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Francis H. Duehay, mayor of Cambridge in 1998-2000 and in 1980-82, has announced he will not be a candidate for reelection to the Cambridge City Council in November 1999.
At a press conference on March 26, Mayor Duehay thanked his supporters for giving him the opportunity to serve Cambridge.
"I have been honored to represent the citizens of Cambridge on the School Committee and the City Council, and as mayor, for a total of 36 years. When my term expires on January 2, 2000, I will have achieved many of the goals I set for myself during that time," he said.
Mayor Duehay has been in public life in Cambridge since first winning a seat on the Cambridge School Committee in 1963. He has overseen changes in the city of 95,000 ranging from desegregation of the school system to stabilization of city management, resulting in an AAA bond rating. His initiatives on behalf of the quality of life in Cambridge have included setting up the city's Affordable Housing Trust, the AIDS and Substance Abuse Task Force and the Welfare Reform Task Force.
Mayor Duehay cited an "extremely positive relationship with MIT" among other goals he has met. He noted the role MIT's Public Service Center has played in the Institute's "growing presence in the community," and he expressed gratitude for MIT's support for professional development for teachers and for Tutoring Plus.
Mayor Duehay also noted the contributions of two MIT students, Kley Achterhof (SB 1996) and Monisha Merchant, a senior in electrical engineering and computer science, to his career.
"Mr. Achterhof ran my reelection campiagn in 1995. It was one of the best campaigns I've ever had," he said. Ms. Merchant worked for Mayor Duehay as an intern.
Paul Parravano and Sarah Gallop, co-directors of MIT's Office of Government and Community Relations, have worked closely with Mayor Duehay over the past nine years.
"As mayor of Cambridge, Frank Duehay has been consistently accessible and easy to work with, an excellent team player as well as an effective leader both for schools and for the city," Mr. Parravano said. "We all admire and honor the longevity of his service to Cambridge. He has been determined and devoted."
Mr. Parravano, who was present at the mayor's press conference last week, noted Mr. Duehay's role as a member of the board of directors of the National League of Cities and his general willingness to "visit our campus, to engage in discussions here and to work constructively with us. As chair of the University/City Relations Committee for the National League of Cities, he has advanced and served the very strong relationship between MIT and the City of Cambridge."
Ms. Gallop commented, "Frank Duehay has been a voice of reason in many public policy discussions in recent years. He has consistently brought a practical perspective and a sense of reason to the table. His effective leadership style, coupled with a genuine desire to solve problems, has earned him a reputation as a respected and credible elected official. Mayor Duehay has worked productively alongside MIT during times of conflict and of celebration."
A version of this article appeared in the March 31, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 24).