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September 26, 2007

Comments

Roberts Rules of Order

Could you add some details to the story about Board Orders submitted by the Ward 6 Alderman which in fact related to Wards 5 and 7? As a resident of Ward 5, I am highly offended that this person would submit a Board Order, without first going through the Ward Alderman, and then going through the residents. Obviously neither was done. This is common courtesy, and protocol.

Write-In

Hopefully, someone in ward 4 will mount a write-in campaign. Come to think of it, there are several wards where the residents are unhappy with their representation........maybe we could have several write-in campaigns!

Ron Newman

If it had to do with lighting on the bike path, that runs through multiple wards.

Write-in for what?????

Write in campaign for what? School Committee? There already IS a write-in campaign for that in Ward 4. Charlene Harris is doing it in order to get re-elected. She needs to get at least 100 signatures and if anyone else runs they need at least that many as well. Whoever gets the most will naturally win. I've heard that Richard Scirocco may be interested in pursuing this if he lost in the mayoral primary but that may be only a rumor. Mr. Scirocco is a resident for many years of Ward 4. There may be others as well who would be interested in a write in campaign. Time will tell.

ward sixer

the board order was for ward 6- rep o'donovan was mistaken. it was for something on cedar st- which wards 5 and 6 share- but this particular order was for a bike rack on the ward 6 part!

Ron Newman

Scirocco for school committee? Please no.

Ron Newman

Charlene Harris doesn't need 100 signatures anymore (it's too late for that now), she needs 100 write-in votes. Ditto for anyone else who runs a write-in for that seat.

tony lafalooza

I am a long time resident of Ward 4 (Sycamore Street) and the level of intelligence of the two elected ward representatives here makes me nauseous. How can Charlene Harris, as the incumbent, not get the required signatures to make it on the ballot all by herself? How embarrassing. Don't even get me started on Rick Scirocco - did he even get 100 votes in his own ward in the election the other day?
I know that Jamie Norton, a former Ward 4 School Committeeman, has been outspoken about the need to remove the SC from an elected to an appointed body and I think what he has said merits some consideration.
That being said, I was at the 350 the other evening and overhead someone saying they heard Jamie might run on stickers in November. If he does, he will have a lot of support, as he did before when he ran - I only hope he will continue to fight to have the body be appointed through a City Charter change.
I know he monitors this weblog, so I am hoping he will comment about this here. I would love to hear what his plans are, if any.

Ron Newman

Based on the unofficial results on the city website, the answer to your question is no. Scirocco did not receive 100 votes in any ward.

Ward 5 Citizen

There is nowhere on Cedar Street that is shared by Wards 5 and 6. And I can't imagine where on Cedar Street you would want to place a bike rack, anyway. It's mostly residential. And if it concerns the bike path, as Newmie suggested, protocol and common courtesy would still mean that you would contact, and work with, the elected representatives of whatever wards were concerned, as well as the residents. I have wondered about the stories on this site concerning Ms. Gewirtz, perhaps, based on this story, they are true!

Ron Newman

If you look at the official city ward and precinct map, you will see that the west side of Cedar Street, from Highland Avenue to Spencer Avenue, is in Ward 6.

I do not recall exactly what businesses are located at the corner of Highland and Cedar, but it could be a reasonable location for a bike rack.

JARfromWard3

Whomever decides to pursue the Ward 4 School Committee seat, I hope they get the required number of write-ins (100 minimum). If not, the resulting "failure to elect" will precipitate two more special elections (for Ward 4 only), which would be an unforunate added expense.

Notwithstanding what Jamie or Rick or anyone else may elect to do, I hope that SOMEONE gets the required number of write-ins so that this can be put behind us.

In my opinion, the issue of whether or not an elected School Committee is obsolete in a post-Chapter 70 Commonwealth is a discussion for another time.

Further regarding the preliminary; there is what I perceive to be a flaw in the process with regard to casting a blank ballot.

Following the Florida fiasco of 2000, there were all sorts of supposed safeguards put in place to attempt to prevent election fraud. Apparently, one of these resulted in the elimination of the ability for our otically scanned ballots to automatically process and tabulate a ballot which has no marks on it. What this means is, if a person desires to simply take a ballot and cast it without voting for any of the candidates or writing in anyone, the ballot cannot be fed to the machine. It gets summarily spit back out and the tape records "Un-Voted Ballot". When this occurs, the election officer is required to ask the person if they wish to cast a blank ballot (or otherwise inform them that they have done so). If they reply in the affirmative, the ballot is put in the reserve bin in the front of the box and hand-counted later in the evening.

The problem here is obvious... a person's implicit right to privacy has been violated. No one other than the voter should know that they cast a blank ballot.

I had a couple of people get in my face about this the other day at 3-1, and I don't blame them one bit for being upset.

One way to avoid this would be to complete the arrow next to the "write-in" and feed it without writing anyone in. However, even then it does not get tabulated as a "blank" if there is only one office on the ballot as there was in Ward 3 Tuesday.

I brought this up with the elections people and suggested possibly that, in such cases, there should be a spot for "blank" (they suggested a "no preference" which is fine) that one can complete. In the case of a multi-office ballot, there would be a single "blank" which would assign such to every office on the ballot.

One of the ironies of this is that the machine tally tape actually has a "blank" designation which obviously reads zero.

I'm curious if anyone out there has any suggestions to address this?

Finally, I would like to join whomever it is that writes the "Newstalk" in congratulating Mary Hart on getting her RN. Mary and Dick are long-time friends and are the adoptive parents of my two neices and one of my nephews. Great job Mary!

73
JAR

Ron Newman

JAR, does that happen only if the ballot is entirely blank, or also if it is blank for some races and not others?

JARfromWard3

In order for the machine to reject the ballot, it has to be ENTIRELY blank. As I say, it is an acute problem where there is only one race since there is the likelihood on a multi-office ballot that at least one of the candidates is going to get a vote. Even then, however, if a person does not want to vote for ANYONE for ANY office but still wishes to take a ballot and be counted, there is nothing that can facilitate that without at least the election official knowing about it. It's a real problem that I feel needs to be addressed.

JAR

Election

Hi, I understand the privacy issues concerns, but I'm not sure I entirely understand the point of getting one's ballot counted as BLANK. Is the purpose to mobilize potential candidates by showing that there is a large pool of dissatisfied voters. Why not write in "Mr. Blank"? That would be counted as "write-in", which would convey the same message: there are good people out there who are not officially on the ballot. Seriously, I'd like you know what your take is, JAR.

Ron Newman

One reason to cast a blank ballot is to officially be recorded as having done your civic duty, without actually making a choice. I've never done this, but I can understand someone wanting to do it.

Aldrich St

"There is nowhere on Cedar Street that is shared by Wards 5 and 6."

"I do not recall exactly what businesses are located at the corner of Highland and Cedar, but it could be a reasonable location for a bike rack."

The ward 5 side has the East Cambridge Savings Bank and opposite a Yoga Studio. The Ward 6 side has apartments and opposite a convenience store.

Given the number of folks I've seen on bikes with their rolled yoga mats headed in that direction I'd guess it'd be related to the Yoga Studio.

JARfromWard3

Election:

Ron Newman is absolutely correct. Some people feel (and I cannot disagree) that if there aren't any candidates which suit their tastes, it is just as importnat to cast a ballot anyway. Regardless of their preferences (or lack thereof), they deserve to be able to do so with anonymity.

By the way, we had 5 of them cast thusly with 6 write-ins (4 of which were left blank).

Some people may say that this is a wasted vote, to which I would respectfully suggest that the only wasted vote (or ballot) is one that is not cast.

JMO.

73
JAR

Miss Manners

As a follow-up to yesterday's comments concerning Ms. Gewirtz' Board Order. She did indeed submit a Board Order for Ward 5 without consultation with elected officials or the neighborhood. She apparently requested that a bike rack be placed on the bike path at Cedar Street (Why??), which is in Ward 5. Alderman O'Donovan requested last night that this not happen, at least until there is sufficient neighborhood input. And by the way, someone should tell Ms. Gewirtz what common social etiquette would say about entering a room during prayer. She entered the Chambers for last night's meeting during the opening prayer. Not only did she not know enough to simply stop until the prayer was completed, she continued to her seat with her heels clicking on the floor the whole way! It was disgraceful, rude behavior by someone you would think would know better!

Somerspeak

Agreed. She should have stopped, waited and then proceeded to her seat.

As for O'Donovan, I think if he knew his ward like he claims, after five years in office you would think HE would have put an order in years ago for a BIKE rack on the BIKE path.

No?

Ward 5

Am I missing something? I don't see any point to a bike rack on the bike path at Cedar Street. People use the bike path to bike or walk. If they're biking, they have a bike and don't need to leave it anywhere. Do you think someone would bike to the path, leave their bike, then walk into Davis Square? It's also not a secure place to leave a bike - I certainly would never leave a bike there, there are too many times when there is noone around, especially at night. The next question I would have is...where would it go? There is no public property in the area in which to place it, except for the path area itself, which would require state (MBTA)approval, not an order from the BOA. And I don't think it would make sense to lose what little green area is there to install a bike rack which will not be used. Ms. Gewirtz should concentrate her efforts in Ward 6, I'm sure she can find plenty that needs to be done, and leave us alone in Ward 5!!

Born Here

did you ever think that she doesn't know where her Ward stops ? With all the cameras at the meeting last night, we were 100% sure the Mayor would make it.

Snowflake is backing Norton!

Snowflake he?rd the rumor about Jamie Norton is consid?ring a School committy run! That would b? fantastic! Throw Charle?n from the train! Sh? Has done Shit all this Time while sh? in so called office!

Snowflake is backing Norton!

Snowflake he?rd the rumor about Jamie Norton is consid?ring a School committy run! That would b? fantastic! Throw Charle?n from the train! Sh? Has done Shit all this Time while sh? in so called office!

Mapquest

What meeting? The mayor was at the BOA meeting swearing in 6 new firefighters!!
And after a hard campaign, the beginnings of a second, and two years in office, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE to not know the boundaries of your ward by heart!! How exactly do you drop fliers and knock doors if you don't know where you're going.......?

Go Jamie

Great news! Let's get a real race going in Ward 4 for the first time in years!!
And while we're at it, won't someone please run a write-in/sticker campaign in Ward 5 too?
We're beggin you here!! The last straw for me
came when our Ward 5 'representative'tried to refuse $100,000 of city money to fund a musical instrument program!! Why would a school committee rep try to turn down free $$ for the kids?

Dave S.

It is funny to me how News Talk is more than happy to mention a negative thing about the Ward 6 Alderman in one paragraph, but in this other sentence:

"Seems the city is looking to make the bike path safer and brighter at night – the city will be repairing the path and replacing burnt out bulbs."

they fail to note that it was the same Alderman from Ward 6 who brought this positive thing to the BOA.

I am not trying to be a cheerleader for Gewirtz, but if you are going to give credit for her bad moves, don't take away from her good ones - unless, of course you are merely trying to undercut her. But I can't imagine this column wanting to do that to anyone. No sir-ee.

The Patriot

Poor Rebakah. First she has to withdraw her three resolutions on the Dakota Condo Complex, because they were deemed illegal by the City Attorney. Then she had to listem to the professor's (Chisholm) whole letter advocating a community garden for that location. No wonder she's filing orders for other wards. At least they might get passed, but only if the real aldermen from those wards rewrite them for her.

Sell out

did Mayor Joe get the President of the MMA with the help of his buddies down at the SFD? Some memebers didnt even know they pushed for thr backstabber.

Somerville Control & Fire Alarm

Dear Mr DPW Yard Foreman Barry H-10,

Ten-codes, properly known as ten signals, are code words used to represent common phrases in voice communication, particularly in radio transmissions. The codes, developed in 1937 and expanded in 1974 by the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO), allow for brevity and standardization of message traffic. 10-4 means, “ I received your message” 10-20 means “What is your location. Etc etc. The 10 codes have historically been widely used by law enforcement officers, firemen and your common CB enthusiast in North America, although the trend is away from their use in recent years with more departments discouraging the use of ten-codes and encouraging "clear" or plain language communications.

In other words. Don’t ask a question with 10-4 after it. It makes you and everyone else appear more ignorant than you already are.

When calling us on the radio, it is called a transmission not a transaction. Example of how not to use the radio. Do you copy that transaction 10-4?

Get it moron? your reply should now be 10-4.


Inquiring minds....

Fill us in please....what is the Dakota Condo Complex, and what orders were trying to be passed?
And 'thumbs down' to Neidergang from Ward 5 for trying to turn down free $ for a music program of all things!

Election

Why would writing somebody in named "Mr. blank" not fulfill this goal? You'd be on record for having voted...

>>
Ron Newman is absolutely correct. Some people feel (and I cannot disagree) that if there aren't any candidates which suit their tastes, it is just as importnat to cast a ballot anyway. Regardless of their preferences (or lack thereof), they deserve to be able to do so with anonymity.

Ward 6

Probably there are many folks out there who are very bitter because Jolly Cholly got smashed to death by our Alderman.

>
I am not trying to be a cheerleader for Gewirtz, but if you are going to give credit for her bad moves, don't take away from her good ones - unless, of course you are merely trying to undercut her. But I can't imagine this column wanting to do that to anyone. No sir-ee.
>

JARfromWard3

"Why would writing somebody in named "Mr. blank" not fulfill this goal? You'd be on record for having voted..."

Indeed you would. but you would also be on record for having voted if you simply took--or were able to take--the ballot and feed it to the machine.

I suppose it's a matter of principle or personal choice if one is so inclined to want to do that. The issue is really about the compromising of individual privacy. I can see where the whole thing was probably well-intentioned, but it is an oversight that can and should be resolved.

At the end of the day, you really want to ensure as much as possible that voters are able to cast ballots with the utmost integrity, secrecy and confidence.

73
JAR

Ron Newman

I'm going to guess that the reason the machine rejects a totally blank ballot is to protect against the possibility that the voter used his own pen or pencil instead of the one provided at the polls, or marked X next to the name instead of connecting the arrows, or otherwise made a totally invalid ballot.

give me a break

Did anyone else notice that the Gerwitz also filed board orders for Ward 7 at the same meeting? Funny thing but the ward alderman had already filed the same orders weeks earlier. Why would she recycle the same orders that do not concern her ward?

Why does she always insist on always being added to other people’s orders during meetings? It’s like watching a five year old, me to! me to! Maybe it is because the last original idea she had died of loneliness.

O yea, watch her during the Pledge of Allegiance, she skips one nation under god.

These are rhetorical question and I do not expect know everything Newman to answer.

Peter Politics

don't you all get it. There is a backroom deal to make her look bad and force her out.
Gerwitz doesn't "fit" in the cozy little inner circle. She has done a wonderful job. Keep up the good work Reb.

Edgar Bergen

I suppose the 'back room deal' is what causes her to skip a line during the pledge of allegiance, disrupt the whole chamber with her entrance during a prayer, submit orders for areas outside of her ward without consulting any neighbors (does she just make them up herself?), and ask continually to be added to other orders. Wow - whoever put together that deal has done a very good job - I can't see their lips move at all!

Diogenes

Edgar Bergen,

The name that you have chosen would be more appropriate for whoever is pulling your strings. You can both avoid embarrassing errors like this in the future by reading "Ventriloquism for Dummies."

I would vote blank in ward 6

Vote blank in ward 6; Reb is useless, but charle chi chi is out right nasty. Watch the games begin with chi chi. They don't come any more nasty than chi chi when it comes to politics. I'd put him on the same level as a Frank Bakey! I'm sure chi chi has something dirty up his sleave. Then again, we might be better off because Reb just hasn't produced.

Somerspeak

You're getting closer on the back room deal stuff. The chief planner is none other than Joe Curtatone who has enlisted Jack Connolly and Sean O'Donovan as attack dogs to go after Gewirtz.

The sad part is she can't see it coming.

Attack

The only attack dog is Joey Cakes him self he just sent the "fool in the hall" to do his attack on Linda Bohan. Joey Cakes she will just not go away. Jack Connolly and Sean O'Donovan she would eat up and spit them out.

The Pieman's Psychiatric hour's red light in on!

My,my,my "Posted by: Attack ," calm down! We don't want you to cause any unnecessary erections or something like that! Just Relax and breath! But don't forget to vote "Joe in 07"!

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