Cornelio Wins – Mayor Loses

By Josh Resnek

By a 7-3 vote that was never in question, City Clerk Sergio Cornelio was given a 5 year extension to continue serving the city.

Sergio Cornelio won a five year extension Monday night. (Photo by Josh Resnek)

This was not the decision Mayor Carlo DeMaria was hoping for.

Cornelio’s winning vote was a bitter loss for the mayor.

The city council wholeheartedly rejected a nearly two year-long effort by the mayor to cut some of the city clerk’s stipends before removing Cornelio.

The animus between the two city officials stems from a real estate deal that has raised more questions than answers.

Cornelio and the mayor are involved in a bitter law suit that has pitted one against the other in a winner take all type of competition over “my” Corey Street real estate deal that Cornelio said Monday night, “went awry.”

Cornelio’s victorious vote is a reflection of the changing political climate in Everett politics. It highlights the negative effect many lawsuits, complaints and difficulties the mayor is now experiencing and how his former friends on the council have resigned or turned against him.

His chief supporter Anthony DiPierro resigned in disgrace several weeks ago following revelations of his involvement in racist materials being sent to a long line of city officials over the Internet.

It is also a reflection of the political uprising now taking place by a flock of new voices unafraid of expressing themselves in public about the excesses of the DeMaria Administration and of the mayor himself.

The US Attorney’s probe into racism at the highest level of government in Everett now underway is also problematic for the mayor and less so for Cornelio, who many believe holds a better deck of cards than the mayor does at this point.

A succession of public speakers praised Cornelio before the vote was taken during the special session held Monday night at city hall.

Bill Thompson, Tony Raymond, Maria Bus- sell, Sandy Juliano, John Puopolo, Paula Strerite, Wendy Poste and Joetta Yutkins all asked the councilors to put aside the bad politics and to make an on merit vote for Cornelio.

“Extend the city clerk’s contract. He knows all the answers to everything. Don’t base your vote on politics. Base it on job performance,” said prominent local realtor Sandy Juliano.

Longtime city employee Bussell echoed Juliano and the others: “This is the time and place to base your vote on merit for the current clerk. Look deep in your heart for a merit based decision.”

Councilor Stephanie Martins tried her best to derail Cornelio’s re-appointment.

Martins questioned Cornelio’s integrity. She claimed he took maternity leave when it is not allowed. She tried to connect an alleged real estate deal with the mayor as an indication of his lack of judgment in carrying out his duties as city clerk.

“He took a benefit that does not exist,” she said. She referred to this as “pay fraud.”

“HR didn’t approve it,” Martins added.

Attorney John Tocci, Jr. humiliated Martins with a response she should have expected.

Tocci directed his comments to the city council.

“Does the city councilor believe it is proper that she (Martins) participates in this proceeding because she is so extremely biased against (my client)? I am surprised at you (Martins) accusing my client of improper behavior. You should not be considering that question. You should have recused yourself,” he added.

Martins remained oblivious to her untenable position.

She used an old faithful, the Hail Mary that always worked for the city council before the citizen uprising began.

“I consulted with the city solicitor before the meeting,” she answered, as though the city solicitor’s ruling would be anything but a perfunctory OK of whatever the mayor wanted.

“We are within our authority asking questions,” she said the city solicitor told her.

None of her colleagues cared except for first termers Al Lattanzi, and Vivien Nguyen.

Lattanzi said he’d be for interviewing new talent.

“Post the job. I’d like to see what’s out there,” said the mayor’s mouthpiece on the council.

His colleagues didn’t listen to him.

Martins game was up.

Even the mayor’s staunchest ally on the council, Richard Dell Isola, voted for Cornelio.

So too did Councilor Wayne Matewsky who denied in public comments made before cast- ing his vote that the mayor asked him to vote against Cornelio.

Cornelio agreed with several councilors that he should step aside as the voting registrar. That will be taken up at a future meeting.

Leave a Reply