Mayor and I talk about life, Donuts and Money
By Josh Resnek
Kickback Carlo called me.
“We really need to talk.”
We met over a stack of stale honey dip donuts and bitter coffee on Monday afternoon at his empty donut shop on Squire Road in Revere which is for sale.
“Have a donut,” he offered. “No. I don’t eat them anymore,” I answered.
Kickback inhaled three donuts before we began talking.
“God, I’m hungry today,” he said, chewing the last bit of the third honey dip and wiping away the sugar coating from his lips with the side of his hand.
“Do you know anything about donuts?” he asked me to start off. “It’s a horrible business. Do you know that? You have work yourself to the bone just to get by,” he said.
“How would you know?” I asked him. “You’ve never worked a legitimate day in your life. What do you know about working to the bone? You have a terrible work ethic. Everyone at city hall knows this. You don’t work at all. You are rarely at city hall. ”
Kickback squirmed just a bit.
“I heard you had a number of incidents with your help when you were working the donut shops and then maybe one or two at city hall. The girls all claimed you sexually harassed them or assaulted them.One claimed you pulled a knife on her and put it to her throat.”
“Only four made serious claims against me,” he said.
“How do you know about the knife incident?” he asked.
I refused to answer.
“I know about the entire incident,” I added. Carlo grimaced.
“You know, sometimes I feel like Steve Wynn. After all, he had a lot of allegations of sexual harassment against him, too.”
He put on the famous smile that says I really like you and want to get along with you while under his breath he was hoping for me to disappear or to go out of business or to be thrown from my home with my family. “I own three of these donut places. I’d like to get rid of them all. Working for the city is so much more profitable for me, if you know what I mean,” he said. He winked at me.
“Are you winking?” I asked him.
I winked back.
“Yeah. My mentor always told me the W-2 didn’t tell the whole story about mayoral compensation,” I said to him.
He laughed. At one point he was laughing so hard he was beating his knees with his fists and then he began coughing, almost crying. “Boy, your mentor knew of what he speaks.”
“I’ve done pretty well as the mayor. I can’t manage the donut shops. Its not in my DNA. Who cares anyway. I make almost $200,000 a year from the city. I could care less about making donuts.”
I asked him about the $12,000 car allowance he just got for himself from the city council.
“Pretty nice piece of legislative work, wasn’t it?” he asked me. ‘What a bunch of clowns they are,” he added about the city council. “They all nearly fell over themselves to vote me the $12,000 for a car. Beautiful, really. “
“That $12,000 goes right into my pocket. I already get a free Mercedes from my father in law, and free gas from a local station owner who understands exactly who I am and free cleaning of my clothes and free gardening and free carpentry. The gas station owner – I can’t even spell or remember his name – figured if he gave me free gas for almost a decade I’d hire his daughter to a city job. Guess what? I did.”
“Don’t you have to claim everything you accept for free from vendors in Everett to the Ethics Commission?”
“Are you nuts? Do you think I would ever do that in a thousand years?”
“Do you think I want to get myself indicted!”
“I guess not,” I answered.
“Don’t you think you sounded a bit like a master of municipal corruption when you berated the council before they voted you the $12,000?”
“Why? What did I say?” He rolled his eyes. He tried fixing his ill fitted suit
“You complained that you were being ripped off by the council.”
“You looked right at them and said: ‘After everything I’ve done for you you’re trying to cheat me out of $12,000 for a car? We’ve got a $208 million budget and you’re trying to cut this out? You should be ashamed of yourselves. I’m owed by you people. You people owe me. Everyone in this city owes me for what I’ve done. No one could do what I’ve done. Everyone owes me. I’ve brought the casino here, bike paths, everything. No one else has done anything. I’ve done it all. I deserve to be paid properly in return. I am everything. You cut this out and I’ll look into your city council budget. You don’t want me doing that do you?’”
“Maybe I went a little overboard. If anyone investigated the circumstances of the $12,000 for the car I’d probably be indicted – but that isn’t going to happen. I’m protected. I’m safe. If you know what I mean – and I know you know what I mean. I’m moving on.”
Kickback ordered three large ice teas.
“I love ice tea,” he said. “I drink them three at a time. Do you think there’s something wrong with me?”
“Yes I do, Carlo. Three ice teas at once isn’t normal.”
“What about the added $40 million in casino/hotel revenues the city will have to spend this year now that the casino will be spitting out cash?” I asked him.
“What are you planning to do with the money?”
“I know what I’m not going to do. The schools don’t get another dollar of city money. I made the city council promise this. And it did. The city council does whatever I ask it to do. It is my rubber stamp. May it always be that way!” he added.
“The days are over giving the schools more money. Those days are over,” he repeated.
“You could make the school system among the best in the state using that money,” I added.
“I’m not interested in that, Josh. The marching band will be lucky to make it to Washington DC next year,” he said. “You might remember I was against putting up the money last year for the kids to march in Washington.”
“To be entirely frank, I think we spend enough money on the public schools. The money should be put elsewhere.”
“I’m not sure just yet,” he said.
“How about taxes? Can taxes be lowered?” I asked him.
He looked up at the ceiling. He looked at the traffic speeding by on Squire Road. He checked his watch for the time. He sorted emails and messages on his cell phone.
“OK, Josh. You have to stop with that. That’s it Josh. I’m done.” He got up from the table, ordered two more honey dips and a large Coca Cola. He gave me a mock salute and he was gone – and shortly thereafter, so was I.
*Editor’s Note: Mayor DeMaria and I do not speak or correspond. The mayor and I did not have a discussion at his donut shop in Revere. No such discussion between us ever took place. The piece is intended as satire.