Cambridge city councillors serenaded the new mayor, Kenneth E. Reeves
’72, who is one month into his term, with a rendition of “Happy
Birthday,” at City Hall last night. But they had other business to
attend to as well—addressing a range of issues from contracts to
cuisine to concrete.
The council outlined a plan to evaluate the performance of its
city manager, Robert W. Healy, whose contract is set to expire this
summer. It is likely to negotiate another term with him, according to a
Councillors have until the end of February to vote over
whether to rehire Healy, who has served as Cambridge’s city manager
since 1981. Before then, each councillor will meet individually with
Healy to discuss his performance, according to a late order passed
yesterday. The council will also hold a public hearing to discuss
Healy’s work on Feb. 22. Later this month, a majority of councillors
will then vote over whether to retain Healy.
Under Cambridge’s Plan E form of government, the elected
council, chaired by the mayor, hires the city manager, who directs most
of the daily operations of local government.
Last fall, several outsider council candidates criticized some
of Healy’s policies, including the creation of a $50 million police
headquarters to be named after Healy himself. One of those critics,
Craig Kelley—who became the only non-incumbent to win a council seat
last November—said yesterday that he would not block Healy’s contract
“I can’t imagine that he won’t be rehired,” Kelley said.
“Whatever my personal views, I’m not out lobbying” to change
As the council looked to evaluate one man’s quarter-century tenure, it celebrated the endurance of another Cambridge fixture.
Councillors passed a ceremonial resolution congratulating Mr.
Bartley’s Burger Cottage in Harvard Square on its 45th anniversary.
Councillor Michael A. Sullivan, who was mayor until this year,
quipped that Bartley’s burgers—a staple of the Square’s tourist fare—go
“above and beyond the call of duty in both flavor and aroma.”
“[Bartley’s] is an important reason why we’re on the map,” Councillor Henrietta Davis added.
The council also discussed improving the median strip on Mass.
Ave. north of Harvard Square. Kelley described the median, a plain
concrete strip about four miles long between Harvard Square and
Arlington, as “about as ugly as one can get” and inconvenient to people
Sullivan suggested that plants, used in some median strips in
Chicago, could provide an attractive, yet affordable partial solution.
The council then passed without discussion an order to
investigate installing a traffic light and pedestrian walk signal on
Mass. Ave. and Church Street, outside Johnston Gate.
But a routine announcement of committee assignments issued by
Reeves descended into confusion. Kelley noted that two of the
committees, Public Safety and Human Services, had more members than
stipulated in the rules. The council resolved to amend at a future date
the rules to allow for more committee members.