By JOSH RESNEK
The mayor’s desire to become a voting member of the School Committee hit a snag Monday night when the City Council put off a measure to move the issue into a voting phase.
What was put off will certainly come up again and soon, because that’s the way the mayor wants it – and what the mayor wants, the mayor gets.
On his Facebook page earlier this week the mayor said he was surprised the measure even came up for discussion, as if to say, “I didn’t even know about this.”
Of course, he knew about it. Of course, he instigated it. He owns the City Council. He simply had the measure attached to the voting Charter change Councilor-at-Large Wayne Matewsky has been heading.
Matewsky wants ward councilors to be voted on by the voters in the ward – not at-large.
It is a popular measure because voters frankly don’t understand how every councilor can be voted for at-large.
What does at-large mean after that?
Good question, isn’t it?
“I had nothing to do with the mayor’s thing about being made a voting member of the School Committee being added to my motion on voting. Someone added that. Someone physically ordered it written in.
“I didn’t do that. I want that understood,” Matewsky told the Leader Herald Tuesday morning.
The mayor owns the City Council.
The mayor owns the School Committee.
Most of the elected members of both bodies will bend over backward to do the mayor’s bidding.
Because many members have so many family members employed either by the city or the School Department.
It’s called quid pro quo.
You employ my family members and I vote for you for whatever you want, is the mantra when it comes to the mayor.
It has been this way for almost 12 years.
The mayor’s tendency toward overkill to manufacture legislative outcomes – that is, his manic desire to own the vote by whatever means of persuasion, was shown with unsurpassable transparency at Monday night’s ZOOM City Council meeting.
It went on for more than four hours, an exercise in being and nothingness as the great philosopher Kierkegaard would have described it.
The meeting began with a bang. It ended with a whimper.
The bang was the open mike period before the start of the meeting.
This is when the public can have its say on matters big and small.
In more than 20 years of covering Everett off and on – more on than off-there has never been a life or death issue like the pandemic that caused 12 people to call in, especially by nearly everyone seeking to make a statement about how important it is for the mayor to be added as a voting member of the School Committee.
It was uncanny really – all the callers pleading the case for the mayor in the same language, almost down to the exact sentences repeated for all to hear by those watching the ZOOM meeting.
Were people put up to make these calls?
Of course, they were.
It was so obvious that we’d have to create a new meaning for the word obvious.
It was 12 people reading from a script to endorse what the mayor wants.
The last two callers were precious beyond all belief.
They were younger people who had trouble speaking in English, who told the view- ing public: “Yeah. Da maya got me a job. He’s real good. He got me a job and all that. Yeah. Deeeemary is the right guy for this,” one of them seemed to say. He couldn’t even pronounce the mayor’s name.
Another said this: “The mayor is good. Right? Who am I talking to? Yeah. He’s been great for my family, bought us food. Am I on the air? When do I get my box of free food?” he said in so many words – more or less.
Talk about transparency!
Monday’s public speaking period was a farce and a lie.
What does the mayor getting people jobs have to do with being a voting member of the School Committee?
The same goes for food.
Can you imagine the mayor believing he hoodwinked everyone? I can.
That’s how he is.
Whether or not the mayor should be a voting member of the School Committee is a great question for the City Councilors to ponder and for the School Committee members to debate.
But I wouldn’t expect much of that because the mayor owns both groups.
He does not own Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani.
He will never own her.
If he thinks he‘s going to push her over or “buy” her or threaten her like he does everyone else – well – he’s likely got a thing or two com- ing at him he cannot possibly imagine.
The mayor’s effort to become a voting member of the School Committee is a power grab.
He wants the right to hire and fire.
He wants School Department personnel to understand that they work for him and that they should contribute to his campaigns to ensure being rehired or promoted from year to year.
This is why he wants to be a voting member.
This desire, by the way, is absolutely earnest. This is exactly what he wants.
The criminal part of this scenario is that his desire has nothing whatsoever to do with the education of the Everett Public School students.
The City Council and the School Committee membership know this.
Keep an eye on how they vote.
It’s just another Everett bag job coming down.