Mayor Carlo DeMaria seemed to yawn just a bit when informed surveillance cameras were found in the ceiling of the superintendent’s office on Vine Street.
For the past year and half, the mayor has made numerous efforts to pack the school committee in order to fire or remove Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani.
First he got the city council to give him a voting membership on the school committee, then he came on board to get rid of Tahiliani.
During that period he pushed and persuaded Councilor Mike McLaughlin to step away from his seat on the council in order for him to run for the school committee.
It is wondrous to think about what the mayor could have done to persuade McLaughlin to make such a big change of political venue.
Was something hanging over McLaughlin’s head that forced him to accede to the mayor’s wish?
Sure looks that way.
Why would anyone in their right mind switch from the city council to the school committee? For McLaughlin, it meant a $12,000 pay cut.
Maybe the mayor promised McLaughlin a job?
McLaughlin has been made to rue the day he agreed to this unholy marriage between him and the mayor.
If only he could turn back the clock.
But he can’t.
No one can turn back the clock.
We put Mike Mangan in the same type of unholy alliance with the mayor.
Does Mangan really expect us to believe he wanted to serve for no pay because he’s so passionately interested in the education of Everett’s school children?
Or did Mangan heed the mayor’s private advice which probably went something like this: “You run. You win. You give me your vote. I give you a better paying city job to make up the difference to what you receive as the clerk of the city council” (which would include the money he wasn’t going to get as a school committee- man).
In fact, the city council has made all members of the school committee special employees.
This is an action as bent as it gets in Everett.
It allows the mayor to give every school committee member higher paying jobs in return for their affirmative votes for whatever it is he wants.
Jeanne Cristiano is giving up her city job and will likely file for a pension. With special employee status, she can collect standard school committee member salary, and why not, she’s a veteran. She deserves it.
Back to the mayor’s yawn about surveillance equipment found buried in the superintendent’s ceiling inside her office.
The mayor has repeatedly stated his abiding interest in public school education, his desire to become a voting member of the school committee and to appoint or to run as many members who will provide him with a majority vote each time an issue comes up or a contract is let so he can get rid of the superintendent.
The superintendent has sued him for discrimination, for racism, and for sexism.
The mayor claims a deep interest in running and manipulating the school department through a stacked school committee.
When surveillance equipment found and taken from the premises of the Vine Street administration building by the FBI was revealed last week, the mayor said this more or less: “It is a school committee matter. I have no knowledge of this.”
We all know you can’t have your cake and eat it.
The mayor wants to control the school committee. He had himself made a voting member of the school committee to accomplish this. He has essentially packed the school committee.
When surveillance equipment is found in the superintendent’s office he tells the residents of Everett it has nothing to do with him. We’d like to know how such a response from the mayor can do anything but cause people to feel it has everything to do with him or at the very least, that he should be outraged and ready to fight to find the perpetrator.
Why wouldn’t he want to find out who placed the surveillance equipment in the superintendent’s ceiling?
Good question, isn’t it.