Assistant EHS football battles local businessman for open spot in city government
By LORENZO RECUPERO
Lifelong Everett resident and standout athlete Ross Pietrantonio knows what it feels like to win for Everett, having been part of three championship Crimson Tide football teams. He plans to reprise the winning sentiment this fall, as a candidate for the open Ward 6 City Council seat.
A 2004 Everett High School graduate, Pietrantonio hasn’t felt pressure from anyone but himself to run for city council, stating he’s not a politician, just a guy from the city who wants to help.
He is resolute and his motive for running is clear: Everett kids deserve more.
Youth development is at the forefront of Pietrantonio’s campaign platform. The city’s lack of such programs has been a source of major frustration for him.
“The city’s missing active role models for our youth and I want to fill one of those roles,” said Pietrantonio, who plans, win or lose, to live by his campaign slogan: “Change starts with you”.
“[The slogan] is pretty simple. If you want to help change something, you can’t wait for someone else to do it, you need to be first,” he said.
Pietrantonio, 35, who works in technology sales, was part of a football dynasty in Everett history, winning three consecutive titles from 2001- 2003, including as a captain his senior year, and claims he has grown as an individual because of his experiences in Everett sports.
But since his time on the gridiron, he’s witnessed a drop-off in the attention to detail paid to not only the city’s athletes but youth as a whole, especially in recent years.
“Over the last 5-10 years, from a city perspective, we’ve kind of lost touch with the kids,” said Pietrantonio, who took it upon himself to get involved, serving as an assistant coordinator for EHS football over the last year under Robert DiLoreto. “We have a ton of kids working hard, going to great schools, and that stuff needs to be put out there and it’s just not,” he said.
“Times have changed. The city is more diverse now. I know some people hate change, but things some- times need to evolve as liv- ing situations have changed. Outside of school and sports, life for the city’s youth is not easy right now and I want to become a councilor to help do what I can to share the load,” said Pietrantonio as he questioned why a prominent urban community such as Everett does not have a Boys & Girls Club or youth development center.
“We can be talking about band, or Math Club, not just sports. What’s next for the kids of Everett? There’s so much that can be done and it’s non-existent right now,” he said while pointing out the city’s current governing body has let a gap between city government and schools grow wider and wider.
“There’s a divide with the school committee and the city and that should be the strongest bond.”
He wants to see the two go “hand-in-hand” for the sake of Everett’s youth and ultimately it’s future.
“We need to get someone involved right now and the city doesn’t have it. We need someone to get out there and connect the dots and make these connections better,” said Pietrantonio. If elected, his first order of business would be to allocate funds from the city’s budget line to hire a director of youth development, someone with the ability to create new recreational and useful activities for the youth in Everett, including workshop classes and directly funding local sports programs such as Pop Warner.
“As a city councilor, you have to focus on the city’s budget and when you look at it now there’s a budget line for new programs with only about $10,000 set aside,” said Pietrantonio. “That’s not enough,” he said.
Also on the ballot for Ward 6 City Councilor is local businessman Alfred Lattanzi, who Pietrantonio is very familiar with but is unsure he’s the right man to make the change that needs to happen.
“Lattanzi is a friend of the family, I love him, but I question whether he will add a different perspective than what is already being offered,” said Pietrantonio.
With Lattanzi currently having multiple family members working at city hall, Pietrantonio questioned if his opponent would be able to govern without bias.
“Will he be able to vote on issues as an independent voice?” said Pietrantonio.
“I’m running because I want to be a strong voice for youth development. I will continue to knock on doors and call people out. I have no problem being that guy, “he said.