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Council Rejects Motion To Bill Nixon for Riot


The Cambridge City Council last night overwhelmingly defeated a motion to bill President Nixon for expenses incurred by the City during the Harvard Square riot and CFIA trashing two weeks ago.

Only Mayor Barbara Ackermann, who introduced the order, voted in favor of it as the measure failed by a 7-1 margin.

"It is a custom in this city to bill a person who puts on an event that requires the presence of the police," she said. "This is also an attempt to reach the ear of the President. It is essential for people in authority to get to the press, to tell the young people demonstrating that we've heard what they said."

Several councillors greeted the reading of the measure with harsh words. "That's a disgrace to your office," said Councillor Walter J. Sullivan. "I wish you'd withdraw it."

Citing Ackermann's motion, Councillor Thomas Danehy introduced an order requesting that she resign her honorary office of Mayor. Danehy's order was defeated 5-4 as Councillor Alfred E. Vellucci voted "both yes and no."

Ackermann's resolution lacked any literal substance since the Council had appropriated $20,000 earlier in the evening for police expenses in the riot.

"Every councillor has an inalienable right to grandstand, but I think restraint should be shown here," Councillor Robert Moncreiff said. "I'm no fan of Nixon, but the damage caused to Cambridge in the disturbance cannot really be traced directly to him."

"Just as Lieutenant Calley was guilty of the Mylai incident himself," he added, "whatever was done here is the fault of the people who did it."

The Council also rejected a substitute proposal by Vellucci that the City bill Harvard for the cost of the extra police details.

At the end of the meeting. Ackermann apologized for any "embarrassment to individual councillors--in the future I will be more careful to state what is my own opinion."

Earlier the Council had approved an order calling for an investigation of the rents paid by tenants in public housing. "Right now the city is in violation of the Little-Brooke Amendment and is collecting rents illegally." Councillor Henry F. Owens said.

The Little-Brooke Amendment requires that people on public assistance not pay more than 25 per cent of their income in public housing

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