City Council Meeting May 20th, 2024

Meeting Link

City Manager’s Agenda

Communications and Updates

  • #1 (CMA 2024 #105) – An update on the Safety Net Family Shelter operating at the Registry of Deeds
  • #3 (CMA 2024 #107) – The Planning Board recommends adopting APP 2024 #12 which would allow unrelated people to live together
  • #4 (CMA 2024 #108) – The Planning Board comments on with no recommendation for APP 2024 #10 regarding Affordable Housing Trust zoning

Grants and Appropriations

  • #5 (CAM 2024 #109) – Request to borrow $15,000,000 for improvements for the Fire Station Headquarters

#2 (CMA 2024 #106) – Recommendations on increasing parking permit fees

The city recommends increasing the parking permit fee to $75 annually along with a plan to implement a decreased fee of $25 for income eligible residents. The city solicitor recommends against charging different vehicles different fees as it could be challenged in court.

Policy Orders

  • #1 (POR 2024 #65) – Support for bill S.627/H1158, an act “Establishing Protections and Accountability for TNC and DNC Workers”
  • #2 (POR 2024 #66) – Asking the city to investigate having a Cambridge “Porch Fest”

All comments are from members of our comment team.

One response to “City Council Meeting May 20th, 2024”

  1. Charles J. Franklin Avatar
    Charles J. Franklin

    Maybe parking permits aren’t the right way to charge heavy cars more for the damage they cause to roads, but we should reexamine excise tax. Excise tax is based on the value of any particular car which has no correlation with the negative externalities caused by that car. I could go buy a 20 year old Hummer in poor condition and pay nearly nothing in excise taxes because it’s worthless. Alternatively, I could go by a Porsche 911 and pay an arm and leg in excise taxes. The Hummer weighs more and causes more wear to the road. It’s longer and takes up more of the street when parked. On the other hand, the Porsche 911 is small and half the weight. The Hummer causes 60x more wear to the road, but still pays less in taxes.
    Road stress is subject to the fourth power law. A car that weighs twice as much does 16x as much damage.

    Unfortunately, being able to tax vehicle weight would require a state law change.

    https://streets.mn/2016/07/07/chart-of-the-day-vehicle-weight-vs-road-damage-levels/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_power_law

Leave a Reply