EDITORIALS: February 15

Some People Fight to Win; Some People Fight to Lose

The City Council did the right thing by appropriating $5 million Monday evening so the public schools were not decimated by teacher layoffs and cutbacks in services to students. The vote was unanimous, and we compliment the good judgment shown by the City Council.

At the same time we compliment the City Council, the mayor’s actions taken against the school department are both specious and odious at the same time.

Despite telling hundreds of men, women and children who packed into the Council Chamber at city hall that he is a friend of Superintendent of Schools Frederick Foresteire, his actions reveal otherwise.

No friend of the Superintendent or the school children and the teachers of this city does what the mayor ordered up Monday night.

Perhaps the mayor conceived the attack against Foresteire and the schools and the kids or perhaps it was his advisor Tom Philbin who decided that two blue ribbon committees and an operational audit were necessary to get the school budget in order to save the city’s credit rating – which is not in danger of any kind unless the city is broke, as we suspect it is.

What the mayor has ordered will ultimately lead to the end of a very long era marked by the school system here of going out of its way to give to the students of Everett the feeling, the belief and the reality, that they are more important than the city’s bond rating.

Maybe the mayor has lost touch with his humble beginnings here. Maybe living in a $1.5 million home, driving a Mercedes Benz, owning donut shops and being tied to the hip of the disgraced sexual degenerate Steve Wynn has caused the mayor to forget what it was like to struggle in his life when he was a kid.

The mayor doesn’t struggle anymore in his life so it is only natural that he has forgotten the past which is so much a part of him and always will be.

His full, frontal attack on Foresteire and the management of the schools is also an attack on the Leader Herald which he denounced at the public meeting – although not by name.

He can’t buy our quiet with the city advertising he gives out as he buys the quiet of others and he can’t hurt us by withholding city advertising from us, which he is now doing. In fact, 8 weeks ago he promised to put the Leader Herald out of business. Nine weeks and going, he hasn’t succeeded, he can’t succeed and he won’t succeed.

He may believe he is the mayor for life the way Pharoahs ruled in ancient Egypt but he has no chance whatsoever of paying us for our quiet. As the paper of record here since 1885 the Leader Herald will not be harassed or told what to do or threatened by any mayor, let alone the present one.

What the mayor is attempting, and he showed his hand Monday night, is to discredit Foresteire, who he has the audacity to call a good friend.

What will be cut from the School Department once the number crunchers and outside experts conduct the operational audit, is everything that makes Everett’s public schools special. The recommendations of the blue ribbon commissions the mayor has set up will do the same.

This effort not only dooms the public schools to mediocrity and failure but it dooms the mayor because the fall, when it comes, is on his watch and worn all over his hands like blood from a severe wound.

We remind the mayor in the eternal words of the great English poet John Dunne: “Do not ask for whom the bell tolls (Mr. Mayor). It tolls for thee.”

Is the City Broke?

Ask our Firefighters

Before the mayor appeared at city hall Monday night to tell hundreds of residents assembled there that the city cannot afford to pay for its public schools because its bond rating is too important, he apparently left a negotiation he was conducting with local firefighters and their union.

Maybe he can’t afford to pay the firefighters, either.

The firefighters of our city have been working without a contract for 2 years. City hall has been reluctant or unable to come to terms with the firefighters recently.

This leads to one important question or is it a conclusion: the city is so broke it can’t afford to come to terms with our firefighters?

If the city comes to terms after a 2 year hiatus, it needs to pay everything due to the firefighters for the past 2 years retroactively all at once, and it appears the mayor might not be able to do this – or why else not do it?

Some school department employees trying to cash their checks at their bank last week were told there were insufficient funds.

This situation didn’t last long…but it makes you wonder…is the city broke?

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