By Josh Resnek
Driving down Chelsea Street into Everett Square Tuesday morning the traffic was backed up almost to Vine Street.
The red traffic light in Everett Square where Chelsea Street meets Broadway is out of sync. That out of sync red light causes all the traffic. Someone needs to fix the that light.
One of the advantages of inching along in the traffic on Chelsea Street approaching the Square in the early morning is taking a closer look at things.
Tuesday morning the sun was out. The sky was clear. The air was cooler than Monday – which was warm. Monday’s heat, in fact, was a reminder to all of us that summer is just around the corner following the spring that never happened.
Near to Everett Square I noticed two large trucks from the Everett Water Department parked in the right lane. Hoses were everywhere. About a half dozen Water Department employees wearing their bright orange shirts hustled about doing their thing.
Working for the water department is a dirty job. It is a difficult job. You work out of holes in the street. You get drenched with mud. You run noisy machines. You shovel earth and stone. You carry heavy pipe. You work in rain, the heat and the bitter cold.
Try doing what these guys do when its ten below zero.
They have fifteen minute breaks for coffee. They eat sub sandwiches from DiBlasi’s. They smoke cigarettes. They know what it is to work – and they learn the value of money because they are paid so little of it.
The light finally changed. I turned right onto Broadway, then I turned left onto Church Street and drove up to the Leader Herald office.
I hadn’t yet stopped thinking about the Water Department crew doing their thing – working, sweating, getting dirty, doing the business of that department.
That was Tuesday morning.
Saturday morning I attended a few hours of the budget hearings at city hall led by the mayor.
He was in rare form, Saturday, in his sweatshirt and sneakers. The mayor is a city employee at about $185,000 a year.
He came to the meeting with a secret budget item set up all ready to go that would give him a $12,000 a year raise.
Can you imagine?
I can’t, but then, I’m not the mayor.
He wrote it into the budget himself – a $12,000 raise. Get it?
He complained he didn’t even have a driver to take him around the city.
Was he kidding?
No he wasn’t.
He wants us to believer he needs a driver, that he deserves a driver, like the mayor of Boston.
That’s when I start to think he’s crazy, quite out of his mind, drunk with small city power, with him and Eric Demas counting the city’s money and determining who gets hired and who gets fired.
How else could he get himself down to the Lynde or to North Everett if he doesn’t have a driver?
He was there to cut expenditures from the budget but as part of that ruse he decided to give himself a $12,000 raise.
The boldness and effrontery of such a theft from the taxpayers of the city is impossible to comprehend, isn’t it?
Or is this the way leadership is supposed to function in Everett?
I’ve known many mayors of Everett but never anyone as jealous and greedy as Kickback Carlo. He is perfectly transparent about wanting to be paid for what he does – and that the pay should somehow go beyond his salary.
He doesn’t realizes he is not the head of a corporation or a big business, where executives get paid if they produce.
He is the mayor of Everett. He should take some pride in this.
He should restrain himself from receiving giveaways that give him and the city a bad name.
Think about it. $12,000 a year to drive your car around Everett!
Does he need $1,000 a month to drive from Abbott Street to city hall, to sit for four or five hours discussing why the budget can’t be cut, and then to leave $12,000 richer when he drove back to Abbott Street?
“God, do I have these guys fooled,” he must have said to himself about his colleagues on the city council who he harangued when they questioned him about the $12,000 for auto expenses.
He doesn’t so much have them fooled as they fear his wrath. That’s always the way it is with a bully.
Until you stand up to the bully, he bullies you.
He harangued them. They collapsed in front of him.
That’s how it works with a bold-faced bully.
The council approved the $12,000 as though it was a telephone bill. The mayor’s response to being questioned?
He went on and on about how much he had done to make the city what it is today. He took credit for everything – for bike paths, for the casino, for the jobs, for everything.
“I’ve done everything. I’ve brought everything here. You all owe me for everything I’ve done,” he seemed to say.
“And this is how you are going to treat me?” he added in so many words when two councilors had the audacity to challenge the $12,000 payraise.
“I give you everything you have and you won’t give me $1,000 a month for a car? C’,mon, what’s up with that? You all owe me. Everyone in the city owes me,” he cried out.
He said this with a vehemence and rising anger.
He’s done things.
He wants to get paid extra for what he’s done.
Mind you. He’s not talking about his salary.
He’s talking about other gratuities he should receive from a grateful city for everything he’s done.
He has forgotten he is an elected public official, that his salary is all he gets.
As I stepped into my office on Church Street Tuesday morning I was reminded of the guys in Everett Square from the Water Department doing their thing – working – working hard – doing tough things all the time in all the elements.
They work hard for their money. They work hard for every penny. What do they think about a $12,000 a year auto allowance for the mayor?
What do any of us think about such a large sum of money for an auto allowance for so little time spent driving around a city that is so small? The mayor indicts himself when he goads his colleagues into giving him a raise.
Everyone involved with this city should feel a little more uncomfortable whenever the mayor awards himself another money giveaway.
The guys from the Water Department don’t get any giveaways. They have to pay for their automobiles.
They have to work their shifts. They can’t be in Aruba running the city with a cellphone, as the mayor claims he does.
No amount of money is enough for this mayor.
Where does this sad charade end for Carlo DeMaria?
When will Kickback Carlo reach the end of this road he is traveling down?