THE ELECTION TODAY is important to the people of Cambridge--those who live and work here--because it will determine the fate of rent control. If a majority of liberal councilors is not elected, Cambridge is in danger of losing rent control. But if only five independents--the liberals' opponents--are elected there is little reason to believe that an effective rent control program will be retained in Cambridge.
A new group of liberal reformer politicians have banded together to offer Cambridge residents a clear-cut alternative to the independents. That alternative, the Cambridge Convention '75 slate, includes an ironclad platform provision for the retention of rent control.
That platform also contains provisions favoring downzoning--which preserves smaller neighborhoods--and the control of high-profit high-rise development, both positions that the independents have not accepted.
A majority of Cambridge Convention '75 candidates on the council would also ensure that the present city manager, who has kept taxes down and improved city services, would remain in that capacity. However, if the independents form a majority, it is likely that they will fire the city manager, leaving Cambridge with unstable city management at best, and at worst, a new city manager less interested in good government and more interested in patronage.
Although all of the most qualified candidates are running with Cambridge Convention '75 endorsement, incumbents Saundra Graham, Francis H. Duehay '55, Barbara Ackermann and David Wylie deserve particular mention as proven forces in good government, rent control and neighborhood preservation.
All of the non-incumbents on the Cambridge Convention '75 slate, particularly David Clem and John Brode '52, would also serve well as members of the council.
There is also a need for a school committee dedicated to reform and to the abolishment of job patronage. The candidates on the Cambridge Convention '75 ticket, especially incumbents Peter Gesell, Glenn Koocher '71, and Charles Pierce, are capable of providing that influence.
This year more students than ever are registered to vote in Cambridge. Those students should recognize that the important issues in this election are the maintenance of rent control, neighborhood preservation and good government, and they should vote accordingly.