By Lorenzo Recupero
As an Everett resident, trying to get information from Everett City Hall is like throwing a penny in a wishing well and expecting your wish to come true – ESPECIALLY if you’re editor of the Leader Herald apparently.
At Everett City Hall, all public information is held private, safeguarded by this wordless code to not provide residents with timely info on the goings on within the city.
It’s as if no Everett employee is authorized to offer any information to anyone that’s inquiring, unless the city’s Communications Director, Tom Philbin, is the one providing it. And there’s no way of getting a hold of Tom without going through the mayor’s office, and no one is ever there. And no one ever returns your call.
As Associate Editor of the Leader Herald – and an Everett resident – public information should be easily attained when respectfully reaching out in person or via telephone to city hall departments.
This is not the case.
When I called on behalf of inquiring residents in regards to construction being done at Wehner Park, which has been gated for the last several weeks, I was given the run around.
I was first asked which newspaper I was calling from, as if one newspaper is eligible to receive more information than the other, and then told I could only speak to Tom Philbin, who was not around.
I then let the 311 employee know, in an attempt to get someone to give me just a tidbit of info on Wehner Park’s development, that I am also a plain Everett resident, so as not to be effected by my status as the editor of a newspaper, to which I got back a chuckle followed by this: “well, you already told me you’re calling from the newspaper.”
I was then transferred to a voicemail and given no answers.
I guess I’m left to assume – as an Everett resident – that I must answer my own questions.
City Hall isn’t around for my call.