Council Updates: City Manager Finalists Selected!

At the start of Women on Wheels' Boston evening ride


It has been a busy week! Since I sent out a Council update last Monday, I am sending one this Monday. As those of you who follow council news know by now, I am excited that the finalists for the City Manager position have been selected! Please see below for a list of the finalists and their short bios.

This week locally will see the usual flooding of the streets with graduates – Lesley had their commencement this past weekend, Harvard and MIT have their commencements (including a make up for the Covid classes of 2020 and 2021) this week and weekend…. Congrats to all and glad the commencements can be in person – although Covid is still with us, outdoor ceremonies are the saving grace.

Last week I celebrated one of the most effective organizations to address educational equity:  Breakthrough Greater Boston. It brings together many players – supported by many institutions and organizations including Alexandria Real Estate, MIT, CPS and others  – to provide primarily low-income students of color a program that has astonishing documented results – college attendance and persistence of over 80% compared to nationwide 14%. Truly inspiring!

This weekend I was able to attend the Baby University graduation in Danehy Park (picture) and a ride along the Riverway in Boston sponsored by Women on Wheels – they have a Cambridge ride coming up next month. I am interested in ways to encourage more cyclist use, since as we transition, we need to reduce car use and increase cyclist and public transit use – or the efforts will not be successful.

Also this week and the next week will be opportunities to meet the City Manager finalists, to understand the next steps in ARPA funding, and a groundbreaking ordinance to reduce greenhouse gas emission pollution.


CITY MANAGER candidate finalists (in alphabetical order by last name): 

  • Iram Farooq – Ms. Farooq is currently the Assistant City Manager for the Community Development Department (CDD) in the City of Cambridge since 2015. Prior to that, she served as Chief of Policy & Planning in CDD and as a Senior Project Manager for Land Use & Zoning   starting in 1999. Ms. Farooq has a Master’s in Landscape Architecture with special emphasis on Land Planning from Harvard University
  • Cheryl Fisher – Ms. Fisher is currently the City Solicitor for the City of Chelsea, MA since 2003. She served as Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Cambridge from 1999-2003. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Regional Counsel II for the Department of Social Services for the Commonwealth of MA and a Field Attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in Boston. Ms. Fisher has her Juris Doctor (Law degree) from Boston College.
  • Yi-An Huang – Mr. Huang is currently the Executive Director of Boston Medical Center (BMC) Hospital Clinical Operations since 2021. Between 2018 and 2021 he served as Chief Transformation Officer and Senior Director – Population Health Analytics for the BMC Health Plan. From 2013 to 2018 he served as Senior Director of Clinical Operation, Director of Strategy and Senior Project Manager for the BMC Hospital. Mr. Huang has a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard University.
  • Norman Khumalo – Mr. Khumalo is currently the Town Manager of Hopkinton, MA since 2009. He served as Assistant Town Manager of Westford, MA from 2002-2009, and served for 6 months as Interim Town Manager. Prior to that he served as a Town Planner, Planner and Transportation Project Manager in Massachusetts. He also served from 1993 to 1997 with Oxfam America in the Boston office, and served in the Planning Field in Zimbabwe. Mr. Khumalo has a Master’s in Public Administration from Carleton University, Canada and a Master’s in Regional & Urban Planning from the University of Zimbabwe.

You can find more information at this link.

Baby U graduation with City Manager DiPasquale and Vice Mayor Mallon in the front row; Breakthrough Greater Boston student testimonial

This Week’s Update:
POR 2022 #21 – Memorial Drive Closures: Councillor Simmons has introduced a policy order in response to some email from residents who are concerned about the closure of Memorial Drive to traffic on weekends. Some residents have cited concerns about how the closure may create congestion on side streets and is creating a burden on the community. However, since this policy order was proposed, the council has also received an outpouring of support for the Memorial Drive weekend closures, including from residents who live in the area. I have always been a supporter of this initiative and will be voting against the policy order – unless there is concrete evidence that the closures do create a hardship on residents.

POR 2022 #2 – Alewife Quad: The Alewife Quad policy order will finally be voted on tonight! As a reminder, it was referred favorably by the Planning Board and the Ordinance Committee. I am excited to have a definitive answer on this. 

Other News:
Job Available! My aide, Adrienne, will be leaving the position at the end of June to pursue a Master’s degree in climate change policy. I am looking for a new aide to start at the beginning of July. If you know of anyone who would be good for this position, please send them my way! The job description is below:

Councilor Patricia Nolan is seeking a Legislative Aide with at least two years of experience to join her at Cambridge City Hall. This position will report directly to Councilor Nolan. A Bachelor’s degree is preferred, but not necessarily essential to perform the required tasks. The legislative aide will be the primary point of contact for constituents working with Councilor Nolan. In addition, the aide will collaborate with the team on special projects/events, provide administrative support, and manage the day-to-day operation of the office. Please visit for information regarding Councilor Nolan’s positions on the issues.

About the position:
Cambridge City Council is composed of nine council members who are committed to serving the constituents of Cambridge. The Council creates and enacts policies, approves ordinances and regulations, and authorizes certain public expenditures. The Council holds regular meetings every Monday evening, hearing updates from the City Manager, discussing policy orders, and hearing public comment from citizens. 

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Responding to constituent emails, scheduling meetings, and other general administrative duties.
  • Drafting reports, policy orders and resolutions related to council work. 
  • Drafting and circulating weekly email updates to a list of community members through MailChimp.
  • Attend meetings, take notes, and communicate effectively on various issues.
  • Supervision of an intern may be required.
  • Research and data analysis as required (usually pertaining to climate crisis)
  • Other related duties as assigned by Councilor Nolan


  • Organized, excels at communication, a quick learner, and good writer.
  • Ability to work independently and take the lead on issues.
  • Highly motivated, with at least two years of experience in legislative and/or environmental policy, a strong work ethic and sense of initiative.
  • An ideal applicant will have excellent academic credentials, strong writing, communication and interpersonal skills, a demonstrated ability to work well in a collegial setting, and a strong personal commitment to progressive issues.
  • Demonstrated passion for and knowledge about climate issues.
  • Strong research skills.
  • Ability to perform basic data analysis and work with large data sets in Excel.
  • A Bachelor’s degree is preferred but not required

This is a full-time position for $35/hour at a maximum of 37.5 hours per week (approximately $69K/year). A full benefits package is also available.


  • Ability to access, input and retrieve information from a computer.
  • Ability to answer telephones and multi-task.
  • Ability to bend, squat, reach and stretch.
  • Work is conducted primarily in an office environment but must have the ability to travel to meetings in other offices or facilities as well as attend outdoor events in public spaces.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Competitive benefits package including:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental + Vision Benefits
  • Retirement Plan
  • Paid time off
  • City Employee Commuter Benefits (T-Pass, Bluebikes membership, EZRide Shuttle membership)

The City of Cambridge has a long-standing record of nondiscrimination in employment and providing equal opportunity without regard to race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, Vietnam era veteran’s status, marital status or age. The City of Cambridge is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Women, minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. City of Cambridge residents are especially encouraged to apply.

You can find all previous newsletters on my website. Please share with anyone you think would be interested:

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