Councilors question move’s legality
By JOSH RESNEK
Saying he has a great working relationship with City Clerk Sergio Cornelio, Councilor Peter Napolitano resigned his position last week to wait for his certain appointment to the empty position of assistant city clerk.
With the retirement of assistant city clerk and former mayor David Ragucci, the mayor has apparently chosen Napolitano to succeed him without advertising the position’s availability.
The mayor’s colleagues on the city council, except for Councilors Gerly Adrien and Fred Capone, have all pledged their votes to Napolitano, which explains his resignation and acceptance of the position before it has been advertised.
“I’m anxious to be of service,” Napolitano was quoted in a local newsletter.
With nine votes of his colleagues already committed to his appointment as the mayor wants, it is no wonder he resigned as a councilor before being officially appointed to the $90,000 a year position.
In an interview with the Leader Herald over the weekend, Adrien said she was disappointed at the appointment of Napolitano before advertising or a vote but not surprised.
“Despite the mayor’s call for diversity in employment, he has paid no heed to it. No heed has been paid to interviewing others who are qualified for the position – no women, no minorities need apply,” she said.
“At the very least, I believed the mayor would advertise the position. Isn’t that what Human Resources is supposed to do?” she wondered. “Isn’t it the law?” she asked.
Councilor Fred Capone explained it this way.
“This is an appointment by the city council, not the mayor, although everyone understands this is the mayor’s personal preference for the appointment and so it will be done,” he predicted.
“But nothing is ever certain until the final vote is taken. I will be watching closely the situation,” he added. Capone, an attorney, would not go so far as to say the city could be sued for not advertising the position, or worse, for advertising the position, interviewing qualified candidates of gender, color, and ethnicity, and then appointing Napolitano.
A source who wished to remain unnamed to the Leader Herald about a meeting that took place in the mayor’s office three years ago when Ragucci was being considered.
The mayor and the then HR chief apparently met with two Everett Black women to ask for an interview for the assistant city clerk’s position.
“No way. The job’s already been filled. Can’t do it. Won’t be done,” the mayor told the women, one of whom was seeking the position and had been a city hall employee for longer than five years.
Three years later, despite the mayor’s claim to seeking a more diverse workforce, the assistant city clerk’s position is open again.
It is supposed to be publicly advertised with interviews held, but to what point, when the position has already been promised, and the vote sealed before it is taken?
As for Ragucci, some city hall sources said the mayor would do well to hire him as a consultant to help the mayor from being done in by his shortcomings.
They pointed out that Ragucci was an excellent assistant city clerk who will go down in history as one of the best mayors to ever have served the City of Everett.