Last night, in the final Cambridge City Council meeting of the year, Anthony D. Galluccio was sworn in as the newest city councillor.
The 27-year-old legislative side, a native Cantabrigian, on Saturday won a recount to succeed convicted felon William H. Walsh's seat on the nine-member council.
But a less harmonious discussion followed the ceremony, as councillors criticized the lack of a supermarket in two city neighborhoods and questioned City Manager Robert W. Healy after the public release of a report showing minorities are vastly underrepresented in the city administration.
The special recount took place on Friday, following Walsh's sentencing last month on 41 charges of bank fraud and conspiracy and his removal from office as mandated by Massachusetts.
Galluccio, his mother and his sister were escorted into the council chamber in the 6 p.m. ceremony. He was sworn in by City Clerk D. Margaret Drury.
"To me, the communities of Cambridge--that's what spurred me to go into politics," Galluccio said in his speech following the ceremony.
"It's about generations of people who support each other in times of need," said Galluccio, the son of an Italian immigrant and Harvard graduate. "Now I have an opportunity to give back to it."
Galluccio is a legislative side to state Sen. Robert D. Wetmore (D-Barre) and a night student at Suffolk university Law School.
A report issued yesterday by Susan B. Schlesinger, the acting city manager for community development, outlined options the city can take to have a supermarket built in Cambridge-port and Riverside.
In August the council denied the Stop-and-Shop chain a zoning permit to build a large branch on Memorial Drive.
Councillor Timothy J. Toomey Jr., who voted against Stop-and-Shop, said the proposed store's size would have impaired traffic conditions and quality of life in Cambridgeport.
Galluccio said the city must provide transportation to elderly tenants who cannot walk to the nearest supermarket. But Councillor Katherine Triantafillou said that access, though inconvenient, does exist for Cambridge residents. "Every individual in Cambridge is within two miles of a supermarket," she said.
In a new development, Schlesinger's report noted that the city might use its right of eminent domain to appropriate land and then hire a developer to build a market on that site.
A report on the city's affirmative action program, also released yesterday, was subject to a heated discussion regarding the city's hiring of minorities.
Minorities actually make up 24.8 percent of the city's total work force, but are not evenly distributed.
For instance, minorities make up 42 percent of service and maintenance staff, but only 11 percent of officials and administrators. Only two departmental heads are minorities.
"We are failing miserably in our goals for hiring minor ities," said Triantafillou, chair of the city's civil and human rights committee. "The numbers are pretty horrifying.
Healy, who is responsible for all administrative appointments, was criticized by Mayor Kenneth E. Reeves '72 for appointing a new five-members water board that is all white.
Reeves said the upcoming year "needs to be the year we get diversity."
He said the city must use tougher approaches to minority hiring.
Reeves said the city had hired contractors from out-of-state when minority firms in the city were in need of business.
But Healy replied that state law requires Cambridge to award contracts to the lowest bidder, after fulfilling a 10 percent quota for minority firms.
"There are dozens and dozens of qualified minorities who want to work [for the city]," Triantafillou said.
"Have them send resumes right in, because we haven't found that to be the experience," Healy replied, specifying that the applicant pool for city jobs does not include enough talented Asians, Blacks and Latinos.
The mayor said the city's only minority department head is Police Commissioner Perry L. Anderson, who is Black. Reeves suggested that the city look into search firms to diversify.
Triantafillou suggested that Healy should meet with the city's Haitian and Latino commissions to review job opportunities in city government