The Cambridge City Council Continues to Amuse Us

1206629281When we left last the Cambridge City Council, it was flip-flopping on a proposal to consider limiting the number of non-related persons in a single apartment. We still don’t understand why the councilors changed their yes votes once the meeting was over, but an article in the Cambridge Chronicle gives us another possibility to consider.

Maybe the councilors were too distracted by nutjobs to focus on the task at hand.

Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons wants to get out of council meetings faster examine the rule that allows anyone to speak for three minutes before the City Council gets down to business, as long as their screed is somewhat related to the issues before the council. (The key phrase being ‘somewhat related’).
According to the Chronicle, these remarks can drag on for hours. And while the councilors might miss American Idol because of the concerned citizens, they sure sound more entertaining to us than Kristie Lee Cook.

Roy Bercaw, for example.

Bercaw speaks before almost every City Council meeting. He has been known to use his three minutes for everything from rants on homosexuality and proposals to make the streets into parks to theories on cuttlefish. Bercaw also gives himself a new, humorous but fake title every time he speaks. On Monday, he told city councilors he was representing the Society for the Advancement of Typical White Persons.

There’s also goose-loving Bob LaTrémouille, who considers himself an advocate for the geese that live on Magazine Beach. Sidewalk-measurer and former city council candidate Kathy Podgers was almost arrested after she refused to leave a meeting.

But our favorite city council groupie may be Robert Winters, who doesn’t speak at the meetings, but displays his support or displeasure with “vigorous head shaking and nods.” He also has a website where he discusses the council meetings.

Here’s his reaction to Simmon’s proposal.

I’m not sure what the mayor has in mind with this order, but we would all benefit from changes that limit the role of the narcissists that now dominate public comment at City Council meetings. . . . When nut cases (do I really have to name them) turn the opening of every City Council meeting into a circus side show, this benefits no one and does nothing to promote democracy.

Actually, it makes us more interested in democracy. It sounds like a good fight may be brewing, and there’s nothing we love more than a good city council fight.