Which is it? Who controls more power?
By Josh Resnek
Greg Antonelli has been awarded tens of millions of dollars worth of Everett city contracts during the past decade. Some claim it is as much as $30M when every job of every kind is added up.
That’s a tidy sum of money for one contractor operating in a small city where the public bid process is intended to give everyone a chance.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria has made certain he prefers Antonelli as the city’s contractor.
It is a situation both of them seem to enjoy. Certainly, they rely on one another for their respective success.
Both of them benefit from the relationship.
Antonelli pooh poohs the fact he performed at least one job where asbestos was not properly removed from the city’s streets – and the mayor responded publicly that he was unaware of any problems.
The fact of the matter is that the mayor is aware of nearly everything under the sun having to do with municipal government in Everett.
More than this, he controls city hall with an iron fist and an often nasty countenance.
More than this, he manipulates the city government.
“DeMaria insisted that he keeps his distance from contracting decisions and that Antonelli and other friends are not involved.
“No one gets preferential treatment,” he told the Globe. “We do everything right in the city of Everett when it comes to contracts and bidding,” the mayor added.
Those who know Antonelli agreed – “Greg must have had a good laugh over this quote.”
Anyone questioning the mayor’s style of leadership and his appointments and or his obvious excesses, such as the $40,000 yearly longevity payment he was receiving, he categorizes as lies or as hype created by his political enemies.
These are all assertions made about the mayor in whole or part by a Sunday Boston Globe piece last weekend that explored the ‘entangled web,’ as Antonelli referred to what goes on at Everett city hall.
As the Globe headlined: “Critics say a close-knit club of relatives and friends controls the levers of power.”
Antonelli is reported to have voted in Everett when he apparently lives in Lynnfield.
“I don’t get involved with that,” the mayor responded in the Globe.
Not responding to voter fraud is one thing.
Numerous other friends and supporters of the mayor, who work for city hall as department heads or who own prominent businesses, but who don’t live in the city voting from questionable addresses is another.
Accepting voter fraud, as the mayor tends to do, and or performing it, as Antonelli told the Globe, is a key example of where the rubber hits the road in Everett.
The mayor told the Globe with pride: “This is the place my parents came from Italy and settled. I could have left a long time ago.’
But he didn’t, and he likely won’t, that is, unless he is forced out of office.
Again, the Globe’s independent report, which covered more than two pages of the Sunday edition, was an expansive piece that determined: “In his tempestuous 15 years in office, the mayor, his opponents say, has consolidated power over every corner of the city, from the public schools, to the town library, by installing loyalists in key positions and repeatedly persuading the City Council to amend the city charter to afford him greater influence.”
Of the $40,000 a year longevity that made him the highest salaried mayor in the state, he told the Globe: “I did not steal money from the city. I was entitled to it.”
He dismissed his critics in the Globe saying they are politically motivated.
“This is my city,” he told the Globe. “In the words of David Ortiz (The Red Sox Hall of Famer), this is our (expletive)city,” he added.
Many people on the other side of the mayor claim he believes he owns the city, that the city is his to do with as he pleases.
The Globe piece devoted a great deal of space to the real estate deal he says he shared with City Clerk Sergio Cornelio, which Cornelio denies.
That imbroglio is now part of several lawsuits the mayor is prosecuting against the Leader Herald and Cornelio for defamation of his character in Middlesex Superior Court.
In its mass, the Globe report highlighted, and in parts, expanded upon what has been reported consistently, from week to week in the Leader Herald for the past five years.
It remains to be seen what effect, if any, the Globe report has on law enforcement.
Antonelli and the mayor are seen as partners by some, as adversaries by others.
Antonelli has claimed many times during the past two years to the Leader Herald that the mayor has a terrible, almost non-existent work ethic.
“I’d like to run for mayor. I’m going to run for mayor,” he told the Leader Herald six months ago.
The only problem: Antonelli doesn’t live in Everett.