Cambridge would be a "beautiful city" without Harvard, Cambridge Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci said last night before about 60 students in the Freshman Union.
Vellucci said Cambridge and Harvard now confront one another over numerous issues, such as the controversy over Harvard-sponsored DNA research and the leaky underpass below the Science Center.
Vellucci said he submitted the proposal to ban DNA research to the Cambridge City Council, although the council eventually agreed on a compromise measure. "We finally came up with a pretty strong set of rules to permit them to do the work, but it had to be supervised," he added.
"We have the right to peek into the laboratories and see what those wild-eyes professors are doing," Vellucci said.
The mayor also criticized Harvard for not compensating Cambridge for city services. "Everytime a male or female student goes to the bathroom in this University, it goes into our city's sewer which Harvard doesn't pay a penny for."
"But just because we disagree doesn't mean we hate people," Vellucci added. "We do want to work together with Harvard," he said.
In response to a student question concerning the recent allegations in The Boston Globe that Vellucci held a "no-show" job as state tax collector, the mayor said the newspaper had reported inaccurately.
"I was signed out and I was on my day off and they followed me around without knowing I was on my day off," Vellucci said. "I had already transferred all my money from the state in the month of August because I was planning to resign anyway, and this gave me the opportunity to do it," he added.
Vellucci was the second lecturer to appear at the Greenough Dinner Forum, an organization founded by Thomas W. Flynn '81, Denis J. Kennedy '81, and David L. Bragden '81, all of Greenough Hall.