THE BLUE SUIT
“I’m wondering about that picture you used on the front p
age showing the mayor at a Little League opening holding a baseball and smiling. Is Carlo’s re-entry into Everett life after a long absence about happiness…or is it about misery?“
– The Blue Suit speaking to Josh Resnek Tuesday.
That’s a good question, isn’t it, I thought to myself. The Blue Suit and I were eating lunch at Oliveira’s in Everett Square. We love Oliveira’s. The Blue Suit eats like there is no tomorrow – a bit like his boss Carlo when he’s nervous and tending to deal with his nervousness by eating.
At Oliveira’s, your food is weighed. The buffet of everything salad and eggs, potatoes and rice, olives and tomatoes is out of this world. However the next step up to the grill area where lamb, beef, chicken and sausage are being grilled on skewers…well…when it is cut from the skewers and placed on our plates, now that’s what I call an outstanding Everett treat.
We sat down with our plates at a table for two. Giant flat screens showing soccer games provided entertainment. The Brazilian waitresses dressed in black gave us great service. We ate and talked.
“Is the mayor happy and pleased with himself? Is he liking getting around doing the things he must do? Or is he tired of it all and ready for a change?” I asked the Blue Suit.
The Blue Suit finished chewing a mouthful of rare sirloin, rice and salad. Then he replied.
“I’ve got a surprise for you, Josh,” he said to me.
“What is that?” I asked. “I love surprises, especially if they’re about Carlo.”
“He’s going into the real estate business,” the Blue Suit said before shoveling another mound of sirloin, sausage and chicken into his mouth.
“What do you mean?” I asked in response.
Spitting his food and slurping it and then letting out a burb followed a deep sigh he began anew.
“I mean he got his real estate salespersons license in February,” the Blue Suit told me.
“Wow. That’s something, isn’t it. Don’t you have to go to school for that license or something like that?” I asked.
“Yeah. You need to do 40 hours of study, presumably under a broker or in a brokerage, then you take a test. If you pass, you’re a real estate salesman. I guess he passed the test. After all, he got the license. Carlo is no dummy, you know,” the Blue Suit added.
“I know. I know. I don’t think you need much of an intellect to pass the real estate salesman test. But I’m wondering. Who did he study with? Where did he study? Who gave him his recommendations? Where did he take the test? Did he complete the 40 hours of study?” I asked.
“Is he working for a broker?” I asked.
“Good grief. Can’t you give the guy a break? He got his salesman’s license. It’s not like he was at the FBI Academy or becoming a CIA agent,” the Blue Suit responded.
“You know Carlo better than I do. You know he likes short cuts. You know he enjoys being on the edge, doing things he shouldn’t be doing, going places he shouldn’t be going, spending money he doesn’t have, earning money that really isn’t his. That’s Carlo, isn’t it?” I asked.
“Yeah. You’re basically correct about Carlo. I don’t really know if he did the 40 hours of required study. I don’t know who he did it with. I’m not sure who recommended him. I’m not sure about who he might be associated with right now,” the Blue Suit told me.
“I heard Carlo talking that he can be the mayor and make a pile of money selling and buying real estate in Everett. He doesn’t see that as a conflict of interest at all. His lawyers tell him it’s a matter of interpretation only. The law is meaningless and doesn’t apply to him,” the Blue Suit added.
“Really,” I said.
I scraped the last bit of mashed potatoes with a bite of rare sirloin and some salad from my plate and stuffed it into my mouth. Oliveira’s is sooo good.
“Can I tell you a story I heard recently?” I asked the Blue Suit. “I don’t want you to get offended. It’s about Carlo’s love for real estate,” I told the Blue Suit.
“Sure. Go ahead.”
“A lady called me recently and told me a story of woe about a three family she has owned for 45 years. The city informed her the home is not a legal three family. That was a surprise to her as it had been rented without an issue as a three family for more than 40 years. Truth be known, she said the city told her it is a 2 1⁄2 family on the books. The city ordered the third floor vacated, reducing her rent roll by 1/3 and hurting her badly in her pocketbook. Then the city detailed what she had to do to bring the structure up to three family standards. She told me city officials told her she needed a sprinkler system and the type of repairs and changes that would cost more than $50,000 to $60,000. That’s when she called the mayor, she told me,” I told the Blue Suit.
“She met with the mayor with several other city officials in the room. I don’t have to mention their names but I have them. The owner told the mayor her problem. The mayor told her it was going to be very expensive for her to make all the necessary changes. The owner balked at that. Then she told me the mayor told her she might be better off selling the home to him or letting him sell the home if it was too expensive for her to repair to make it a true three family.”
The Blue Suit perked up.
“What is the name of this lady?” he asked me.
“I never asked her her last name. She was referred to me by a friend for me to maybe help her out,” I answered.
“So you don’t know if the story is true? You don’t know the lady’s last name. Where is the property located?” the Blue Suit asked.
“I never asked. She didn’t tell me.”
“Sounds like a pretty flimsy sob story to me, Josh” the Blue Suit said. “And you believe the story?” the Blue Suit added.
“Frankly, I do. The lady sounded believable. She wasn’t a nut. It wasn’t a nut call if you know what I mean.”
“I told her it didn’t sound right to me that the mayor offered to buy the property or he’d find someone willing to buy it. Does that sound like Carlo to you?” I asked.
“I will not answer that question, Josh. I don’t want to incriminate myself.”
“What did you tell her to do?”
“I didn’t tell her to do anything except to think things over and decide where she wants to head. I suggested she give Attorney Fred Capone a call to represent her, that he might be able to straighten things out. She said she was going to do that. I hope she does. Fred won’t rip her off. She’ll get good advice from him. He’ll advocate for her…he won’t offer to buy the property from her. Fred knows better than that.”