CAMBRIDGE — The Council meeting on Monday evening began with a happy ending. In January 2015, Ed Kinnamon, the city’s Clerk /Treasurer was retiring. He had served Cambridge as a police officer, as an accountant, and as treasurer.
A retiring department head, with 32 years of service to Cambridge, he was eligible to receive a beautiful retirement ring that was written and considered “Standard Operating Procedure.” But it was a different council from today’s that decided the cost of the ring was too expensive. So Mr. Kinnamon retired gracefully with good wishes but no ring. Some commissioners and members of the public were angry, and Mayor Victoria Jackson Stanley was quoted as “being disgusted” by the treatment of Mr. Kinnamon. With the election of a new council this year, the matter was revisited and Mr. Kinnamon‘s retirement was celebrated two years later, on this night ... with the bestowal of the ring.
The council now expressed appreciation for 32 years of service and the affection of the community of Cambridge. A happy ending.
But some stories, like Sailwinds, seem to have no endings. A new step was approved by Council to create a new position, “Redevelopment Project (Sailwinds) Manager” and eliminate the position of Economic Development Director. The commissioners approved the change despite an eloquent protest by Cambridge citizen Sharon Smith. Since the council has placed public comment before it votes on an issue, Sharon Smith expressed views that the city needs an economic development person to actively search out investment ventures. She believes that encouraging growth, removing barriers, research and networking are critical to economic development, not just Sailwinds. She ended by challenging the council to do that job themselves.
In other business, the Molock family received permission to hold their reunion at Great Marsh Park with 150 people expected. Also approved for noise variances and street closure on New Year’s Eve was Cambridge Main Street’s event, “Boat Drop” on the 500 block of Poplar Street.
Cameras in high crime areas of Cambridge are coming. $40,000 will pay for the purchase and installation of 19 cameras. This is an initiative of Commissioner Donald Sydnor, working with staff and the police department.
The Harriet Tubman park is expected to attract more visitors than areas for parking cars can handle. Dorchester County and the City of Cambridge are working on a bus shuttling system that will provide convenient parking in Cambridge and shuttle service that will bring visitors to the Tubman Park, Blackwater Reserve, and start and end at the downtown area, accessing the businesses there.
Commissioners voted to authorize the mayor to sign a letter of support for Dorchester County to receive federal grant funds to develop and provide the shuttle bus system.
The commissioners also authorized the City of Cambridge to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Dorchester Community Partnership for Children and Families with a program called Teen Court. The appropriation for it is $11,700 for a six-month period.
A work session on the city’s capital program will be held on Dec. 19 from 6 p.m. to approximately 8 p.m. It is open to the public. The next regular council meeting will be held on Jan. 9, 2017.