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— Eye on Everett —

The Doors are open; the Future Unfolding

By Josh Resnek

Sunday morning at the beginning of a new era for the city of Everett.

Under sunny skies on a brilliant summer day, the Wynn Resorts, Encore Boston Harbor Hotel got off to a rousing start.

Tens of thousands of visitors lined up early on a site only eight yearsago one the most polluted in Massachusetts.

The sweet smell of pine and the verdant colors exuding from the rich,lush mature plantings all around have replaced the pollutants dumpedinto the soil for almost 100 years by the Monsanto Company,

The remediation of the land alone cost about $78 million.

Officials led by Encore’s President Rob DeSalvio, opened the doorsto what might become the single most successful business operationlaunched in New England’s history.

Without a hint of doubt, this spectacular hotel and casino built by Suffolk Construction, stands right now as a monument to splendor and expensive construction down to the smallest detail.

No expense was spared to create a five star environment for a fivestar clientele.

I was told that the $6000 suites in the hotel had been rented 550 times for the next 60 days – an incredible fete locally by any stretch of theimagination.

Everyone was gushing with pride.

The mayor, had to hold back tears.

He spoke longer than Matt Maddox, DeSalvio, and the chair of the Gaming Commission put together.

As is his custom, he started out not really understanding what he should say, fumbling and mumbling this and that, telling the large audience he didn’t really know what to say except he knew he had to take some time to say.

Everyone had to grin and bear his remarks, which included an accolade to his father-in-law, whom he referred to as “Dad.”

This was when the mayor broke down.

He said this project had put him and his family under terrible pressure. Somehow, he survived this battle.

The opening Sunday did not end his personal battle with himself.

If you didn’t know him and the long story of this development, you might have thought he was a D-Day veteran who survived the first wave landing at Omaha Beach.

The opening of the Encore accelerates his personal battle with himself. He has referred to himself as degenerate gambler.

Now having a casino just down the road from his mansion will be a daily temptation he cannot control.

According to the Ethics Commission, the mayor can gamble at the Encore and he most certainly will.

He cannot accept gratuities in excess of $50 from Encore.

How will this impact the mayor who who does not pay for his gasoline, his car, his cleaning, or his meals at establishments throughout the city? His battle now is not so much with outside forces.

His battle is with himself.

His inability to control his impulses, to maintain a work ethic, to treat people who work for him like human beings and not like slaves who he can fire in an instant himself, will not be changed with the opening of the casino and hotel.

The governor did not attend.

The Speaker of the House did not attend.

But the event was well attended.

It put Everett in a good light – a better light than it has been viewed under in its entire modern history.

Is the city a changed place?

Is it a new city coming to pass now that the casino and hotel has opened?

Yes and no.

About $40 million extra dollars will pour into the city treasury – a hefty sum by any measure.

The mayor will be inclined to spend every penny of it.

Will taxes go down? Doubtful.

Will the example of excellence in municipal governance be maintained? I doubt it.

Was there anything hidden in the mayor’s remarks we can hang our hat on?

Yes there was.

He gave muted praise to the man who nearly sank the deal.

At the end of his remarks the mayor expressed his allegiance and loyalty to Steve Wynn.

Without naming the defrocked alleged sexual harasser, the mayor grew serious and somber expressing how he and Wynn had promised one another to bring off this victory long ago.

‘When I give my word I keep it,” he said.

No one on the podium had any interest in expressing a single word about Steve Wynn – except the mayor.

Says a lot about him and his lack of vision about people and for the law.

It showed the mayor’s disregard for the sins Wynn is detailed to have committed.

Who will give such praise to the mayor when his day has come – and he is gone from city hall?

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