At 5:21 p.m. yesterday--the usual starting time for the Cambridge City Council meetings scheduled weekly at 5 p.m. the council chamber was empty Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci was not there to top his ceremonial gavel to call the session to order and ask all assembled to pledge allegiance to the flag. A blanker at snow had stopped or at least slowed the wheels of the city's government.
The city council's procedural rules state that the nine-member body can cancel a meeting if a quorum does not appear at the appointed hour Vellucci made it clear to his fellow councillors yesterday afternoon that the requisite number would not show.
But most of the councillors contacted yesterday did not oppose the mayor's action. After two consecutive marathon sessions trying to hammer out zoning changes for the last large tract of undeveloped land in Cambridge, they said they were looking forward to the unusually restful Monday night.
What Is To Be Done?
Councillor David A Wylie, who led the abortive effort to rezone the 130 acre plot in the Cambridgeport area, said yesterday he would probably spend the evening studying Russian "I guess we earned our pay for the month." In the last two weeks, he added.
Contacted at his North Cambridge pharmacy. Councillor Thomas W. Danchy said he would probably stay put and mind his shop "Under the conditions we have. I think it's a good thing" to cancel the scheduled meeting, he added.
An avid jogger, Danchy might have taken the opportunity to get in a few miles at Fresh Pond, but a broken wrist suffered from a fall on ice last year has left him "a little bit paranoid."
To prevent a repeat spill, Danchy took to the streets at 4:45 a.m. for three miles before the streets got slick.
Ironically, Councillor David E. Sullivan had hoped to propose an order last night asking the city manager to enforce the municipal law concerning the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks.
Sullivan's plan calls for parking control officers to give non-criminal citations to businessmen and homeowners who do not comply with the ordinance.
The council's lone holdout was Councillor Francis H. Duchay '55, who did not agree with Vellucci's subtle efforts "As far as I'm concerned. I'm going to be here," said Duchay from the council office in City Hall He added. "I do not expect a quorum".
He was not disappointed.
Fortunately, the most pressing matter on the council's agenda was a hearing on the status of the public housing in the city. That hearing and all the other city business was postponed until Monday, 5 p.m.