By Josh Resnek
The Al Lattanzi, Mike McLaughlin councilor’s race in Ward 6 has set off a political sign war in all the wards.
During what has been a rather hot and wet July, the sign war has intensified between these two opponents – one, a well known older businessman with strong ties to the mayor – the other – a much younger incumbent councilor who has taken the mayor to task.
Signs for both candidates have appeared throughout the city in an abundance in all the Wards, on all the major thoroughfares and streets, in otherwise sedate neighborhoods where such signage is usually fairly impossible to find.
Estimates by the candidates reveals that about 900 signs have been placed throughout the city so far. McLaughlin claims he has put up about 500 signs.
He also claims many of his signs are torn down by his opposition as soon as they go up.
“Whatever is torn down I replace almost instantly,” McLaughlin told the Leader Herald.
“I won’t be badgered by such underhanded tactics.”
While Lattanzi has not yet been quoted about his sign production figures, it is estimated to be at over 400 and growing daily.
Lattanzi’s sign effort is being led by Councilor Anthony DiPierro, one of the mayor’s relatives and most ardent supporters.
DiPierro has been seen throughout the city putting up Lattanzi signs.
McLaughlin is his own sign manager, which is turning into a full-time job.
“Putting up signs and maintaining the signs is no easy job,” said Councilor at Large Wayne Matewsky, himself a master at placing signage for his candidacies throughout the city at election time. “It becomes a full-time job by itself,” he added.
Some residents consider the signs a plague.
Others consider it part of Everett’s political way of life.
“You can’t expect to have an election without political signs all over the place,” said Everett resident Richard Gallo.
A tour of the city by this reporter Tuesday morning reveals political signage in an abundance almost everywhere.
In part, this is emblematic of the nature of the election.
All ward seats are voted on in wards throughout the city by voters.
That is to say that both Lattanzi and McLaughlin have their base in Ward 6 but the election is going to be won in the much broader citywide vote in all of the wards.
In other words, the winner of the Ward 6 battle will likely not be determined by whomever wins Ward 6. Political signage is heavy on Broadway and Main Streets and it is especially heavy in Ward 6, the Village, and in Ward 3.
At many locations there are Lattanzi signs butting McLaughlin signs, leaving many to wonder who is exactly supporting whom?
McLaughlin says he has been the victim of his signs being torn down by the opposition. “I lose sometimes ten to 15 signs in a night,” he told the Leader Herald.
“I go right out and put them up, again. I will not be defeated this way,” he added.