Content from 2013 Candidate Page
During his tenure as Mayor, David advocated for improving the public education system, forging new partnerships throughout the city, and providing quality constituent services to citizens. Under his leadership, Cambridge completed a major renovation of CRLS, identified a permanent home for the Adult Community Learning Center and won national awards for the City's green building and community health initiatives.
Throughout his years in public office, he has earned the reputation of a "consensus builder" by, time after time, bringing together interested parties and helping them to foster mutually beneficial agreements. David believes that citizens, business leaders and government officials need to work together to solve the issues our city faces. Whether it is resolving zoning issues, improving our public education system, or building partnerships with Cambridge's businesses or educational institutions, David's approach to solving problems will help ensure that Cambridge remains the best place to live, work and visit.
During his tenure as Mayor, David Maher continued to advocate for neighborhoods by bringing countless neighborhood coalitions together to work with the city to improve existing zoning requirements and reducing the potential density in neighborhoods with large non-conforming structures. Councillor Maher recognizes that Cambridge is a dynamic community and the zoning requirements that made sense 30 years ago may not fit today's needs. David believes that the best solutions can only be found through active participation from stakeholders.
As part of his commitment to improve Cambridge, David appointed a special Mayoral Red Ribbon Commission, which is charged with studying the issues facing Central Square. The goal of this Commission is to bring together stakeholders in the square to form a plan that will revitalize the area for both residents and small business owners alike.
During his time on the City Council, David has worked tirelessly to promote the acquisition of capital expenditures for improving and expanding parks and open spaces that have become sanctuaries from urban life. As a proud sponsor of little league baseball in both West and North Cambridge, Councillor Maher understands the impact that quality parks and open space have on recreational opportunities for both children and adults.
Business and University Relations
Colleges and universities are an integral part of the fabric of Cambridge and establishing healthy relationships with the city's universities can greatly benefit Cambridge residents. To this end, David founded and was the First Chair of the City's University Relations Committee. David led the negotiations that resulted in Harvard University agreeing to build 40 units of affordable housing as well as a new 40,000 square foot park along Memorial Drive at no cost to Cambridge Taxpayers.
Businesses not only drive Cambridge's economic engine but also provide important services to many neighborhood and community projects. Councillor Maher has worked to make sure Cambridge businesses can be good-community partners. David has worked to develop a formalized relationship among the Cambridge business and academic communities and the Cambridge Public Schools. Additionally, he continues to work with local leaders in the business community and relevant agencies to promote programs that encourage residents and visitors to shop at Cambridge Businesses.
Energy, the Environment and Public Health
While serving as Mayor, David facilitated the securing of funding for the successful CitySprouts program, the Green Streets Initiative and expanding the CycleKids program in our schools. Additionally, David accepted numerous national awards on behalf of the city for our green building and community health initiatives.
David has focused on several other important environmental and public health issues during his tenure on the Council. David led the Alewife rezoning process through the Council that successfully resulted in a two hundred-car surface parking lot being converted back to wetlands. In addition, David has voted in favor of funds needed to protect Cambridge's water supply from harmful pollutants. During his term as Mayor, David reconvened the Cambridge Climate Congress to help facilitate the next steps that this group and the City need to take to achieve the goals outlined in the Climate Congress Report.
While Mayor, David appointed a Silver Ribbon Commission. This Commission was charged with assessing the future needs of Cambridge seniors while also assessing how city services will need to change in order to meet the future demand of our seniors.
Smart Economic Growth
As the longtime Chair of the City Council's Ordinance Committee David has been instrumental in a number of efforts aimed at advancing Cambridge's infrastructure and improving the quality of life for its residents. David played an important role in implementing zoning changes that have resulted in pilot housing aimed at moderate-income families. These changes offer home ownership opportunities to residents who otherwise may not have had them.
Councillor Maher has advocated for increased access to open space parks and grounds. Acquisition of new open spaces including the Rogers Street Park have provided Cambridge residents with a host of new opportunities for outdoor recreation.
David has also supported other new initiatives aimed at improving residents' quality of life such as increased retail offerings all aimed at allowing people to live, play and shop in Cambridge. These developments have helped ensure access to quality restaurants and shopping areas. As part of these efforts, David has worked with local merchants to encourage people to shop locally in order to ensure that Cambridge's economy continues to flourish. By encouraging easy access to public transportation, David has worked to guarantee that residents have a convenient means of shopping locally.
Public Safety and Quality of Life
Traffic, Parking and Transportation
Municipal Finance, City Budget, Assessments and Property Taxes
Prior to being Mayor, David served as chair of the City Council's Finance Committee. As a Cambridge homeowner, David has experienced, first-hand, the impact of sharp increases in property assessments on area residents. No taxpayer should ever receive a 40%, 50% or 100% increase in their property taxes. David has personally walked countless individuals through the complex abatement process, including many seniors and longtime residents who are especially hard hit by sharp increases. In the past, David raised an alarm over the number of property valuations that appeared to be inflated and called for the creation of a Special Committee on Taxation which continues to explore possible changes to property tax legislation.
Vision for Central Square
Central Square has an enormous amount to offer to the Cambridge community. Over the last term, I have supported efforts to begin this revitalization process. Central Square now features a number of options for food, shopping, and recreation. Restaurants offer outdoor dining and businesses provide residents with local options for a variety of needs. These opportunities have helped make Central Square into one of Massachusetts's premier cultural hubs. In fact, the Massachusetts Cultural Council recently deemed it a Cultural District. This recognition was well deserved and is a testament to the vibrant community that exists in the Square.
In order to continue to enhance Central Square's quality, it is important that we work together as a community to ensure that our goals are met. It is necessary that we work in unison to make sure that Central Square is a clean, safe area for our residents and our businesses. I intend to continue to work with the community to make certain that Central Square's full potential is reached.
This is an exciting time to discuss the future of Central Square. A number of residents and business owners have approached me with ideas and thoughts on how best to enliven the Square. Along with their help and input, I look forward to continuing to be an active and supportive voice for making Central Square all that it is capable of being. The success of Central Square is very much tied to the success of our entire city. As Cambridge continues to improve, so too will Central Square.
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|Page last updated Wednesday, September 16, 2015 5:23 PM||Cambridge Candidates|