By Josh Resnek
Behind closed doors in executive session, former Governor William Weld, nine members of the City Council, the City Auditor Eric Demas, City Solicitor Colleen Mejia, Chariman of the Board of Assessors Billy Hart and three officials from Exelon apparently discussed the suit brought by the city against the energy giant.
The mayor arrived late for the executive session.
The city has spent almost $1 million in legal fees paid to Mintz Levin, the legal powerhouse promising the city that the taxpayer money spent will be well worth it when all is said and done with the suit.
About an hour after the executive session was finished, the City Council voted to accept the transfer of $600,000 from the Assessors Overlay Account for the payment of Mintz Levin’s legal expenses.
The transfer went smoothly with no public discussion by City Auditor Demas before the meeting or after about the city’s bond rating being affected by spending $1 million dollars betting on a law suit to increase Exelon’s taxes.
Before the executive session Monday night, former Governor Weld spoke briefly with this reporter.
“I will answer whatever questions are put before me,” he said.
The meeting lasted for about 20 minutes.
According to sources speaking confidentially to this reporter, Exelon is apparently considering offering the city higher tax payments when the 20 year TIF comes to an end in a few months.
“Exelon does not fear Mintz Levin,” said the source.
Many of the councilors and those present shook hands with Weld.
Weld appeared a bit thinner than when he was in his prime as governor 25 years ago.
He said he was pleased to be in Everett.
Exelon remains the city’s biggest taxpayer at $15 million a year for the past decade.
When the casino project is done, it is expected to dwarf Exelon’s tax payments although many aspects of the casino project have been thrown into disarray by Steve Wynn’s problems and his recent sale of all his stock in Wynn Resorts.