Chronicle had documented the failure of the City Council to obey it's own rules, and the state of Mass Open Meeting Law. I am wondering if some secret admonishment was handed down by the State, requesting the Cambridge City Council to please, if you don't mind, stop breaking the toothless law.
Whatever was the reason, it sure felt good to be speaking to actual City Councillors, Marjorie Decker excluded, and not to empty chairs. Even if they don't actually listen to us, and are busy updating their palm pilots, if feels different to see faces and bodies, that empty space.


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