Sunday, November 11, 2007


Cambridge City Noise Ordinance prohibits deliveries after 9:00 PM. Harvard University ignores the city laws and accepts deliveries at all hours long after 9:00 PM. In this brief video clip, you can see trucks at the rear of the Fogg Museum picking up goods and furniture from events at the Fogg on Thursday November 7, 2007 at about 10:30 PM and on Sunday November 11, 2007 at 12:30 AM. The same loading dock is used beginning at 7:00 AM for trash pickups. The trucks warning beepers and banging as they load their goods makes very loud noises after hours. This is a regular occurrence every week.
My repeated complaints to the City officials and to the police dispatchers brought no relief. Often the dispatchers refer the calls to Harvard University police who do not have jurisdiction over City ordinances. It may be intentional by the dispatchers who know that Harvard police cannot do anything. This prevents any enforcement of the noise ordinance. In effect the dispatchers are negating city policy.
But that does not explain why the City Manager does not act to assert his power of enforcement. He is the chief law enforcement officer in the city under state statute. He decides what laws and ordinances he wants the police to enforce and which ones he wants ignored. The City Council makes policy. They permit the Manager to usurp their power by not asserting their authority over the Manager. Thus they make themselves appear to be meaningless officials and spineless by allowing this widespread lack of enforcement of their ordinances. And they wonder why so few people vote.

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