Monday, November 21, 2011

Cambridge City Solicitor to Retire - Over Monteiro?

1. General.
2. Two Alternative Interpretations.
3. Monteiro.
A. General.
B. Malpractice against the trial attorney?
C. Finding that the City Solicitor was responsible for the debacle?

1. General.

In a letter being presented to the Cambridge City Council by the Cambridge City Manager this evening (November 21, 2011), the Cambridge City Manager informs the City Council of the intention of the City Solicitor to retire on January 20, 2012. The letter may be read at:

2. Two Alternative Interpretations.

It is impossible to react to this notice through anything other than through informed speculation. Therefore, let us be clear that I know nothing directly behind the circumstances of the City Solicitor’s retirement.

There are two reasonable and readily thinkable reactions to this news.

One very likely reason for this action is that the Cambridge City Solicitor thinks it is time for him to retire.

One alternate reason is the case of Monteiro v. City of Cambridge.

3. Monteiro.

A. General.

Malvina Monteiro was recently paid $8.3 million by Cambridge as the result of decisions of superior court judge and jury and a panel of the Appeals Court.

Findings were strongly against the Cambridge City Manager in a case where judge, jury and appeals court found that the Cambridge City Manager destroyed the life of Malvina Monteiro in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

The jury awarded about $1.1 million in real damages and a strikingly large $3.5 million in penal damages. The trial judge, in her key opinion, reviewed the award and went into great detail concerning the testimony of the Cambridge City Manager. She found his actions “reprehensible.” The appeals court reacted to the city’s appeal with disgust. Its reviewing panel refused to dignify the appeal with a formal opinion in comments which cited “ample evidence [of] outrageous actions.”

The key opinion of the trial judge quoted the City Manager as saying he was fully aware of the pendency of the civil rights case during his actions against Monteiro and that he carefully operated in communication with council.

The judge interpreted this comment as communicating deliberate action by the Cambridge City Manager.

B. Malpractice against the trial attorney?

There have been various speculations by Cambridge Pol types of the possibility of a malpractice suit against the attorney representing the city in the case.

My reaction is that these contentions amount to yet another change of subject by the Cambridge Pols. The decision says that the Cambridge City Manager has committed “outrageous” and “reprehensible” malfeasance in office.

The Cambridge City Council has not even heard a motion to fire the Cambridge City Manager. A majority of five of the nine incumbents (one not reelected) committed themselves to rehiring the Cambridge City Manager during the recent election.

Exactly zero City Councilors presently on the council or newly elected have publicly supported firing the Cambridge City Manager for Monteiro.

It is always impossible to fully evaluate comments made by Cambridge Pols on major issues. A long time ago, I stopped trying to determine intent, but rather evaluate their comments by impact. The impact of the malpractice idea against the trial attorney, to me, is changing the subject.

First of all, the city manager, according to jury, judge and appeals court, should be fired.

Secondly however, the city council voted to fund the appeals WITHOUT SEEKING INDEPENDENT COUNCIL. This is absolutely outrageous.

With the comments of the judge and jury in the trial, absolute minimum action by the Cambridge City Council would have been to get a second opinion. Failure to get a second opinion communicates, as usual, that the Cambridge City Council did not want to know what it was doing.

The trial attorney can be expected to be biased toward appeal. The trial attorney is trying to achieve his/her agreed upon results as best as he/she can. Failure to check that opinion is very much failure on the part of the Cambridge City Council, not the attorney.

C. Finding that the City Solicitor was responsible for the debacle?

Really, this is the other possibility.

I am raising it. There are a whole bunch of permutations on this part of the analysis.

I really do not want to go there, pretty much for the same reason I find a malpractice action against the trial attorney outrageous.

You are changing the subject.

The City Manager has civilly been found guilty of “outrageous” and “reprehensible” malfeasance in office by jury, judge and appeals court, to wit, destroying the life of Malvina Monteiro in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

The games should end.

The City Manager should be fired.


I attended the meeting long enough to see the city council had no comment on the retirement.

Large housing project announced south of Alewife

Cambridge Day is reporting a 429 unit complex announced as “The Residences at Fresh Pond. Their report may be read at:

I attended two Cambridge Conservation Commission discussions on this project.

The construction impacts Belmont perhaps half a mile to the west and Arlington perhaps half a mile to the north plus traffic coming in on Route 2. Route 2 is the northern of the two major east-west superhighways in Massachusetts. The Route 2 super highway ends just north (above) of the area in the Cambridge Day photo, just north of Alewife station.

The Cambridge Day report provides excellent details although its photo does not go far enough south. If the project is in the photo, it is at the very bottom. The photo shows the massive Alewife Red Line station with a portion of the Alewife reservation which is being destroyed by Cambridge and the Department of Conservation and Reservations. A whole bunch of lies and a key fake “protective” group are helping that destruction.

The project in question in the Cambridge Day report is south of the railroad tracks / below the railroad tracks in the photo. The massive parking lot directly above the tracks is but a tiny portion of the massive parking area which should be used for flood storage rather than destroying the Alewife reservation and then “discovering” that the destruction will not provide the needed flood storage.

I do not know the exact zoning history of the particular project in the Cambridge Day report. I do know about the very recent upzoning that impacts the area of the project.

The game was “transfer of development rights,” a variation of the beggar your neighbor politics which is one of many dirty tricks normal in Cambridge politics. They have a predictable script. “Beggar your neighbor” is one of the standard tactics in the script.

I lived in Cambridge to the west of the project area for nearly two years, the Cambridge Highlands neighborhood.

Between the north south highway (Alewife Brook Parkway / Route 16) is a low density industrial area. The key lie in the zoning change was that development would be transferred from the area near where I lived to the area near Route 16. The secret behind the lie was that the resulting zoning density near my former home was set at a density which simply and clearly will not be allowed by Cambridge. The zoning density in the “protected area” was way below even the density allowed in my residential neighborhood, after the games / development transfer is played.

Thus massive development is encouraged to go in in that portion of the industrial area in toward Route 16 while the portion toward Cambridge Highlands is “protected.”

When the area next to Route 16 is filled in, the powers that will look at the area which was “protected” in that zoning change with shock. Totally unacceptable to have such small industrial buildings next to their massive new buildings. They will have to correct that.

And they would not get the increase in density of the zoning near Route 16 if they did the upzoning in an honest manner.

So a massive industrial area gets a massive upzoning in two steps. Very similar to the total destruction of the publicly owned and irreplaceable Alewife reservation in two steps with bizarre claims of “protection.”

Yet another lie from the City of Cambridge.