— Eye on Everett —

Sgt. Joe Gaff

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By Josh Resnek

There are times at city hall free of politics that warm the heart.

Monday evening was such a night.

The elevation of Patrolman Joe Gaff to sergeant brought together the Gaff Family, lovely people, and about 25 of Gaff’s brothers on the police force including the chief.

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PHOTO BY JOSH RESNEK
The large crowd (below) in the city council chamber Monday night for police officer Joe Gaff stands in silence as he takes the oath to be a sergeant. Following the taking of the oath, the crowd broke out into a heavy round of applause. Above, Joe Gaff and his wife, Nancy.

Gaff CrowdThis was completely a celebration with good feeling. There was not a touch of anything but good feeling and congratulations.

As Joe took the oath from City Clerk Sergio Cornelio, to the moment Joe’s wife Nancy pinned his sergeant’s badge onto his chest, well, it was all about good feeling, accomplishment and a bit of raw emotion.

The Gaffs are classy folks. They are the real thing.This is a together family with many friends throughout the city.

They were all there for Joe Monday night in the council chamber.

Joe is a great, great guy with an honest and full smile, a huge personality, who is well known to the residents of Everett he has served with dignity and honor for 30 years.

“It only took you 30 years to become a sergeant!” Chief Steve Mazzie said to him before patting him on the back and exchanging handshakes and a bear hug with Gaff.

If there was a theme Monday night inside the council chamber, that was it – to honor Joe and to honor his service and to make him a sergeant.

Anyone who has lived in this community a long time understands how tightly knit it is when you get right down to it. Perhaps 100 people turned out to be with Joe on this big night of his life.

As usual, he was humble and touched by the hubbub going on around him.
For his mother Joan Gaff, this was the moment of all moments for her.

You could tell Joe and his Mum are tight. You could see it in how they honored one another with kindness and hugs, gentleness and smiles and the shared understanding they were all happy to be together as a family inside city hall on this night.

Joe’s son Kris was there with his wife, Nancy. Kris is an Everett Police officer just starting out in his life.

He was beaming with pride about his Dad who he loves.His brother Corey expressed the same sentiments.

Joe’s brother, John and his sister Paula Nestor watched the proceedings with pride, and with love for their brother.

You notice certain things about families and how they relate when you are a reporter.

The Gaffs love one another. It was obvious and beautiful to watch.

The Gaffs are a first class Everett family. First class in every way because they care about one of their own, and in such a way it reflects what it is to be from this city, to love the city, to be a part of this place and to appreciate what Joe has done in 30 years on the force patrolling it.

Joe is a complete gentleman, whether working a detail at Everett Memorial Stadium during a game or out on the streets of the city, he is not one to act out, ever. Those of us who have come to know him realize that to know him is to really like him.

Joe is a big, physically powerful, smiling guy who can get angry. When he gets angry watch out…if you are the bad guy. He has the strength of three people when you get him going.

The Gaffs don’t see by color or race. Whatever religion you are is fine with them. The new Everett colliding with the old is also OK withe Gaffs. They are respectful to all.

The elevation of Joe to sergeant wasn’t just another police appointment.

It was almost a coronation of a good, good guy, admired and loved by his colleagues on the force who packed the hall Monday night.

Above all, what was best to feel, is the love Joe’s family has for him.

His mother was gushing with pride…and for her, it was the night of her life.

I’ve known his mother Joan for a long time, and her family. She came from Chelsea and lived the Chelsea experience when that city was a far different place than it is today. She lives in Florida now. What a thing to watch Joan as her many, many Everett friends coming up to her and exchanged hugs and kisses. It was incredible.

There was something genuine about the scene that I don’t usually feel.

Life has many twists and turns. We are high. We are low. We are celebrated. We are denounced. We win some. We lose a bit.

Monday night at city hall when Joe Gaff was made a sergeant was a great, happy, warm moment in the life and times of this city.

If you were there and you know the Gaffs, then you know what I am writing about.

Congrats to you, Joe.

Always be who you are.

What is that?

A great guy, a police officer with heart and soul who understands

the street, and a husband, father and brother and son for a family that loves you.

What is better than this?

The Rush to Christmas; Another Year Gone

The rush to Christmas is nothing compared to the emerging thought… this year is almost over!

I wonder, and you do too, where did the year go? How fast they pass. How much has changed. What does the future hold?

This is impossible to know.

We can’t know what is going to happen until it has happened, and then it is always too late to do anything about it.

One year ago, Steve Wynn was flying high.

He and the mayor were deep into a project that is going to change this city.

Steve, who was flying high, fell, when it was revealed in the Wall Street Journal that he allegedly sexually harassed dozens of his employees. In a period of about six months this years, Steve resigned as the president of Wynn Resorts, was forced to sell all of his stock and even his name on the 27 story hotel was not allowed to be shown.

For the mayor, Steve’s self-destruction was something to watch closely and to appreciate.

Voting Machines … It’s Important They Work

The city has dumped its Accu-vote tabulators as recommended by the City Clerk and the Election Commission.

At 14 years old, the Accu-vote tabulators the city has been using are as ancient as the dinosaurs that once roamed the earth.

Technology discoveries and improvements marks even the world of voting machines.

The city is now choosing to use new voting machines, Image Cast Calculators, recently purchased from a state approved vendor (LHS Associates, INC).

The new machines have advanced technology.

They will be used in the city’s municipal election coming up in 2019. They better be thoroughly tested before the vote in 2019.

Searching the Internet, I found the Image Cast machines might have a serious aw that effects their tallies.

After you mark your ballot, after you review your ballot, the voting machine can print more votes on it! It is an apparent design flaw.

Also, when we use computers to count votes, it’s impossible to absolutely prevent a hacker from replacing the computer’s software with a vote-stealing program that deliberately miscounts the votes.

I’d say the city clerk needs to get on this immediately with the Election Commission to make certain the new “machines” are going to work flawlessly.

Can you imagine, with the new voting machines Russians might be able to hack into the Everett vote!

What’s the chance of that!!!

A last thought, the city was quick to say that it used a state approved vendor to buy the new machines.

Do you skip the bid process by doing this?

And if so, how much did these machines cost?

Who did the purchase?

Could they have been purchased for less?

Maybe the city’s CFO Eric Demas could enlighten us on these questions.

 

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