Foster, Can­non win con­tested races in Cam­bridge elec­tion

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

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.

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