Mayor Carlo DeMaria and Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas are steps away from difficulties they will not ultimately be able to squirm out of if they don’t fix the longevity scam that has been hidden from the taxpayers.
Throw into this mix of longevity architects the city council, which has shown not an ounce of leadership regarding the $40,000 yearly payment to the mayor – a so-called bonus that he has received and which his acolytes claim her had nothing to do with.
City Solicitor Colleen Mejia is taking things to the edge by making rather empty and vacuous claims that the longevity payment to the mayor, which cannot be found in the city budget unless you understand the secret of where it can be found, is perfectly, gloriously, wondrously legal and right.
The mayor’s yes men and women all agreeing the longevity payment has nothing whatsoever to do with them, reveals the unreality of the situation.
That the mayor makes more than the mayor of Boston is ludicrous, despite discrepant voices making that claim and endorsing it.
Maybe the case could be made that the mayor deserves a salary larger than the governor’s and the president’s.
Councilor Anthony DiPierro would certainly be in favor of such a payment to his cousin the mayor.
There are others who owe their allegiance to the mayor who would steadfastly agree.
The problem is this: the mayor should be receiving something like $2500 a year as longevity.
He is receiving $40,000.
He is receiving and has received $40,000 a year for a total of more than $160,000.
In any other community but Everett, this would be considered a scam – an outright theft.
That longevity money being paid to the mayor is not his and should not be paid to him.
Someone in government must step up to the plate and order that the money be paid back and that future payments reflect the wording of the City Charter.
At next week’s council meeting, Councilor Fred Capone will ask that the mayor’s longevity payment be stripped from the annual budget.
He needs to go further.
He must demand that the money be repaid by the mayor. Councilors Mike Marchese and John Hanlon should do the same.
Even if their colleagues don’t have the spine to confront the mayor, at least their voices will be heard by the taxpayers.
It is the taxpayers who are being ripped off.
Perhaps an angry group of taxpayers should show up at the meeting and let their feelings be made known.