By Josh Resnek
Senator Sal’s Time
I was taught when I was growing up that sometimes its good to keep my mouth shut and to watch and to examine what is coming down right in front of me.
During a long life doing this stuff I have come close to watching a few heavy hitters play the political game.
Former Governor Deval Patrick was one of those.
The late Mayor Tom Menino was another.
When Governor Patrick came to a meeting in Everett, Chelsea or Revere he always started at the back of whatever room it was he was entering.
This is where his magic always began.
One by one he would introduce himself and go down the long rows one after the other until he had introduced himself to everyone inside the room and let them know who he is.
This is very, very impressive. It is something to watch and to admire – that is – meeting the voting public and letting the voting public have a bit of him!
This is one of the reasons it was so hard to run against Patrick and why it was so difficult to defeat him.
Enter the late Tom Menino, the mayor of Boston.
He was another lifetime pol who knew how to work a room, who mastered the art of working a room.
Menino tended to place himself at the place where everyone walks into a time greeting everyone as they walked by him.
Very impressive, again, very powerful political tool.
One way or another, Menino wanted everyone to know who he was and to be accessible and to gather votes because gathering votes was securing power.
Is it any wonder Menino couldn’t be beaten in almost two decades of public service?
Now enter Everett’s rep, Stat Smith and Gerly Adrien campaigning at Senator Sal’s birthday party last week at Casa Lucia in Revere.
Smith went around to everyone seeking individuals out to shake their hands or to trade bits about this and that.
He went from table to table identifying votes and shaking hands with voters and interacting not as a big shot but like one of the crowd.
This is very effective. Always has been. Always will be.
Adrien knew nearly everyone inside the hall. She did her share of getting around and introducing herself. Again, such behavior by a candidate for public office is absolutely required.
Now comes the rep. He didn’t come near me. That’s OK. I don’t vote in Everett!
The rep stayed in virtually one place standing rather immobile as the birthday party went on passing him.
If I were him, I would have made a point of shaking every hand in the room, looking every voter straight in the eye, and asking them for their support.
Instead, he staked out a position and really didn’t leave it.
Because he’s the rep.
In his own mind being the rep gets you elected again as the rep.
You are only as good as your last election in this business – and the rep is facing a hotly contested battle with two opponents who aren’t going to crack or to go away.
The rep faces a rude awakening on primary day, September 4.
He needs to really get with it soon or he will be gone.
Many of us have had mentors in our lives.
I had a mentor.
He was, at the same time, one of the most generous, loyal and brilliant types I have ever known and he was as well a man with a much darker side.
The truths I learned from this mentor remain with me today 35 years after I started out as a journalist and jack of all trades.
Many, many times I watched my mentor, who was a very powerful and well-known man, attend a wake or a social gathering where there were long lines.
Never once did my mentor use his influence to have himself placed at the head of the line.
“That’s not how you do it, Josh,” he’d say to me with an exclamation point.
My mentor waited at the back of the line.
He got more respect waiting in line like everyone else rather than jumping in front of everyone because he was important.
Now comes the mayor.
I’m not sure he had a mentor and if he did, I’m not sure he got the right lessons from him.
I got a report about the mayor preparing to fly out of Logan Airport last week. He was heading out on vacation.
“There was a long line,” a source told me who was there. “Officials at the airport escorted the mayor to the front of the line so he didn’t have to wait,” he added.
Nice touch, I thought to myself.
The mayor of Everett is just too important to wait in a long line like everyone else at the airport.
Sounds like the mayor I have come to know – a very big feeling guy who thinks he’s better than everyone else.
I didn’t find out if he was escorted by a state police officer.
Given what’s been going on with the state police, them doing a favor for a big feeling guy like our mayor, is almost the stuff of a small crime.
Will the Real Craig Hardy Please Stand Up
Let’s face it, journalists make mistakes. It is part of the business, regrettably.
I’ve certainly made my fair share of errors but nothing quite so embarrassing as doing a story about a great guy and getting his first name wrong as I managed to do in last week’s newspaper.
Yes. I wrote a story about a great guy, an Everett father of 2 firefighter who just got a big time job as a lobbyist, Craig Hardy.
So what’s wrong with that?
I called him David Hardy in the article which was on the front page.
How did Craig Hardy end top being called David Hardy?
It goes like this.
Many years ago I worked with a kid from Woburn named David Harvey.
Last week, David Harvey came back to haunt me as I called Craig Hardy, David Hardy.
My apologies to Craig Hardy for the gaffe.
The record now stands corrected.
He’s the real thing – and a good, good guy.
Exelon Opening The Spigot
Until next June, Exelon remains the city’s largest taxpayer at $15 million a year.
Exelon is about as big as it gets for a corporation doing business in Everett.
The company is huge beyond all belief, a company whose size and economic clout dwarfs that of Wynn Resorts..
Exelon is an energy supplier.
In recent months, and largely due to the efforts of Exelon employee Mark Rodgers, the company has become the city’s largest contributor to good causes.
Last week’s announcement, one of many recent announcements, that Exelon donated another $18,000 to Everett Community Growers was, as we like to call it, big medicine.Very few local corporations give $8,000 let alone $18,000.
Thank you Exelon.
Please keep it up!
Outdoor Seating On Norwood Street
Outdoor seating at the 8/10 Restaurant on Norwood Street is about the best thing to happen to outdoor eating at a restaurant in Everett’s history. Such a satisfying, welcoming arrangement outdoors during the warmer months is exactly where it is at and the more of it the merrier.
City Planner Tony Sousa has catapulted himself into the heartland of the 21st Century by determining that restaurant patrons might like to sit outside and then made it happen.
This isn’t so much about vision. It is about common sense.
In every great and minor city in the world, outside dining makes the experience so much more fun.
In time, I guess, patrons will be able to order a drink outside in the seating area.
Our town fathers believed alcohol is too dangerous to allow such a thing to happen on the sidewalk of Norwood Street.
You can’t be too careful in this world, can you?
Check out the 8/10 on Norwood Street on a warm summer night.