Protesters Charge Mayor With Conflict of Interest
A member of the Cambridge Tenants Organizing Committee (CTOC) charged in a City Council meeting last night that Mayor Walter J. Sullivan has a conflict of interest in development plans for Kendall Square and asked that Sullivan disqualify himself from voting on the issue.
Jeffrey Petrocelly said that since Sullivan is a vice president and director of the Charlesbank Trust Company, which is located in Kendall Square, he has a direct interest in the development of the area.
Councilor Thomas W. Danehy called the accusation "smear tactics" and asked that the council adjourn until City Solicitor Edward D. McCarthy can rule on the possibility of a conflict of interest.
Earlier in the meeting, 12 members of the CTOC staged a guerrilla theater event to protest against the Neighborhood Plan for the development of Kendall Square.
Nine actors dressed in black, representing each city councilor, presented a cardboard model of Cambridge to two actors holding a banner bearing a picture of MIT, which is a principal backer of the Neighborhood Plan.
The Neighborhood Plan is one of four plans that the council is considering for the development of 24 acres of city-owned land in Kendall Square.
The five Independent councilors submitted an order at last week's council meeting that would ensure the council's approval of the Neighborhood Plan and recommend an early start on construction.
The tenants oppose the Neighborhood Plan because it "ignores Cambridge's need for blue-collar jobs and for low-rent housing," CTOC spokesman Joseph Cirincioni said in a prepared preface to the demonstration.
The Neighborhood Plan proposal has as "a number one priority" development of light industry and research and development industries to," create employment opportunities and expand the city's tax base."
The plan includes provisions for retail establishments, a hotel, and a sizable area of privately financed housing.
Opponents of the plan say that since the housing is privately financed, it would probably be too expensive for local residents. "It's not fair and not right to have luxury housing on public lands," liberal Councilor David A. Wylie said last night.
The council voted 5-4 against a proposal by liberal Councilor Francis H. Duehay '55 that would have replaced the Neighborhood Plan with the city manager's plan, which would not have allowed any housing on the site.
In other business, the council voted, 7-2, to adopt a resolution submitted by Councilor Alfred E. Vellucci endorsing the administration of school superintendent Alflorence Cheatham and congratulating him for not resigning