— Eye On Everett —

Mischief though art afoot

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By Josh Resnek

The mayor has it up his sleeve to be eliminating the Board of Trustees of the Parlin Library if he has his way.

The organs of government he has under control are moving toward that end as this column is being written.

I haven’t yet read the revised changes the mayor is opting to put into the administrative code under which the library is organized, managed and run.

The mayor’s chief of Staff Ken O’Donnell and his City Solicitor Colleen Mejia requested two more weeks to explore the legalities of eliminating the present board and replacing it with something else at Monday evening’s council meeting where they spoke briefly about the effort now ongoing.

One library Board member and two residents apparently concerned about the changes coming spoke to the council about the matter.

The problem, a codicil to the will of the late Mr. Parlin, who left part of his fortune so the library could exist, that apparently dictates, even after all these decades that he has been gone, exactly how and what can be done with the library and its Board of Trustees.

Talk about ruling from the grave!

I am told by those who claim to know that the codicil to Parlin’s will prohibits the mayor and his crew from eliminating the Board of Trustees. The mayor is apparently seeking 42 changes to the administrative code according to someone familiar at the goings on at the library who has read the changes being suggested.

“There has to be a rational explanation of why the mayor is doing this,” that person said to me.

I answered back that I knew this: the changes being suggested aren’t about altruism, that is, it wasn’t about making the library as good as it can be.

Knowing the mayor as all of us in this city have come to understand him realize this – if he’s taken the time to suggest 42 changes and the virtual elimination of the Parlin Board of Directors, then there must be something in it for him.

After all, the mayor doesn’t do anything unless he can benefit personally in some way from making the move.

The library right now has four or five positions that open and in need of filling.

Perhaps the mayor wants to take control of the library and to become a sort of personal human relations expert to do the hiring himself.

This would be in character of the mayor we have all come to know. He likes the power associated with giving out jobs.

He has learned that this is how he stays in power, by controlling jobs. The more jobs he gives out, the greater the number of city employees and their family members who will vote for him.

I understand he recently allowed, or asked for, or influenced the hiring of a young woman at the library.

The only problem – and it really isn’t a problem unless you look at her hiring this way, she’s a convicted felon, twice.

She had a problem, was found out, was arrested, was put in jail, was let out of jail on a probation of sorts, and then got arrested again for violating the terms of her release.

Again, no big deal. She didn’t murder anyone. Her incarceration was about theft of some kind.

I know. Everyone deserves a second and third chance in the society we live in today.

Why not give them that chance here in Everett, at the public library.

I’m not saying anything bad about the young woman except that she’s a convicted felon working inside the library and helping out in other city offices, as I have come to learn.

Here in Massachusetts the employment laws relating to hiring convicted felons are very liberal, among the most liberal in the nation. In Massachusetts, record checking for felonies can only go back 7 years.

In most cases, if you are making less than $20,000 a year it doesn’t matter.

What does that mean?

It means it doesn’t matter unless you are a convicted felon and applying in finer communities where the finer folks just don’t hireconvicted felons for municipal positions.

In places like Everett, convicted felons are apparently not excluded from the mix of the good with those who were bad in the past when it comes to working for the city government.

This Parlin Library employee was arrested in 2017 and then shortly after that, again.

She is not the only convicted felon allegedly serving the residents of the city as city employees.

There are others. Exactly how many?

I asked the mayor’s office to reply.

No reply.

Why the sudden interest in the library?

Maybe it’s because Attorney Michelle Capone, the wife and law partner of Attorney and Councilor Fred Capone, is the chairman of the Board of Directors.

Would the mayor be inclined to do away with the Board of Directors because Frank Capone’s wife is the chair?

Of course he would. Look no further.

Michelle Capone is devoted to the library, all the more reason for the mayor to take her position away.

She’s been on the Board for 16 years. She cares about the place, and she’s a reader.

The mayor doesn’t read books. Never has. Never will.

The Board runs the library.

The mayor would like it run as another city department, that way he could hire and fire when necessary.

What we all have come to understand about the mayor is that he needs to control everything.

He needs people genuflecting before him.

Direct hiring of library employees is what the mayor’s move is all about…that…and getting rid of Fred Capone’s wife as chair of the Board of Directors.

The search for a new superintendent of schools.

Will the city be getting a new superintendent of schools soon to take the place of the acting superintendent, Mrs. Janet Gauthier?

Not soon, is what I have heard.

Sooner than you think, is what has been said to me as well.

If it isn’’t one it is the other.

Not very much has been done to give a jump-start to the process, except, that is, for School Committeeman David Ela, who has apparently written a letter to the state group aiding in such efforts to aid Massachusetts cities and town finding superintendents, requesting their aid for the School Committee of Everett, who will be leading the process.

Right now, there is the opportunity for the acting superintendent and the members of the School Committee to rise up and to take control.

Instead, the mayor is calling the shots, making phone calls and threats, desiring to take over the de facto management of the School Department.

No one is willing to stand up to him for fear of retribution.

What a way for a School Department and a School Committee to run themselves – taking orders from the mayor and ignoring their own oaths.

Timing, of course is everything.

There is not enough time to choose and to pick candidates to replace Mrs. Gauthier right now.

The next school year, for all intents and purposes, is almost upon the city.

There is not the time or the desire or the effort right now to do anything but to allow the mayor to call the shots.

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