— Eye on Everett —

Mayor heads out of town…again


The mayor’s Blue Suit was singing a happy tune when I spoke with him Tuesday.

“I am so, so elated,” he said to me.

“What about, buddy?” I replied.

“He’s gone again. The mayor took off to Arizona yesterday. Yahoo!” the Blue Suit shouted.

“You may not think his vacations are right for the city and its people, but they are sure right for me,” he said, gloating just a bit. I had never heard him so happy.

“What if the mayor never came back? What if he went from Arizona to Las Vegas, and then from Vegas to Italy, and then from Italy back to Aruba? How would you feel about that?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“The longer he is away, the better it is, Josh.”

“Really?” I asked. “Who would be running the city?” “Are you kidding? The mayor’s chief of staff can handle everything and anything, and she does just that. I like her. She knows what she’s doing.”

“What’s her name?”

“Erin. Erin Devaney,” the Blue Suit replied. “She used to be the head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. She’s smarter than the mayor. She knows what she’s doing.”

“She can’t be that smart,” I answered the Blue Suit. “How smart can she be working for the mayor? She’s put herself in a terrible position. There is no future in it. Working for him is a dead-end for everyone. There are no exceptions. How do you think she rationalizes working for the mayor?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“That’s easy, Josh.”

“The rationalization comes for Erin every Wednesday evening when her Everett city hall salary is electronically deposited into her checking account. That’s her rationalization…for now.”

“I was present when the mayor interviewed her,” the Blue Suit recalled.

“Quite the interview,” the Blue Suit added. “Really. What did he tell her?” I asked.
“You will laugh at this,” The Blue Suit joked. “The mayor told her this:

“’I’ll pay you a nice salary. All you have to do is whatever I tell you to do, whenever I tell you to do it. You have to cover for me when I’m in Aruba, Arizona, Italy, or Las Vegas,’” the mayor told her.

“Did she ask any questions?” I asked the Blue Suit. “One,” he replied.

“She asked the mayor how many days she’d be required to cover for him.”

“How did the mayor reply?”

“’Erin, I’d suggest you mind your own business,’” the mayor told her.

“She blushed and apologized. He dismissed her apology,” the Blue Suit said.

‘”I was just making a joke,’” the mayor told her.

“’ You’ll have to cover for me only 70-100 days, that’s my usual vacation allotment.’”

“Did he really tell her that?” I asked.

“Yup,” said the Blue Suit.

“Funny thing,” I said. “I was watching last night’s Zoom city council meeting. The mayor wasn’t in on it. I suppose he was on the plane to Arizona?” I asked.

“Yup,” the Blue Suit answered.

“Erin was there in his place,” I said. “I’ve never met her. I was wondering about her during the moments before she spoke on behalf of the mayor.”

“When she introduced herself, she said quite clearly for all to hear: “’ I am Erin Devaney. I am Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s chief of staff.’”

“She said it with an official tone and syncopation…and I wondered…could you imagine being the Everett mayor’s chief of staff? Is it an honor? Is the position important? Does it mean anything to anyone?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“It means something to her and that’s all that matters,” the Blue Suit added.

“I guess you’re right,” I said.

“Erin and Kevin Slattery spoke up for the mayor Monday night. That’s two of the mayor’s four in-house lawyers in- forming the city council for the Administration.”

“Kevin isn’t a bad guy,” the Blue Suit said to me.

“Is he going through something?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” the Blue Suit replied.

“The last time I saw him some weeks back he had hair and a full beard. Monday night, he was bald – his head shaved – and the beard was gone. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he looked like he just got back from the riot in Washington, DC.”

The Blue Suit laughed hard at that.

“Did you know Kevin has a business going with one of the mayor’s lawyers?” he asked me.

“No,” I said.

“I heard the mayor talking about it some months back. Some kind of real estate thing going on, I believe,” the Blue Suit said to me.

“Good for him and whomever else,” I answered.

“If you work for the mayor, you need to be ready for the bus that’s coming. You don’t think it’s a conflict of interest, do you?” I asked.

The Blue Suit guffawed.

“Conflict of interest statutes don’t apply to the mayor or those higher-ups working for him and doing his bidding.”

“You’re right about that,” I said.

“What do you think he’s doing in Arizona?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“That’s private territory,” the Blue Suit admonished me.

“Come on. You know exactly what he’s doing, when and with whom,” I complained.

“Give me a few precious nuggets.”

The Blue Suit hesitated.

“If it’s wasteful. If it’s wrong. If it takes the money he doesn’t have, that’s what the mayor is doing. This you can be certain of; he is as happy as a clam not to be here with people bothering him all the time. He was so tired after the recent Aruba vacation, he decided to restore his health with another vacation in Arizona…and everything in Everett be damned.”

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