Manager Won't Consider Quitting Until City Council Confirms Peterson

Cambridge City Manager John H. Corcoran said yesterday he would not make a decision on resigning until the City Council takes "final action" on his replacement.

The Council voted 5-4 on Friday to appoint Peterson upon receipt of Corcoran's resignation, but councillor Thomas Danehy asked for reconsideration in a motion filed yesterday.

Final action may come Thursday when the Council reconsiders its decision to appoint Howard C. Peterson of Princeton, N.J. in place of Corcoran.

In a prepared statement, Corcoran said he would continue to discharge his official duties and would refuse to answer any questions about his future course of action.

Mayor Barbara Ackermann said yesterday she had not been in touch with Corcoran, but hoped he would reach a decision soon.


In January, Corcoran said he would resign as soon as the Council agreed upon his successor. But recent speculation around City Hall suggests that Corcoran is prepared to fight to prevent his ouster.

If Corcoran chooses to fight, the Council would be forced to vote to fire him. Corcoran could then demand specific reasons for his dismissal, a public hearing, and a revote.

Although the five liberal council members pledged to remove Corcoran after last November's election, they spent months trying to locate a successor before they settled on Peterson two weeks ago.

At that time, the Council voted its intention to offer the position to Peterson. Friday's resolution moved a step closer to appointing Peterson by setting July 24 as the date for his takeover, assuming Corcoran resigns.

Peterson, 28 years old, is the former city administrator of New Brunswick, N.J. He is currently an urban consultant for a New York City firm.