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City Planner Resigns; Will Teach at M.I.T.


A man who played a major role in developing Model Cities and other community programs in Cambridge is resigning his post at City Hall effective January 1.

The official, Justin M. Gray, currently assistant to the City Manager for Community Development, will became an M.I.T. faculty member in the Urban Studies and Planning Department. In addition, he and three members of his office who are leaving with him will found a private consulting firm in Cambridge.

Gray-assumed his post in 1967; his arrival marked the beginning of a majorincrease in City programs designed espcially to aid residents of the lower-in-come areas of Cambridge. He and other members of the Community Development Office helped to prepare applications for Federal grants for such programs as Model Cities. Community Renewal, and Public Housing Modernization and to design those projects.

Though the office and its philosophy of "citizen participation" at times came under heavy attack from some city councillors. Gray said yesterday that political squabbles had nothing to do with his resignation.

"I've always said my job is for two or two and a half years. One should not stay on too long," he said. "You get constipated and attached to the job. You can't make the hard decisions if you're too attached to the job."

Gray said he saw two principal jobs for his office when he came to Cambridge:

To strengthen the regular City departments concerned with matters such as recreation, housing, etc.

To fill in areas where no particular city department could do the job.

Now. Gray said, the strengthening of the regular City departments may mean that the Community Development Office no longer has to take on some of the jobs it previously did. A study funded by the Ford Foundation is now attempting to determine the proper structure for Cambridge's planning and community development efforts.

No successor has yet been named for Gray. He and members of his staff have sent a five-page memorandum to City Manager James L. Sullivan, outlining the various areas of responsibility for the development office, and making recommendations for improving its operation.

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