City Solicitor Needs to Chime In On School Committee Vote

Last week it was revealed in two of the city’s weekly publications that city employee John Burley’s effort in behalf of his daughter who is running for a seat on the school committee may put him in a conflict of interest.

The conflict of interest laws are broad and many are open to interpretation but in this case, the perception and the reality seem to intersect in a perfect storm of sorts.

Mr. Burley, who works for the city and in particular for the city council, may have breached the fine line between advocating for his daughter and using his influence over colleagues to gain their votes for her a position which will enrich her.

Even if the position was unpaid, the conflict of interest laws require Burley and all others in similar positions to refrain from soliciting for votes under the state’s nepotism laws.

Before January 8, City Solicitor Colleen Mejia needs to show who her allegiance is to, the law or the law of the jungle – to speak out in behalf of what is clearly right in this important matter or to allow what appears to be a conflict of interest to go without comment.

Who your friends are at city hall, even who the mayor is, should not stop City Solicitor Mejia from examining the situation and issuing a statement about it.

If Mr. Burley is in conflict of interest, we need to know.

If his solicitations are harmless and everyone agrees, including the Ethics Commission, then the vote should go on.

By the same token, if Mr. Burley is allowed to solicit votes for his daughter while working for the city and from those he works for in particular then we’d like to know how he does so without being in a conflict of interest and how that vote would be allowed to go forward on January 8.

Joseph Pace

The death of Joseph Pace last week brings to an end a charmed life and a great business success.

Who among us has not shopped at one of Mr. Pace’s signature shops during the past 30 years?

Pace’s, as his places are known, represent themselves among the very best when it comes to Italian treats, steaks, cold cuts, sausages and everything together that makes eating such a great treat.

Add to this that Mr. Pace was a class act, like his father before him, who always insisted in quality first.

From a humble North End grocer to major marketer of fine foods, Joe Pace made his mark.

We offer his family our condolences.

From Bad to Worse

This is the forecast for mid-week.

The frigid cold continues and now there are reports, and rather credible ones, that a major snowstorm could visit us on Thursday.

What to do?

Our recommendation is for Everett residents to hunker down but not before filling your refrigerators and to set yourselves in front of your favorite flatscreen so you can transit from one show to the next in order to avoid looking outside.

When you are thoroughly stuffed and bored, you put on your snow wear, pick-up your shovel, go outside and get to work.

Thursday is looking like a storm day.

Enjoy and have fun.

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