Edward Sullivan

Edward J. Sullivan
2007 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
37 Homer Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Contact information:
Tel: 617-492-1444
website: www.sullivanforcambridge.com 
e-mail: esullivan@sullivanforcambridge.com 

Send contributions to:
Committee to Elect Edward J. Sullivan
197 Concord Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

I was born and brought up in Cambridge and graduated from the Longfellow Elementary School, Cambridge Rindge and Latin and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (BS Sports Management).

After college, I worked for Poland Springs starting as a route salesman and worked my way up the corporation to eventually become Northeast Regional Manager. During this time I held the position of Middlesex County Commissioner where I helped oversee the dissolution of county government.

Two years ago, I partnered with a colleague and started an environmentally safe cleaning supply company, Clean & Safe, of which I am Vice President. In starting our company we were motivated to help corporations and state organizations minimize and reduce the ecological damage caused by the supplies they use on a day to day basis.

I am also the proud parent of two children, Clare, 15, and Eddie, 14. Being a father of teenagers, I understand the importance of providing positive youth opportunities such as sports leagues and after-school programs as an effective means of keeping young people safe, focused and instilled with self confidence. As City Councilor, I will make a deep commitment to the youth programs throughout Cambridge to ensure that our children are given every opportunity to succeed.

My public service commitment is grounded upon the need for strong sensible leadership, service to the people and a need for elected officials to be responsive to the people they represent. This was instilled in me at an early age as part of my family's legacy of service to the people of Cambridge. This legacy began with my grandfather in 1936 and includes my uncles, Edward and Walter, and most recently my cousin, Michael, for the past fourteen years. As City Councilor, I will continue this tradition and strive to provide a high quality of life for the children, seniors and families of Cambridge.

As a small business owner I know first hand the importance of listening to my customers and to respond promptly and respectfully to their needs. We should expect the same from our city government and our councillors. My family's hallmark has been this type of service to the people of Cambridge --- it has been dubbed "Sullivan Service" by the local press. I pledge to continue this service. I am always just a phone call away to answer your questions or concerns or to lend a hand. You can reach me at home (617) 714-4288 or my headquarters (617) 292-1444. I ask for your #1 vote on Tuesday, November 6th.

Thank you,

Quality of Life and Public Safety:
The best way to promote public safety is to immediately tackle the smaller problems before they escalate into big problems. Whether it's replacing missing street signs, fixing a broken sidewalk, or clearing the snow - small changes can have positive effects on people's lives. When you call me with a problem, I will take the time to listen and take action to get things done.

I hear a lot of concerns from people throughout the city about issues of feeling safe in their neighborhoods. In these times, making sure we can feel safe and secure means making intelligent, focused investments where it counts. We need to use new available technologies that allow us to solve crimes; such as gun shot location equipment and surveillance equipment. But most importantly, we need police officers on the streets in our neighborhoods. Despite the police department being budgeted for 272 sworn law enforcement personnel, we have historically been operating at least 20 officers below the budgeted number. Without appropriate staffing we cannot meet the needs of our community. We are fortunate with the investment in the fire department both in terms of staffing and equipment to meet the needs of today and tomorrow - the Cambridge Fire Department has earned the coveted Class One rating.

Traffic, Parking, and Transportation:
Throughout our city and in just about every neighborhood I hear the call for traffic calming --- I support this much needed effort. We likewise need to work with our state legislature and the Massachusetts Highway Department to reduce the speed in our neighborhoods from the state standard of 30 mph to the more appropriate 25 mph. We need to continue to work towards making our community walk able, bike able and pedestrian friendly. We have taken some measures towards these goals in Central and Porter Squares and now in Harvard Square. We need to continue our support for the PTDM ordinance and the vehicle trip reduction ordinance.

With the soon to opened new main library we need to ensure that we have a para-transit system that gets people to where they need and want to go and able to access many of the great venues our city has to offer such as the senior center.

We need to continue to work with the state for the full implementation of the night time truck ban and routes. Likewise, we need to continue to make sure that large development projects are reviewed for their traffic impacts and that appropriate studies are conducted.

Municipal Finance, City Budget, Assessments, and Property Taxes:
This has been a very difficult time for many communities in the Commonwealth, as well as the state itself. However, Cambridge has been in a position of strength with one of the one of lowest residential tax rates in the state. The administration has prudently exercised fiscal constraints while investing in much needed infrastructure improvements that are solid investments in our future generations. They have also done a commendable job of maintaining services and programs that we have come to expect and rely on in our city. We must not rest on our past laurels, because it was only a decade plus ago that the picture was much bleaker and we know that a sudden turn in the economy could have significant impact on our community. The council needs to be cognizant of the relationship between the budget and the tax rate; particularly on how it affects some of most vulnerable property owners. It needs to assure us that we are getting a dollar's worth of services for a dollar of taxes and that we are prepared for what ever the future may bring.

Land Use, Planning, Economic Development:
I believe that we should use our zoning and other land use planning tolls to assist people of moderate, middle and low income to find affordable housing in Cambridge. These tools could also assist in reaching other sustainable goals, including but not limited to a walk and bike able community, para-transit possibilities, open space and green development.

We need to continue to work hard to attract and retain solid, small and large businesses in our city without relinquishing quality of life issues. This is important not only because our tax base is supported by nearly two thirds from commercial taxes but they help to provide vibrancy in our community and needed services. We need to make sure that we are seeking a diverse economy --- as they saying goes, "You shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket."

Open Space, Parks, and Recreation:
Cambridge has a park system that is the envy of our surrounding communities. These parks receive a great deal of use in terms of active and passive recreation and at times can seem overwhelmed. The City has obtained additional open space but frankly, we need to do better, particularly in seeking to reach the objectives of the green space report of a number of years ago. The city needs to follow up on its commitment to provide the dog runs that have been promised in the quadrants of our community. In our tight urban area, we need to work now at preserving those special and unique places such as the Alewife. As father of young children, I know that we need to be the stewards of these places so that they will be here for future generations. This has to be part of our sustainable growth policy.

Energy, the Environment, and Public Health:
As I stated earlier, we need to be the stewards of our environment and be active in its preservation. That is why I started my company, Clean and Safe, so that we could eliminate or at the very least reduce the damage some of our daily activities have on the environment. We need to continue such planning, as the Fresh Pond Master Plan, for all areas of our city - just like fresh pond there are other jewels in our community that are at risk.

The city needs to continue its efforts on energy efficiencies in its daily operations; both in terms of its buildings and fleet. I would support these efforts and seek to expand on them, both in terms of the city's own efforts but also as to what we should require of others in their developments. This is an area in which we should seek to be a leader, for not only do I believe that it will help our environment but it potentially could help diversify our economy.

The City has been fortunate with the success of the Cambridge Health Alliance and its contractual relationship to provide for the public health of our community. It has allowed for the continued professionalizing of this area, as well as allowing us to provide for the overall health of our community in terms of going beyond the basics to looking towards prevention and providing for such things as early literacy programs.

I would continue to make affordable housing a top priority, in one of the most expensive housing markets in this country. The high cost of housing remains an urgent issue - for the elderly, young families, and individuals of low and moderate income means. I will push for new programs that will go beyond those already in place that will assist not only these individuals and families, but meet the needs of those of middle income means. This needs to be part of our economic development package. Without places to live, there can be no sustainable economic development.

Cambridge has stepped up to the plate in this area but other communities and the state need to be true partners. This has been one of the areas that will affect the overall well being of the Commonwealth's future. Many families and companies have either left the Commonwealth or else don't consider Massachusetts because of this high cost.

Arts and Public Celebrations:
We have been fortunate in the last few years with the opening of the new ART center in Harvard Square and the recent ground breaking and starting of construction of the theater in Central Square. These help to further enhance our community and we need to be supportive of these efforts.

The City Hall Dance Party, Danehy Park Day and some other events work towards building a sense of community. I believe that we need to do better and provide a greater breath of opportunities for public interaction which will lead to greater civic participation.

University Relations:
We need to take this opportunity with new presidents, Harvard and Lesley, and a relatively new president at MIT to recognize our shared interests in the well being of our community. Not simply in terms of much needed "in lieu of" of tax agreements and payments that supports and seeks to preserve and protect our tax base, but we need to look beyond this into areas such as housing, economic development, energy and the environment to name a few. In particular, in the area of education - to have the leading educational institutions in the world in our backyard - we need to have the appropriate partnerships with them to ensure that our children likewise have the educational opportunities they need to succeed.

Civic Participation:
Although the opportunities for civic participation seem boundless in Cambridge and exceed that of many other communities, these opportunities are not as widely utilized as I would like to see. In the past, it seems that there was a greater sense of participation with that small town feel to it. We need to actively seek, encourage and foster participation. We need to assist in getting the word out on what these opportunities are from participating in public discourse to programs such as the Cambridge School Volunteers, neighborhood and business associations and Cambridge police assisted watch groups.

Cambridge Public Schools:
We need to give credit to the school administration and the school committee. Their hard work over the past five to six years has allowed us to begin to see the turn around and realize some successes in our school system. We can not rest here because we have much more to accomplish and if we are not diligent we could lose ground. We need to continue to focus and ask the tough questions about achievement gaps, enrollment numbers, programs that lead to success and rising costs as well as what are the infrastructure and capital improvements needs. We need to work together to make sure that our school system is moving forward briskly with new optimism and confidence. We need to continue to build on the partnerships between parents, schools, human services and public health to make sure we are working on every level to achieve success.

This candidate did not respond to the following:
2) Top Priorities:
6) Government and Elections (Plan E Charter, City Manager, staff for councillors, etc.):
8) Human Services Programs: [including youth programs and senior programs]

Page last updated May 10, 2009 Cambridge Candidates