Former Opponents Supports Mayor
The Cambridge City Council Monday night re-elected Kenneth E. Reeves '72 as mayor of the city in a hotly contested election.
Reeves, who had been endorsed in November's City Council race by the Cambridge Civic Association (CCA), was voted into his mayoral office by a narrow margin of supporters which consisted entirely of Independent city councillors, his former political opponents.
Reeves' collaboration with Independent Councillors Sheila T. Russell, Michael A. Sullivan, Timothy J. Toomey Jr., and William H. Walsh was denounced Monday in a letter issued by CCA President R. Philip Dowds.
Dowds accused Reeves of disregarding the CCA platform, which Dowds described as a commitment "to putting the public interest ahead of self-interest, and cooperation in pursuit of the progressive agenda." The CCA platform also includes a stance against multiple terms for mayors.
"Your unilateral action seems to set a precedent for undesirable personal relations," wrote Dowds. "The message from you which came through, to me and to others, was 'I've made a deal with the Independents: Get in line, or get punished."
But in a statement issued last Friday by Reeves' supporters, the four councillors who together with Reeves himself gave him enough votes to win the election, said they felt their support for Reeves was in the best interests if the city.
"There comes a time in life when elected public officials should and must put partisan politics aside and take definitive action which is in the very best interests of all the people of this community," the Independent councillors wrote.
These councillors said that Reeves' leadership, enhanced by the election of Russell as vice mayor, provided a "balanced, comprehensive leadership team to the City Council."
Independent councillors who supported Reeves cited the "tight fiscal climate" in Cambridge as an incentive to provide continuity in city leadership, despite the CCA's contention that leaders should be rotated after every two-year term.
"The overwhelming issue for me
"[Reeves] told school administrators inCambridge's troubled schools that if test scoresare not raised, the structure of theadministration will change," Toomey said. "Thatwas key for me, because in this fiscal climate weneed someone with priorities," he added.
"Also, this is a good thing for the Independentparty--it will allow us more access, more say,"Toomey predicted.
Dowds expressed concern that Reeves' formerprogressive political stances would be altered byhis new political affiliation.
He invited Reeves to address the CCA andexplain his actions, writing that he hoped Reeveswould continue to cooperate with the CCA inpromoting their agenda.
"For four years, your CCA colleagues, and theCCA itself, have provided you with consistentsupport on almost every public issue of mutualconcern," Dowds wrote. "We want to believe thatyour fundamental progressive values remain similarto ours."
While Reeves had been a strong proponent ofrent-control in Cambridge during his last andCCA-supported, term as mayor, the Independentswith whom he is now affiliated have beenhistorically anti-rent control.
But Cambridge Rent Control Board ExecutiveDirector Terry P. Morris said he was confident inReeves' continued support of rent control. "Idon't believe that what happened with the electionpolitics will affect Ken Reeves' position in anyway," Morris said. "[Reeves] is above that."
Reeves could not be reached for commentyesterday
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