One month has passed since the beginning of the year and the Cambridge City Council has failed to elect a mayor, causing uncertainty on the School Committee, creating a deadlock among members and prompting residents to poke fun at the absurdity of it all.
The city of Cambridge does not hold a public election for mayor — and therefore every two years the City Council is charged with the task of agreeing on who will assume the seat. The mayor in Cambridge chairs both the City Council and the School Committee.
“It’s politics. There’s always varying alliances on the council. Several want to be mayor and no one has enough votes,” said Maurice Cunningham, chair of the political science department at UMass Boston and a Cambridge resident. “It doesn’t happen in other places. Other places have a more rational process.”
During the election in 2010, it took the council two months to elect a mayor. This year, the School Committee is undergoing a major system-wide restructuring and the inaction by the council is “frustrating,” according to School Committee member Marc McGovern. Right now, City Councilor Kenneth Reeves is a temporary chair.
“To have a temporary chair that votes and may not be the permanent member is not a great way to make significant decisions and move forward,” said McGovern, adding that changes to the election process should be considered.
The next vote will take likely place on Monday when the Council meets.
The Twitter hashtag #HowCambridgeShouldPickAMayor has picked up countless tweets. Hundreds of users poked fun about how the Council should decide on a mayor and offered suggestions:
“Let Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone decide,” wrote @robert02139.
“Karaoke contest at Courtside,” wrote @moose513.
“Can spell Cantabridgians after that Hong Kong Scorpion Bowl,” wrote @stevenl57.