“When he’s really uptight, the mayor leaves his house to make private calls from Wood- lawn Cemetery.”– The mayor’s Blue Suit speaking with Josh Resnek
By JOSH RESNEK
I picked up the Blue Suit in my red Honda Fit on Cabot Street near Everett Stadium Tuesday morning. He opened up the passenger door, bent downward a bit, gave me a smile, and tossed me a gas mask.
“What the hell is this for?” I asked.
“You’re not going to be smoking again my car, are you. Is that what the gas mask is for?” I said to the Blue Suit. Then he tossed a hazmat suit into the car before finally sitting down.
“What’s the hazmat suit for?” I asked the Blue Suit. “If we’re gonna be driving down Cabot Street, Wolcott Street, or Marlboro Street I’d suggest you suit up and then put the gas mask on. I’m going to do the same,” the Blue Suit suggested.
We suited up. We got out of the car. We walked up Cabot Street.
‘I get it now,” I told the Blue Suit. “We’re protected from the asbestos residue that might still be alive that got spilled all over the place and buried in the ground instead of being removed properly. Isn’t that right?” I asked.
“Yes, Josh. You are correct. This street and several others are potential danger zones. We are well-advised to wear gas masks and hazmat suits to keep asbestos from getting into our lungs and bloodstream, causing a nice cancer, and making of us the mirror image of so many former Monsanto employees who got Mesothelioma from working on contaminated land in contaminated buildings where the casino and hotel stand today,” the Blue Suit told me.
“Are you OK?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“You look like you’re struggling to breathe.”
The Blue Suit waved me off.
The Blue Suit turned to me and said with a straight face: “You know the mayor knew what was going on, that the asbestos wasn’t being removed the right way by the contractor,” the Blue Suit said.
“Did any of the people in these houses on Cabot Street know?” I asked. I pointed to the well-maintained single and two-family homes lining the street.
“They didn’t know a thing. That’s what is so insidious about the asbestos contamination issue. Residents are always the last to know when their health is put in danger by contractors trying to save a few hundred thousand every way they can,” the Blue Suit added.
“Not removing the asbestos and being paid to remove the asbestos, and then storing it in a way on the street so it got windswept all over the place and powered as well by the swish of air when automobiles crushed it on the street is an invitation for disaster. That’s why the Attorney General’s lawsuit is causing such a stir, especially on Concord Street.”
“What really gets me is that the mayor hasn’t uttered a word about it. Asbestos contamination and a possible major league health hazard under his watch doesn’t get a line on his website. A public health hazard and the ripping off of the city treasury doesn’t motivate him to do anything – because he’s involved. Instead, he’s raising Haitian and LGBTQ flags in front of city hall, celebrating Gay Pride Month, taking photographs with lots of Black people to let everyone know he loves Black people when most of us understand he doesn’t give a hoot about Black people, gays, LGBTQ, Haitians, and even the residents of Cabot and Walcott Streets. Tuesday night at Mystique at the casino almost finished me off,” The Blue Suit complained. “All the mayor cared about was taking $1000 donations from as many developers as he could. He’s sick, really. There were not many people of color, not many middle-class Everett residents, not many gays, LGBTQ, Haitians, women, and very few Everett residents who can’t afford to make large contributions. What a joke,” the Blue Suit said.
Back in my car, we took off our hazmat suits and gas masks.
I drove down the Parkway heading for Wendy’s. The Blue Suit said he wanted Wendy’s. I refused. I don’t care for Wendy’s.
The Blue Suit ordered a Wendy’s burger, fries, and a drink, paid for it and then we were on our way.
“What a weekend with this asbestos thing going down,” the Blue Suit to me.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“The mayor was uptight, as uptight as I’ve seen him and heard him in a while,” the Blue Suit added.
Chomping down the burger, spilling the guts of its on his pants, sipping his drink, and then nearly choking and coughing like he was going to stop breathing…wow, what a scene in my Honda Fit! This is the mayor’s Blue Suit.
“What was he so uptight about?” I asked.
“He’s the bottom line for all city contracts given to the privileged few. He’s been doing this for 14 years. He’s got it down, Josh.”
“What has he got down?” I asked the Blue Suit.
When mayor gives out a $2 million or $3 million contract to a vendor, well, I’m told, and I’ve seen it, the vendor takes care of the mayor.”
‘What do you mean by that?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“What is it you don’t understand, Josh? I’m talking about quid pro quo – you do for me. I do for you. That’s how it works with Carlo,” he said rather convincingly.
“You’ve seen that the exchange, the bouquet, as some call it, the thank you for a big contract from the mayor?”
“Yes, indeed. I have seen it many, many times in the past ten years. You see, Josh, when this asbestos thing went down last week, it’s put all that in jeopardy. The mayor gets very agitated. Vendors get agitated. Phone calls are traded. I heard a few. One was very heated. Another seemed more sober. A third call struck me as threats being tossed back and forth,” the Blue Suit told me.
“It got so bad at one point, Carlo left his house and walked into Woodlawn Cemetery with his cell.”
“Why did he do that?” I asked. ‘Why would this mayor or any mayor have to leave his house to make phone calls in a cemetery?”
The Blue Suit looked at me like I am an idiot.
“He goes into the cemetery for two reasons, Josh. First to make important calls that he doesn’t want anyone to hear inside his mansion. Second, he meets the people he calls inside the cemetery where he believes he can have his privacy. What a joke that is,” the Blue Suit admitted.
“The Woodlawn Cemetery is a quiet place. Not much shouting and deal-making goes on there…except for Carlo and his gang. He thinks it’s private but the eyes of the world he lives in are on him and many people are now telling stories about him.”
“Enough,” said the Blue Suit.
“Please take me home and please don’t drive down Elm Street. God knows what’s been dug up there and buried there and left to swirl around in the wind.”