Sunday, September 18, 2011

New City Manager for Cambridge, MA, USA? Charlie Marquardt and James Williamson

1. General.
2. Charlie Marquardt.
3. James Williamson.
4. Longer quote from Williamson.
5. Prior Reports.

1. General.

The situation in Cambridge, MA, USA is outrageous.

Environmental destruction and heartless animal abuse by government on the Charles River is bizarre and getting worse.

The city and its friends in the state are preparing to destroy the last virgin forest, the core Alewife reservation, for flood storage that is patently silly. They are protecting against a two year flood in an area that has seen two 50 year floods in the last 20 years. Directly across the street from their destruction is a massive parking lot that can handle a multiple of the flooding. It is impossible to call the explanation serious.

Informed analyses by non-insiders have a tendency to communicate shock.

Judge, jury and appeals court panel have evaluated Cambridge’s treatment of a black, Cape Verdean department head with extreme displeasure. They have found that the Cambridge City Manager destroyed her life in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

The jury spoke with $1.1 million real damages and $3.5 million penal damages.

The judge reaffirmed the jury in an opinion which quoted the Cambridge City Manager’s testimony extensively. She called him “reprehensible.”

The appeals court panel reacted to Cambridge’s appeal with disgust, refusing to honor the appeal with a full fledged opinion. They commented that there was “ample evidence [of] outrageous misbehavior.

The cost of the case paid by Cambridge to the plaintiff is $8.3 million. Estimates are frequently presented that total cost will approach or exceed $10 million.

The Cambridge Chronicle’s editorial, posted on August 18, 2011, at :, seems to go both ways on whether the City Manager should leave.

My personal opinion is that the binding judicial decision seems to indicate that the Cambridge City Manager should be fired without his golden parachute and probably without pension. The latter would be an extension of existing law, but the case is ideal to extend the law. I think the courts have reached an excellent opinion.

The election season is here.

The Cambridge Chronicle is asking candidates: “Do you think it is time for a new City Manger?”

I am reporting on the answers with links to the complete comments.

2. Charlie Marquardt.
Charlie Marquardt was quoted in the September 15, 2011 edition on page 12. His comments are posted at

Mr. Marquardt makes no comment on Monteiro, on the $8 to $10 million cost, or on the judicial findings and orders.

A brief summary of his answer is: “Yes. Mr. Healy has served Cambridge well over his tenure, but it is time to begin the process of transitioning to a new City Manager. "

3. James Williamson.

Williamson was quoted in the September 15, 2011 edition on page 12. I would be very pleased to be corrected, but I have hunted and hunted. I do not see his comments on line. I am therefore quoting the relevant portion of his comments below.

He includes financial references to Monteiro and mentions that it was a “‘retaliation’ verdict.”

His answer to the question is positive. "It would be prudent for the Council to begin a search for a suitable replacement NOW."

4. Longer quote from Williamson.

Yes. Of course. But it's time for a new City Council, as well. (Aren't they responsible for the City Manager??) Robert Healy gets paid - pays himself? - $336,000 a year. His 'depadee', Richard Rossi, gets $270,000. Tim Geither, the Secretary of the US Treasury, gets $172,000 a year. Anything wrong with this picture. Anything wrong with this picture?

Healy squandered $10 million fighting a "retaliation" verdict by two juries. Money well spent??

"Bob" Healy has been in power for 35 years, longer than Mubarak?

It would be prudent for the Council to begin a search for a suitable replacement NOW. But we can't wait and blame everything on the manager.

[Series of issues not relevant to this blog, shut off by Chronicle at their 140 word limit]

5. Prior Reports.

Tom Stohlman and Sam Seidel:

Tim Toomey and Minka vanBeuzekom: