Cam­bridge city elec­tion set for July 12

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE vwingate@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @vic­to­ri­adorstar and on In­sta­gram @dorch­ester.star.

CAM­BRIDGE — Res­i­dents in Cam­bridge will head to the polls on Tuesday, July 12 for the city’s gen­eral elec­tion, which fea­tures two con­tested races.

Tuesday’s gen­eral elec­tion will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Gov­er­nors Hall at Sail­winds Park.

Wards 3 and 4 each fea­ture con­tested races with Ward 3 in­cum­bent Frank Cooke fac­ing for­mer city com­mis­sioner La-Shon Fos­ter.

In Ward 4, new­com­ers Dion Banks and Dave Can­non will be on the bal­lot.

Races for Wards 1, 2 and 5 and the of­fice of mayor are un­con­tested. Can­di­date for Ward 1 is Steve Ride­out; can­di­date for Ward 2 is Don­ald Syd­nor; can­di­date for Ward 5 is Robert Han­son; and can­di­date for mayor is Vic­to­ria Jack­son-Stan­ley.

CAM­BRIDGE — Res­i­dents in Cam­bridge will head to the polls on Tuesday, July 12 for the city’s gen­eral elec­tion, which fea­tures two con­tested races.

Tuesday’s gen­eral elec­tion will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Gov­er­nors Hall at Sail­winds Park.

Wards 3 and 4 each fea­ture con­tested races with Ward 3 in­cum­bent Frank Cooke fac­ing for­mer city com­mis­sioner La-Shon Fos­ter.

In Ward 4, new­com­ers Dion Banks and Dave Can­non will be on the bal­lot.

Races for Wards 1, 2 and 5 and the of­fice of mayor are un­con­tested. Can­di­date for Ward 1 is Steve Ride­out; can­di­date for Ward 2 is Don­ald Syd­nor; can­di­date for Ward 5 is Robert Han­son; and can­di­date for mayor is Vic­to­ria Jack­son-Stan­ley.

Can­di­dates had the op­por­tu­nity to share their plat­forms be­fore the pri­mary elec­tion at a fo­rum hosted by the League of Women Vot­ers of Mid-Shore and the West End Cit­i­zens As­so­ci­a­tion Inc. They fo­cused on the hous­ing blight af­fect­ing the city, Sail­winds devel­op­ment, and their in­di­vid­ual qual­i­fi­ca­tions for of­fice. Ward 3 To ad­dress the hous­ing blight, Cooke high­lighted the ef­forts that the city has al­ready taken dur­ing his two-year ten­ure.

He said that one of the five re­cently adopted of­fi­cial coun­cil goals was to ad­dress the hous­ing blight, and that the pro­posed bud­get in­cludes the ad­di­tion of an ad­di­tional hous­ing in­spec­tor. Go­ing for­ward, he would work to­ward bet­ter en­force­ment of codes, a stream­lined process in the courts, and a li­cens­ing process for land­lords, he said.

With a back­ground in en­gi­neer­ing and real es­tate in­vest­ment, Cooke said, “I bring the same business-like ap­proach to run­ning the city.” Cooke would aim to have the Sail­winds devel­op­ment plan in­clude use of the deep wa­ter port, and he praised the part­ner­ship that the coun­cil has en­tered into with Yacht Main­te­nance Com­pany con­cern­ing a small por­tion of the 12-acre prop­erty.

Fos­ter is a Dorch­ester County na­tive. She has many years of ex­pe­ri­ence in so­cial work, and she served as a com­mis­sioner in Cam­bridge from 2004 un­til 2008. She is run­ning again be­cause she sees great op­por­tu­nity for the fu­ture of Cam­bridge.

“I think we have a beau­ti­ful city,” she said. “I think we have beau­ti­ful res­i­dents. Our city just needs touch­ing up. With our wa­ter­front, we have an op­por­tu­nity to be the leader. We have the op­por­tu­nity to make Cam­bridge a home for our chil­dren.”

Fos­ter em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of en­sur­ing a project’s even­tual self-sus­tain­abil­ity be­fore adop­tion, such as the ma­rina. She said she would ad­vo­cate for reg­is­tra­tion of rental prop­erty, fre­quent in­spec­tions and bet­ter code en­force­ment to com­bat the hous­ing blight in the city.

She said Sail­winds is the city’s great­est as­set and she would like to see it used as a place for fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties in its devel­op­ment. Fos­ter also would di­rect more of the main street and his­toric district des­ig­nated grant fund­ing to­ward the Pine Street area. Ward 4 The can­di­dates for Ward 4 are Dion Banks and Dave Can­non, both Dorch­ester County na­tives.

Banks de­scribed him­self as en­er­getic and pas­sion­ate, and he said he would like to use that en­thu­si­asm to make the Cam­bridge bet­ter for ev­ery­one. He cited youth devel­op­ment, work­force devel­op­ment and eco­nomic growth as is­sues of top pri­or­i­ties.

“I’m here be­cause I love the City of Cam­bridge,” Banks said. “Cam­bridge should be po­si­tioned to be a great city for any­one to do business, to live here and to make us great as we con­tinue to grow.”

Banks used hard data, facts and fig­ures to back up the answers to many of the ques­tions asked. With many years of ex­pe­ri­ence in govern­ment af­fairs, he said he knows how to present re­quests and make govern­ment work for the Cam­bridge.

He en­cour­aged self-sus­tain­able pro­grams, look­ing be­yond tourism with the devel­op­ment of Sail­winds to fo­cus on cre­at­ing good jobs that pro­vide ben­e­fits, and the im­por­tance of mar­ket­ing our­selves pos­i­tively by shar­ing a pos­i­tive mes­sage of Cam­bridge. Can­non de­cided to run for the po­si­tion of Ward 4 com­mis­sioner be­cause he would like be part of the lead­er­ship to help the com­mu­nity grow, par­tic­u­larly the Main Street ar­eas and U.S. Route 50 cor­ri­dor.

“I’ve spent 40 years of my life liv­ing in the fourth ward, so I know the com­mu­nity and the peo­ple there very well,” Can­non said. “There is still work to be done.”

He said that Cam­bridge does not nec­es­sar­ily have the best rep­u­ta­tion among sur­round­ing ar­eas, and he would like to see that changed.

He sees the hous­ing blight as a de­ter­rent to new business, and Can­non said he is in fa­vor of in-house en­force­ment as a solution since out­sourced en­force­ment of lo­cal codes has cre­ated a prob­lem for the city. With the devel­op­ment of the Sail­winds prop­erty, he would en­sure self-sus­tain­abil­ity in the long term in or­der to lessen any bur­den on the tax­pay­ers, he said.

Can­non’s business ex­pe­ri­ence and per­sonal pol­icy of gath­er­ing all the facts to make in­formed de­ci­sions is what he be­lieves makes him qual­i­fied to serve the res­i­dents of Cam­bridge.

He also agrees that the rein­vig­o­ra­tion of Pine Street is a wor­thy project and one that is long over­due.

Can­di­date for Ward 1, Steve Ride­out, en­cour­aged ev­ery­one to vote, re­gard­less of what ward they live in, and to com­mu­ni­cate their wishes with com­mis­sion­ers.

“Your vote in this elec­tion for any ward is very im­por­tant, and it sends a mes­sage of your in­ter­est in what is hap­pen­ing in Cam­bridge and how it is im­prov­ing,” he said.

Robert Han­son is the in­cum­bent for Ward 5 seek­ing his third term, and he main­tained his plat­form as the city’s fis­cal watch­dog.

Syd­nor was first elected to the coun­cil in 2005, and cur­rently serves as Coun­cil Pres­i­dent and Co-Chair of the Fi­nance Com­mit­tee. He has served as act­ing mayor since Jack­son-Stan­ley’s re­tire­ment in March.

Jack­son-Stan­ley re­tired in March from her po­si­tion at the Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices and the may­oral of­fice, but has since be­come el­i­gi­ble to be elected as mayor. She was elected in 2008 as the first fe­male mayor of Cam­bridge. She is a mem­ber of Waugh Chapel UMC and is ac­tive in the lo­cal branch of the NAACP.

In 2015, Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot hon­ored Jack­son-Stan­ley with the 2015 William Don­ald Schae­fer Help­ing Peo­ple award for Dorch­ester County.

“She is a cat­a­lyst for get­ting things done,” Fran­chot said in 2015, of Jack­sonS­tan­ley, ex­plain­ing that the mayor, “em­ploys com­mu­ni­ca­tions, col­lab­o­ra­tion and co­op­er­a­tion” to keep Cam­bridge op­er­at­ing on track and mov­ing for­ward.

“Cam­bridge Mayor Vic­to­ria Jack­son-Stan­ley is the first woman and first African-Amer­i­can elected to lead the city,” Fran­chot said in a pre­pared state­ment. “Be­liev­ing that civic in­volve­ment is the key to a com­mu­nity’s suc­cess, the mayor has been an ac­tive mem­ber of Delta Sigma Theta Soror­ity Inc., Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Girl Scouts, the Dorch­ester County Demo­cratic Club, Sal­is­bury Univer­sity Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion and the NAACP. She works full-time as as­sis­tant di­rec­tor for or­ga­ni­za­tional devel­op­ment and train­ing for the Dorch­ester County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices.”

The city coun­cil voted 4-1 in De­cem­ber 2014 to ap­prove a res­o­lu­tion amend­ing the city’s char­ter to cre­ate the post of city man­ager.

Un­der the old char­ter, the mayor, the only Cam­bridge of­fi­cial who runs for elec­tion city­wide, was Cam­bridge’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and heads the city’s ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Un­der the changes, the city man­ager be­came the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the city, with the power to ap­point and re­move depart­ment heads and the re­spon­si­bil­ity to ad­min­is­ter the city’s laws.

Syd­nor was the lone vote in op­po­si­tion in cre­at­ing a city man­ager po­si­tion.

In Novem­ber 2015, San­dra Tripp-Jones be­came Cam­bridge’s first-ever city man­ager.

VIC­TO­RIA JACK­SONS­TAN­LEY

LA-SHON FOS­TER

ROBERT HAN­SON

STEPHEN W. RIDE­OUT

DION BANKS

DAVE CAN­NON

FRANK COOKE

DON­ALD SYD­NOR

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