Twelve years after widespread corruption headed the list of Cambridge election issues and when patronage overshadowed honest qualification as basis for a municipal appointment, the city and the Cambridge Civic Association face another election. To some extent the issue is relatively clear cut, the loss of a CCA majority will bring back a lax government, dominated by self interest and designed to enrich a politically victorious few. But even the CCA has proposed some poor candidates, and voters should not blindly check its entire list of candidates.
We cannot endorse Hyman Pill nor Andrew Trodden any more than we can endorse such non-CCA incumbents as Edward Sullivan, John Foley and John Lynch. Pill, while not disturbing anyone, has contributed very little to Cambridge civic improvement, while the CCA has never explained why Trodden, a man of no apparent qualifications, deserves backing from either the Association or from Cambridge.
While CCA man Pill has added little to Council meetings in the past year, Independents Foley, Sullivan, and Lynch have detracted much. They have robbed the Council of prestige through their petty personality squabbles, their irresponsible red probe suggestions, and their silly and impractical proposals for student curfews. At great length, these men have discussed the parking inadequacies of Cambridge to reach only the conclusion that students own too many cars.
Five men on the CCA slate, however, deserve full support. Of top caliber is Edward Crane, a Harvard magna, Phi Bete, and Law School graduate. Crane's great interest in Cambridge civic affairs--apparent since his undergraduate days when he wrote his thesis on the city-manager plan, even though that was then a system new to Cambridge--his intimate knowledge of the city, and his cagerness to make it better, qualify him as the most outstanding example of an experienced councillor.
Backing Crane on many issues is Mayor Joseph A. DcGugliclmo, whose shrewdness makes him an important asset. It was DeGugliclmo at one time a supporter of former city manager John B. Atkinson who decided with Crane that after ten years Atkinson had grown dictatorial in his job, not even consulting the Council on important matters. DcGugliclmo and Crane forced the departure of Atkinson and replaced him with John Curry, a former school teacher who has administrated the city's affairs well, even lowering the tax rate.
Although on the other side of the Atkinson issue, Chester A. Higley and W. Donnison Swan are two councillors worthy of re-election. Swan's financial ability alone, which saves the Council from often fantastic ventures and founds its policies on practicality makes his re-election necessary. Higley's conscientious study of everything at Council meetings, and bis high personal integrity are sound reasons for backing Higley's bid.
The fifth man we support, Marcus Morton, is a moving force in the Cambridge Civic Unity Committee, which works to smooth out differences between ethnic groups. After two years and an enviable record on the Council, Morton decided to retire, but Crane and DcGugliclmo have wisely asked him back.
These are only five good men and the Council of a city of Cambridge's size needs more. But the absence of any one of these men from the Council would make a weaker Cambridge and might see the return of the corruption which marred the Council before the advent of the CCA.