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Cambridge still without mayor as council deadlocks on election

Posted by Brock Parker  January 31, 2012 09:27 AM

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Despite three more rounds of voting Monday, the Cambridge City Council remains deadlocked in its effort to elect a new mayor.

The impasse has left the city without a mayor for the first month of the year, as no member of the 9-member council has managed to garner the five vote majority needed to be elected mayor.

In the final of three fruitless votes Monday, Councilor Leland Cheung received three votes, councilors Marjorie Decker and Ken Reeves each received two votes and councilors Tim Toomey and Henrietta Davis, who voted for themselves, each received one vote.

The delay in electing a mayor to a two-year term is nothing new for the council. At the beginning of the last term in 2010 it took the council almost two months before it elected City Councilor David Maher as mayor.

In Cambridge, the council elects the mayor, who then chairs the council and makes subcommittee assignments. The mayor also serves as chair of the Cambridge School Committee, which is currently working on transforming the city's kindergarten through eighth grade schools into a system with several "upper schools" for students in the middle grades.

Decker said a mayor needs to be elected because the School Committee has a lot on its plate and the council needs to get on with the business of its subcommittees.

“I know that there’s some thought out there that we can sit for weeks and maybe a couple of months without electing a mayor, but I actually think there is a sense of urgency,” Decker said.

The second and third ballots cast by the council Monday did have a slightly different outcome than the first ballot, in which Cheung and Decker received three votes, and Councilor Craig Kelley, Toomey and Davis voted for themselves.

-brock.globe@gmail.com

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