By JOSH RESNEK
If there were any thoughts that Fred Capone’s campaign is all about smoke and mirrors they were dashed Saturday evening at his birthday party fundraiser.
The event drew more than 250 Everett people from all walks of life to Anthony’s in Malden where Capone delivered impassioned, extemporaneous speeches in two rooms packed with supporters setting out what he is hoping to do when he is elected the mayor of Everett.
“I promise to lower your taxes, to hire more firefighters, and to send police into the neighborhoods,” he told the crowd, which filled an indoor ballroom and a large, tented area next to it.
The heartiest round of applause followed his comments about the changing city under the present administration. What he referred to as development out of control is significantly altering livability in the city.
“Development is good,” he said in so many words.
“But what we have is uncontrolled over-development throughout the city. Future development needs to be controlled,” he added.
Capone’s remarks were delivered with confidence, calm, and his to-the-point language was delivered without notes.
He was the consummate unflappable professional lawyer and city lawmaker.
He was gracious. He was humble. He was grateful. He was passionate. He treated the crowd, which included many new followers of his campaign, to a closeup, real-time look at who exactly Fred Capone is and what he is seeking.
Looking tanned, relaxed, and physically fit, he presented the image of an Everett city mayoral hopeful in his prime in a white button-down shirt a crisp conservative Oxford regimental striped tie, and a dark suit.
He never mentioned his chief opponents, Mayor Carlo DeMaria and Gerly Adrien.
Three well-known local businessmen, among others, attended the event; Sal Sacro, Sal Sachetta, and John Matuccio.
The crowd started appearing at Anthony’s at 5:30 p.m. and never let up until the evening was nearly done three hours later.
Despite the pouring rain outside, the crowd continued to surge throughout the event.
A number of Everett’s elected public officials attended the event.
Councilors Mike Mclaughlin and Jimmy Tri Le, former mayor and present Councilor at Large John Hanlon, and School Committeemen Almeida Barros and Thomas Abruzzese.
Also noted in the crowd was the popular former councilor, Leo McKinnon, up from Florida to show his support for Capone.
School Committee at Large hopeful Jenny Montresor also attended.
Capone worked both rooms extensively, shaking hands, trading comments, and sharing laughs.
Capone told the Leader Herald he was delighted to meet so many new people.
He took the time during his comments to thank everyone for coming, for participating, for making the mayoral campaign possible.
He especially thanked those who aided him in his life when he was coming up and introduced the members of his family and close friends.
His wife Michelle made a short speech describing how she first met her husband of 32 years and how she came to love him, to believe in him and to finally marry him, and to share her life with him.
“He puts family and friends first. He keeps his word. He is a very good man – honest and caring,” she told the crowd.
Many of his supporters believe Capone’s integrity and work ethic set him apart in this race for the corner office at city hall.
Capone asked everyone there to give him a chance.
“It is a time for change,” he said.