Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cambridge City Wide Task Force on Neighborhood Crime

This is a brief snapshot of the second meeting of the City Wide Task Force on Neighborhood Crime held on April 12, 2007. There was more discussion of substance at the first meeting. This meeting focused on procedure. It was led by Michael Shively, a consultant from ABT Associates. It was not announced if he was a volunteer or if he was paid by the taxpayers. Considering all of the high paid talent in this city one wonders why a consultant was needed to help these overpaid officials focus on what they want to do. Shively did not provide any programs of how to reduce crime. He explained methods how the Task Force may proceed and handed out a proposed pattern for the operation of the Task Force.
The Committee created three teams to study ways to prevent street violence in Cambridge. One is focused on Policing, one is focused on Community Response, and one on Jobs. Councilor Simmons did not attend. Richard Harding School Committee Member expressed his view that the teams should not have to meet in public. Others questioned whether their emails regarding the discussions were public records. The Mayor did not think that the meetings should be scheduled so that members of the public could attend. Instead he said the meetings should be scheduled for the convenience of the Task Force members. Open Meetings Law is Mass General Laws Chapter 39, Sec. 23 A, B, and C. It is easily available online at and other sites.
In view of the fact that the elected officials in Cambridge do not know their own rules nor Robert's Rules of Order by which the Council meetings are mandated to be run, it is not surprising that they are unaware of the requirements of the Open Meeting Law, the Public Records Act and the Ethics Laws.
I'm sorry for the poor quality of the video. These clips did not translate well into a web movie.

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