By JOSH RESNEK
Executive Office of the Mayor
The FY2020 budget amount was $1,479,681.
The FY 2021 budgeted amount was $903,144, which is a $576,537 (39%) decrease in spending.
How was this accomplished?
By cutting personnel costs.
The salary for Kevin O’Donnell’s part-time job was reduced from $80,000 per year to $40,000 per year. This appears to be a Draconian cut.
The position was reclassi- fied from “Chief of Staff” to “Advisor to the Mayor”.
But do not forget, this is for 18.5 hours per week.
How many Everett residents or city employees would love the opportunity to make $40,000 per year working 18.5 hours per week?
Since there is no longer a Chief of Staff, they do not need a Deputy Chief of Staff.
That position has been eliminated, as has the Grant Writer position, the Affordable Housing Coordinator position, and the one full-time and the part-time Constituent Services aide positions.
The Constituent Services/311 Coordinator got a small increase.
Every other salary in the Mayor’s Office was cut, except – and this should come as no surprise – for the Mayor’s salary. He picked up a $10,000 increase in salary.
This is just the personnel portion of the Mayor’s Office budget.
General Operating Expenses portion of the “budget”
Everything was level funded, except for the Official Celebrations line item, which was cut from $167,000 in FY2020 to $100,000 in FY2021. One might wonder, since most public celebrations are canceled due to Covid-19 concerns, if that $100,000 might be better spent to keep an Everett resident or two employed? Also untouched was the Other Expenses line item, was level funded at $125,000.
Perhaps the mayor will use this funding to pay A. John Pappalardo’s legal fees.
When it comes to protecting Mayor DeMaria’s political future, no cost is too great.
Office of the City Solicitor
The mayor loves his lawyers.
No raise for the City Solicitor this year, but no salary cut either. The Assistant City Solicitor position has been eliminated. But do not despair. Attorney Slattery has been moved to the Inspectional Services Department, with a nice increase in salary. The two support positions, one for the paralegal and one for the secretary, have had their salaries cut and have been reduced to part-time status.
The Records Access Officer stipend has also been eliminated for the FY2021 budget as well.
Everett Public Libraries
The Director’s position has been eliminated. Attorney Matt Lattanzi has a new position: Assistant City Solicitor/Interim Library Director. Just what the Administration needs… another lawyer! Looks like young Lattanzi can multi-task mightily. Seven full-time and all part-time positions have been eliminated. But the Board of Library Trustees line item of $26,200 is still in the budget. One question comes to mind: since the Mayor and his City Council rammed through the amendment to the City’s Administrative Code last year, the Board of Trustees has no direct oversight power over library operations. The responsibility is clearly under the Mayor’s purview. The only power that the Board of Trustees has is to determine how the interest generated by the Parlin Trust will be spend. Does it seem proper or fiscally prudent or politically correct that the City spend $26,200 on trustees’ stipends to administer how the City spends $5,000 or $6,000 in interest?
Office of Health and Wellness
Nine full-time positions have been eliminated, leaving only two employees: A program coordinator and an administrative assistant. You cannot run many programs with only one employee. But that’s not the point. The mayor needs to keep a good friend employed! And whatever it is that she does at the Wellness Center is obviously too much for her, so she needs an administrative assistant. And a 1:1 ratio of operational personnel to administrative personnel is just the right number.
The full “Budget” must be released soon so that the good people of Everett can look at how the Mayor is rewarding his cronies with the taxpayers footing the bill.
As the ancient Romans put it: Virtutem populo – power to the people.