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Around Town


City budget still a riddle

Everett City Hall. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

10 weeks late, few have keys to unlock mysteries for how taxpayer’s money to be spent

By JOSH RESNEK

The veil of secrecy has finally been lifted.

The city’s 2021 budget has been uploaded to the city’s website.

Eric Demas, the city’s Chief Financial Officer, who doubles as the mayor’s Minister of Financial Propaganda, has finally posted the city’s budget to the City of Everett’s website.

Only ten weeks after the start of the fiscal year, Demas has produced what he would likely call, “a masterpiece.”

Like a mystery thriller novel, only he and the mayor have the keys to unlock its secrets to taxpayers.

Not bad for government work, that is, the convoluted budget ten weeks late.

The newly elected Mayor of Taunton managed to present her budget to the Taunton City Council on June 2, 2020, a little late, but well in advance of the July 1st start of the fiscal year.

It appears there are two Everett city budgets.

When we refer to the City of Everett Budget, we need to be very careful about what version of the budget we are talking about.

Is it the budget that was posted to the City of Everett website on or about September 9th?

To avoid that confusion, we will call it the September Final Budget. Continue Reading


Covid-19 uptick closes parks again

A Covid-19 test site at Schraf Playground as the virus has a recent uptick in the city. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

CHA Everett reports new cases, more free test sites available

By JOSH RESNEK

The former Whidden Hospital reported late last week that its beds were again filling with COVID-19 patients, that at least ten new patients suffering from the virus are now struggling with its effects at the hospital.

Hospital officials also reported that at least three new serious cases of the virus had caused those individuals to be put into intensive care.

This has put a strain on hospital services as those with COVID-19 require intensive treatment and full time monitoring by doctors and nurses.

This has put a strain on hospital services as those with COVID-19 require intensive treatment and full time monitoring by doctors and nurses.

Despite Massachusetts achieving one of the lowest rates of infection in the nation, Everett’s infection rate has stood above the state’s 2% ceiling for many weeks and in recent weeks was closer to 5% although the number appears to be fluctuating.Continue Reading


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–Eye on Everett —

Coffee with The Blue Suit

By JOSH RESNEK

You know he believes no one can beat him,” the mayor’s Blue Suit said to me earlier this week. “He is convinced that he is invincible, that no one can touch him – not the law, not the people, not Fred Capone, not any number of combinations of Fred Capone and others – no one,” the Blue Suit added.

We shared a coffee sitting outside watching the traffic pass by at an outside cafe. I had a small cappuccino. The Blue Suit drinks dark tea with a touch of honey.

“The mayor tells some of his buddies he is going to be the mayor forever, if you can imagine that. I want to tell him off when I hear that. No one should be the mayor forever. In fact, there ought to be term limits on how long a mayor can consecutively serve. I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut around him. He’s a dangerous guy to disagree with if you know what I mean.”

The Blue Suit and I shared a moment of silent thought.

“I know what you mean. Did I ever tell you how he came down to the Leader Herald office on Church Street and came into my back office to speak with me one afternoon almost four years ago?”

“No. What did he want?”

“The mayor warned me that I wasn’t writing the right kind of articles. He demanded that I write the right kind of articles. Just like that, he said that to me in my office. I looked at him in amazement,” I told the Blue Suit.Continue Reading


Patriot’s victory a triumph

A TV frame ofNew England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton heads off the field at Gillette Stadium after winning in the empty stadium. (Photo by Josh Resnek)


By JOSH RESNEK

The Pat’s victory Sunday over the Dolphins raised spirits here substantially.

Without quarterback Tom Brady leading the pack into the new season for the first time in two decades, there were many, many questions about how the team would perform.

What was missing from the victory?

People in the stands.

There weren’t any.

The cheering we heard after a good play or a score or a great run, were canned cheering.

Canned cheering is to an empty football stadium where the game is being played on the field what canned laughter is to sit-coms shown on television.

America loves canned laughter.

I don’t. I’ve always hated it, made fun of it, mimicked it and finally turned the station. Not so with canned cheering at yesterday’s football matchup between the Patriots now led by Cam Newton facing the Dolphins.Continue Reading


Remote school opening a reckoning

By JOSH RESNEK

Everett Public Schools opening off campus is a reckoning.

Parents know this. Teachers understand this. Administrators of the school system view this as an earthquake in public school education.

It is the same for college presidents and students all over the nation.

The pandemic’s power to alter the course of educational history as well as economic history is something playing out all around us during this fall of our discontent.

Whether you believe in the dangers of the virus or not, the stark reality is that everything having to do with education right now across the land is in a state of extraordinary change.

The same way most of Boston’s skyscrapers are empty of employees now working at home or outside of the city has changed the future for many businesses, and the owners of the buildings, and for the owners of the mortgages on those buildings.

It is no different for cities and towns paying huge money for new schools when the schools are now, and at least until November, empty of students.

Teaching remotely is the new normal.

If you believe in science and the need for the virus to be snuffed out for the greater benefit of everyone or if you believe a virus running amuck among us is OK, one thing is certain – the schools being empty on opening day 2020 is the beginning of a new era.Continue Reading


Violent outbreaks, chaos at Las Vegas, Boston casinos

By JOSH RESNEK

Over the Labor Day weekend, Las Vegas Police responded to a large disturbance at the Encore Casino and Hotel on the Strip. About 20 men and women were apparently fighting in the hotel lobby and then the fight spread to the gaming floor, causing a ruckus that in the end, sent shock waves along the length of the Strip, which is right now trying to survive the effects of the pandemic.

At one point, someone apparently tossed a pile of money into the air “making it rain money” causing near pandemonium among those who scurried to pick it up and to put it into their pockets.

Multiple men and women were involved in the fracas, which apparently began when one man confronted another and sucker punched him, and then a fight began,” according to reports in the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper.

“During the same time, another male began swinging a liquor bottle, hitting several persons. Two security officers were struck by unknown males. In the process, a veridoc (identity verification) machine, plants, and stanchions were damaged,” according to a lawsuit filed by Wynn Resorts to sue those responsible for causing violence on their property.

Sixteen people were arrested, and three Wynn guards were sent to the hospital.

Many patrons of the casino who gamble there because they feel safe in the five star environment, were aghast over the goings on, according to reports in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.Continue Reading



[Editorial]

Mayor must answer

In neighboring Chelsea, since the inception of receivership when its last four mayors were arrested, indicted, tried and convicted of crimes as well as six police officers who met the same fate, the city government has sworn, “never again.”

Receivership ended in Chelsea many years ago but the city government has remained adamant – no member of the city council, the police and fire departments and city hall employ- ees can be convicted felons or those who are sexual offenders with their names on the state sex offenders list, can serve in public office or as a member of the city workforce.

In Everett, this rule does not reply. There is a different mindset here where the mayor employs a number of convicted felons who are working city jobs, who somehow are given the OK by the Human Resources Department.Continue Reading


Looking at Politics

Council meets in person at city hall for first time since pandemic struck

By JOSH RESNEK

Not all city councilors wore face masks at Monday night’s city council meeting, the first inside city hall in almost six months.

Not all the councilors were present.

Those who participated there sat far apart from one another, social distancing with vigor.

The chamber was disinfected with a spray before the meeting.

The large and airy city council chamber caused more than several members to ditch their masks for the relative safety they felt social distancing. Councilors sat at least eight feet apart.

Councilor at Large John Hanlon wore a face mask, as did Councilors Fred Capone, Peter Napolitano and Stephanie Martins.

Council President Rosa DeFlorio, Councilors Wayne Matewsky, Mike Marchese, Jimmy Tri Le and Mike McLaughlin arrived with face masks on but took them off for the meeting.Continue Reading