with JOSH RESNEK
QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH FRED CAPONE
Q: Can Everett do better with Fred Capone as mayor?
A: Absolutely. As your mayor, the best interests of our residents will always come first. Every voice will be heard, and every opinion will matter.
Q: Have you been accused of sexual harassment or sexual violence against women?
A: No, I have not.
Q: Have you paid hush money to women you sexually harassed or discriminated against to buy their silence?
A: No sir.
Q: The mayor has champagne wishes and caviar dreams. What about you?
A: I am a regular guy from a great city that I love. My wife and I believe in giving back to the community, rather than taking from it. Everyone should be treated fairly and with respect.
Q: 56% of the voters in the primary came out against the mayor. What does this tell you?
A: It tells me that Everett is ready for positive change.
Q: The mayor has not hired meaningful numbers of police and fire personnel. What are you planning to do?
A: I have long advocated for additional hires to the fire department. We lost approximately 30 employees while welcoming a casino, a hotel, and a massive amount of construction. Our risks increased significantly, but our ability to address those risks did not. The recent hire is still not adequate. We need more fire personnel. Until those numbers are increased, the mayor’s plan to add ambulance service is both dangerous and a financial disaster. Additionally, I would like to increase police presence in the community and return to patrolling our neighborhoods to make them safer.
Q: What are your thoughts about the mayor plastering his name all over the city with plaques?
A: If he paid out of his own pocket to construct whatever his name is on, so be it. Otherwise, it should reflect either the City of Everett or the People of Everett. After all, they are paying the bill.
Q: How many people got sick and died in Everett from the COVID-19 because the mayor waited until December to pass out face masks?
A: This is very concerning to me. I do not know the full impact. Elected officials met with department heads, via Zoom, on a weekly basis during the early stages of the pandemic. I expressed to the mayor, and everyone present, that our residents did not realize how serious this situation was and that many people were unable to obtain masks on their own. The city had the resources available, and I requested that we make masks available to all those who needed them. These requests were made in March, April, and May. Unfortunately, the mayor chose not to listen. Instead, he delayed so that he could send masks out in December as a Christmas present from a caring leader. There is no way to tell how many lives were compromised as a result.
Q: How will you deal with what many perceive as overspending by the mayor?
A: I have been a staunch advocate for fiscal responsibility and have seen waste in every budget presented by the current mayor. That said, it costs money to run a city and provide services. It is no different than what each of us does to maintain our own household budget on a daily basis. My administration will put forth city budgets that provide ample services for our residents in a prudent and responsible manner. Funds will be directed to where they are needed, and wasteful spending will be eliminated. That will help ease the financial burden on our residents and is a good first step to make Everett more affordable.
Q: Do you believe the mayor’s salary and longevity payments are too high?
A: The annual salary is a big number at $200,000.00, but being mayor, if done right, is a difficult job. Given the salary, there is no need for longevity payments or car allowance. Those items should be absorbed within the salary. I recently submitted an ordinance to repeal the longevity pay for the mayoral position. If elected mayor, I will not seek or accept longevity pay or car allowance. Additionally, I will be present and promise to earn every penny of that salary.
Q: The mayor says you are picky and small-minded and cheap about spending taxpayer dollars. How would you answer this?
A: What he and others may think are picky is what I call being an advocate for the people. Often the devil is in the details.
A cursory look may not reveal issues or concerns. It is not until you take a closer look that you see potential problems or benefits. As far as spending taxpayer money, one of the most important obligations as a city official is to spend other people’s money in a responsible manner. Government, at all levels, tends to look at public funds as fake money. It is not! Those are real dollars earned by hard-working people. Whenever the city looks to appropriate funds, I treat it like it is coming out of my own pocket to make sure it is the best use and truly benefits our residents. It is their money, spend it like it matters – because it does!
Q: The mayor is paying a criminal attorney from month to month. Are you paying a criminal attorney?
A: Fortunately, I have never needed the services of a criminal attorney.
Q: The new street signs, replacing the old street signs, which were also new, cost about $200,000. Was this a sensible expenditure by the mayor?
A: This is just one example of unnecessary and wasteful spending. The prior signs were in great shape, there was no need to replace them. I do not know what was more concerning, the stated reason for the replacement – the green signs got lost in the foliage or the botched math that stated that the many thousands of signs across the city were replaced for approximately $30,000.00. It would be comical if it weren’t a colossal waste of taxpayer money; money that could have been used for a better purpose.
Q: Would you approve of a giant Amazon facility on the Exxon site?
A: I think we need to take a look at the many possibilities. Clearly, removing hazardous materials is a great benefit to us all. That said, I would encourage public input as to what would best serve the interests of our community.
Q: Would you be in favor of a professional soccer stadium on the Exxon Site?
A: It could be a topic for discussion, just like many others. I’m sure many would be concerned about the additional traffic to the area. Before we commit to anything, all the pros and cons must be considered.