Foster, Cannon win contested races in Cambridge election
CAMBRIDGE — The absentee ballots have been counted and the official winners announced on Wednesday morning, July 13, in the City of Cambridge general election.
La-Shon Foster defeated incumbent Frank Cooke in Ward 3 with 179 votes to 166, respectively. Foster received 117 absentee ballots in her favor to make up for a 58-vote deficit on Tuesday.
Dave Cannon will be the new commissioner for Ward 4 with 151 votes, over opponent Dion Banks with 139 votes.
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 ran again because she sees great opportunity for the future of Cambridge.
“I think we have a beautiful city,” she said during a June election forum. “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.
Cannon said he 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 during a June election forum. “There is still work to be done.”
He said 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.
The remaining races were uncontested. Steve Rideout, receiving 145 votes, will serve his first term on the council for Ward 1; Donald Sydnor, receiving 50 votes, will serve his third term for Ward 2; Robert Hanson, receiving 60 votes, will serve his third term for Ward 5.
Victoria Jackson-Stanley won the mayoral office, also uncontested, with 653 votes. First elected in 2008 as Cambridge’s first female mayor, this will be her third term. She retired in March from her position at the Department of Social Services and the mayoral office, but since became eligible to be reelected.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Governors Hall at Sailwinds Park where 688 votes were cast. The board of elections counted an additional 227 absentee ballots Wednesday.
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, after a petition to put the question to a referendum failed by 81 signatures.
Under the old charter, the mayor, the only Cambridge official who runs for election citywide, was Cambridge’s chief executive officer and head of the city’s administration.
With 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. She also serves as supervisor of elections.