By Josh Resnek
About 30 people upset by Councilor Stephen Simonelli’s remarks made on Facebook last month showed up at city hall to express displeasure about what he said as well as to complain that the city government has done nothing about it.
The incident is dogging the city government and Simonelli.
It is an issue that does not seem to want to go away.
This most recent effort to highlight Simonelli’s remarks, for which he has apologized, is believed to be the precursor to a recall of the councilor apparently being led by Stephanie Martins.
Martins lost to Simonelli last year.
“The response of the city suggests the city government does not understand the implications of Simonelli’s statements,” said a two-year resident of Everett during remarks he made to the council.
“If we don’t realize we are being racist, then we should be really concerned,” he added.
These remarks along with others by three speakers who all denounced Simonelli, prompted Council President Peter Napolitano to comment that the council was unable to do anything to Simonelli as he has the freedom of speech to express himself as he wants.
“By law we can’t do anything,” he said.
However, it is within the council’s rights according to Roberts Rules to censure a fellow member or to denounce a fellow member or to distance themselves from racist remarks or any distasteful remarks made by a fellow member.
The council can also warn fellow members to stay within the boundaries of socially correct speech – which precludes racist, sexist or misogynistic remarks among others. Councilors can also walk out in protest if and when a fellow member has crossed a line and speaks inappropriately.