City Council: Election 2003

Twenty candidates are on the ballot for today’s Cambridge City Council election—all nine incumbent councillors plus 11 challengers. The Crimson posed 11 questions to them on the eve of the election.

Courtesy OF Robert winters

Aimee Smith


1. One of the key issues that came before the current city council was the vote on the Riverside zoning.

Incumbents: Why did you vote for the compromise with Harvard?

Challengers: Would you have voted for the compromise with Harvard that the city council passed? Why/why not?

2. Now that the Riverside zoning issue has come to an end, what do you see as the key issues for the city to work on with Harvard during the current term, and how would you work with Harvard officials to address these issues?

3. As Harvard and the City Manager discuss a new Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement, what do you think would be a reasonable PILOT payment for Harvard to pay the city?


4. What is your opinion on the ballot question that, if approved, would ask the state legislature for a home rule petition reinstating rent control in Cambridge?

5. Regardless of whether the rent control petition is passed, what should the city do to provide affordable housing for low and middle income residents in Cambridge?

6.  This summer there was a series of shootings in the city, and this month there have been several indecent assaults reported in the area. What should be done to improve public safety in the city?

7. What steps do you think the city council should take to help improve Cambridge’s schools?

8. On the citywide smoking ban in restaurants and bars instituted this October:

Incumbents: Why did you vote the way you did on the smoking ban in Cambridge? Looking back, do you stand by your decision?

Challengers: Would you have voted for the smoking ban in Cambridge?

9. Cambridge is a city with a large student population. How involved do you think students are in local politics? Is there anything you’d like to do to get them more involved? One issue that comes up with students a lot is the absence of late-night eateries in the city. What, if anything, would you do to address this concern?

10. What is your favorite place to eat in Cambridge?

11. What is favorite thing to do in the city?