Action Delayed on Crane's Motion For Removal of the City Manager
The Cambridge City Council chambers last night echoed from the first formal shots of a battle to fire City Manager Joseph A. DeGuglielmo '29.
Councillor Edward A. Crane '35 introduced a resolution calling for the removal of DeGuglielmo. Councillor Daniel J. Hayes Jr., who voted two years ago to hire DeGuglielmo, immediately exercised his "charter right," deferring any consideration of the motion to the next council meeting. A simple majority of the council would be needed to remove the manager.
In another move, Councillor Barbara Ackermann proposed that Mayor Walter J. Sullivan appoint a committee composed of the entire council to consider the hiring of a new city manager. The committee would set qualifications for the manager's job, advertise the post, and interview candidates.
"We will be starting out blank ... nine councillors in search of a city manager," Mrs. Ackermann commented. She said it would require "heroic efforts on the part of four councillors not to feel left out" if only five councillors chose a new manager. She also called for a "gentlemen's agreement" by which councillors would agree not to meet with or discuss possible candidates for the job except with the entire council present.
Hayes and Alfred E. Vellucci (the just-elected vice-mayor) then clashed over an alleged bargain made at a caucus which they and the other three "independent" councillors attended prior to the election of Sullivan as mayor. Vellucci claimed that DeGuglielmo, speaking through Hayes, had agreed not to ask for public hearings on the dismissal motion. In return, none of the independents opposing the manager would call for a special meeting to speed his possible removal.
Hayes denied that any agreement had been made to forego hearings and said it would have been "presumptuous" of him to speak for DeGuglielmo, since he had no contact with the manager during the caucus. In reply, Vellucci roared, "You left that room many times and I don't know where you went."
In an interview last night, DeGuglielmo said he would not ask for hearings unless "a charge of malfeasance" was made against him. He said he didn't believe in a repetition of the circus" surrounding the removal of City Manager John J. Curry '19 two years ago. "If he (Crane) has the votes, he has the votes," DeGuglielmo said.