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Public Enemies

CITY HALL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Disputes with landlords and public employees occupied most of the summer for Cambridge city officials.

City landlords, thwarted in attempts to convert their rental apartments to condominiums, tried a new tack, selling them as "cooperative housing."

After city councilors assailed the new plan as "circumvention" and the "latest plan to harass the city's tenants," the council passed a law prohibiting cooperative--a law being challenged in state court.

Meanwhile, city workers almost went out on strike. Bargaining committees finally reached tentative agreement on a contract six minutes before a scheduled walkout was to have begun--and the city's largest union approved the pact by only 25 votes later in the week.

Even that settlement seemed threatened later in the summer, when the union called for a new election, claiming irregularities in the last balloting. City manager James L. Sullivan said he would ask the state or the courts to block the new agreement, adding he would not change his contract offer. That quarrel is not solved either.

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