Encore occupancy permit should have been questioned

The city government failed monumentally Monday night when Encore occupancy permit was renewed by acclimation by the city council with the mayor in attendance without a word or question.

The Encore occupancy permit is arguably the most valuable occupancy permit in Everett – and very likely, in all of Massachusetts.

Yet the approval was lumped together with several lodging houses and smaller businesses.

Several councilors praised a lodging house owner for being there at the meeting with his lawyer. They said he understood the rules of engagement with the city. They were pleased.

Meanwhile, Encore sent one of its attorneys to make sure the casino giant was covered if anything went awry.

Why not a question from a city councilor – or from the mayor (who attended the Zoom hearing) – was asked about whether or not the city has been paid the full $30 million in lieu of taxes that was due from Encore in 2020 reveals the incompetence and lack of transparency by the administration.The councilors were pleased to see her there but not a question was sent her way.

This failure to put Encore to the test rests on the shoulders of the mayor and the city council and the mayor’s financial architect and genius, Eric Demas.

We are certain if owners of property in this city who do not donate to the mayor’s re-election campaigns were before the council to have their occupancy permits approved, the mayor would be there front and center.

He would cause the city council to make certain all their taxes had ben paid, their water bills, their excise tax, their room tax, their unemployment tax, and state taxes.

If everything didn’t come up absolutely paid, and even if everything was, these property owners the mayor watches like a hawk would not receive their occupancy permit.

Someone might have asked if Encore has solved its problems with shootings, stabbings, drug overdose deaths, and near-riots late at night.

The mayor would use their arrearages, or if there are none, their problems keeping order as a pretext to deny the issuance of their occupancy permit, to shut them down, to cause them havoc, to make them see the light about contributing to his political campaigns.

No campaign political donations, no occupancy permit.

No quid pro quo for him, no occupancy permit.

In the case of Encore, which is believed to be millions of dollars behind in their payments to the city, there was not a question from the mayor or the council.

Even if Encore is paid up, someone elected by the people or wanting to become mayor, or the mayor himself should have piped up that “I’ve looked into that. Encore is paid up in full.”

Encore has not been paid up in full from the beginning of its relationship with Everett.

This is why the question should have been asked.

Instead, no one in the city government appeared to give a damn about asking a key question about the city’s largest generator of money into the city treasury.

The mayor owns this one. This is no way to run a city.

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