It's Christmas time in the city, as the song says, and public officials are joining good boys and girls everywhere in asking Santa Claus for that special gift. But government leaders have requests that are sometimes different from those of others on Santa's list.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.) is watching his stocking for a mutual bilateral nuclear freeze, a spokesman for the senator said yesterday.
Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.), the junior senator from Massachusetts, also has his eye on something hard to find in Santa's sack. "He wants peace in the Mideast and Central America," said Press Secretary Mary Ellen Thompson.
On the local scene, Cambridge Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci said last night he wants money from Washington so he can restore services to the people of the city.
"I even have a huge stocking hanging by the fireplace in my mayor's office so Santa can come down the chimney if he wants," Vellucci said.
Councilor David E. Sullivan also thought first of his constituents. "I want Santa Harvard to fix up the Craigie Arms building and give it back to the tenants of Cambridge," Sullivan said. The building has been the focus of a long struggle by Harvard Real Estate to change its rent-controlled apartments into financially lucrative, high-cost condominiums.
Councilor Leonard J. Russell, however, had a different request. "I'm asking Santa to make me mayor," Russell said. The nine councilors will elect one of their number to the position after the new council is sworn is in January.
If it is too hard to get down the chimney, I'll open the door," Russell added. But he also wished for "a stocking full of happiness to my fellow councilors."
Assistant City Manager Richard C. Rossi asked for "continued good health to the city leaders so they can continue their good work in the city." But his boss, City Manager Robert W. Healy, said he had no requests.
"I got my Christmas present early this year, when we finished revaluation [of city real estate] and got the [property] tax bills out this week," Healy said.
Only Councilor Francis H. Duehay '55 asked for something that Santa could actually put in his bag. "I'd like a pair of slippers, but that's about the only request I have at the moment," Duehay said.