The meeting of the city council Monday night points to a city that is careening toward rock bottom. Probably a hard but necessary part of the metamorphosis, as Everett’s leadership ecosystem cleanses itself. It’s a divided place, with one half clamoring for real representation and ombudsmanship and the other happy and willing to pawn the mayor off as a Fortune 500 CEO whose earning power is so great as to make a potentially illegal longevity payment nothing more than another Christmas wreath on Broadway.
The Good Side is fronted by Stephanie Smith, whose only motivation appears to be that she doesn’t want to sound, or vote, like a complete and utter pawn in the mayor’s rigged chess game. She represents the Everett that we all know to be decent, street smart, and hard working. She belongs to that large group who will call an oil slick an oil slick, even if the administration takes to Facebook to label it a rainbow. She gets from A to B real quick, and her reasoned brevity might end being the biggest adversary the mayor’s office has ever faced. Stephanie Martins revealed that she is not owned by the mayor and that in this case, she did what was right and just for the people.
If all of that isn’t enough, last night’s meeting was dragged into soul crushing inanity by Councilors Al Lattanzi and the mayor’s cousin, Anthony DiPierro who both think sound governance is to set a dollar limit on a theft, under the Trumpian guise of “Cap and Keep.” In a matter of minutes, the councilors were uttering “Cap and Keep” as if it’s a real term, on par with Lend/Lease or The New Deal.
Young DiPierro, straight faced and without an ounce of irony, cautioned others against getting “personal,” seemingly unaware that nothing is more personal than blood relation.
Thank goodness for Mr. Burley, who seemed to be the only thing separating a barely passable exercise in Democracy from a parliamentary bloodbath.
That being said, Councilors Mike Marchese, John Hanlon, Vivien Nguyen, Jimmy Tri Le, Smith and Martins clarified and corrected one of the worst examples of the mayor’s greed – that is – turning what was $2500 a year into $40,000 a year for himself, hiding it from the city budget and saying its OK.
Mr. Demas’s performance was an embarrassment. He refused to say a word about the $40,000 a year that was supposed to be $2500 a year and which is now $1700 after last night’s meeting. He is the architect of the yearly city budget which hid the payment to the mayor. Demas cannot be trusted.
All of it points to a big and messy course correction. It will get worse before it gets better.
For fear of retaliation, Name withheld by request