City Council President John Hanlon sure had his hands full at Monday night’s meeting of the city council committee of the whole.
Not only did he have to deal with some councilors not under- standing what exactly they were doing, but he also struggled to maintain a sense of dignity and order with a very large and mostly angry audience watching the proceedings inside the council chamber.
The meeting to meeting appearance lately of large and hostile crowds in the council chamber is a new occurrence following the mayor’s razor thin victory over former councilor Fred Capone.
The longevity battle has exacerbated the situation considerably and not to the mayor’s advantage.
Capone often aided whomever was council president with his lawyer’s understanding of procedure and parliamentary rules and regulations.
With Capone no longer there to set his colleagues straight, a great deal of confusion reigned among the councilors, especially among those who were against stripping the mayor of his outrageous $40,000 a year longevity payment that was not publicly listed for all to see in the award winning city budget.
Hanlon did his best to move the meeting forward when it appeared it might be derailed by a constant flow of questions designed to degrade the effort to strip the mayor of his longevity payment.
Councilor Richard Dell Isola appeared to be expert at this strategy and employing it for his friend the mayor.
“I don’t understand? What is this about? I’m not sure I understand” and on and on, he said as though genuinely perplexed. One might have thought Dell Isola was looking at the plans for a hydrogen bomb or that he was trying to figure out an exceedingly complex mathematical axiom.
Councilors DiPierro and Lattanzi expressed mock indignation.
Lattanzi’s statement that the $40,000 a year “is a drop in the bucket” will go down in Everett’s legislative history as one of the most egregious statements ever made in public by someone claiming to be a representative of the people.
We know how much $40,000 means to Lattanzi – and to the mayor. Forty thousand dollars is no drop in the bucket for Lattanzi or for the mayor or for everyone else on the mayor’s gravy train.
Back to John Hanlon.
He sat in the hot seat Monday night.
He created order out of disorder.
He led, when at least four of his colleagues were unwilling to consider the harsh reality of paying the mayor money he did not earn, which he does not deserve.
As a former mayor, Hanlon’s vote meant a lot.
His ability to keep order took some skill and spine.
Thank you, John Hanlon.