Neither he nor DeMaria can let it go
By Josh Resnek
The blue lettered sign on Sal Sacro’s apartment building in Everett Square is a prominent reminder that Fred Capone remains an influence in this city and that he is not yet done with running for mayor.
His 210 vote loss to incumbent Mayor Carlo DeMaria last November followed the mayor’s $420,000 spending effort to buy his way into another term.
Capone spent little more than $100,000 trying to unseat DeMaria.
During the campaign, he never publicly confronted DeMaria nor did the two debate in a contest where Capone claimed to have taken the high road.
Capone always insisted he wasn’t about to get into the gutter with the mayor.
He kept his word. He didn’t. He lost.
After such a close loss, Capone may have rethought the high road strategy. Many Monday morning quarterbacks here claim had Capone fought the mayor more vigorously and publicly during the campaign, he might very well have beaten him in the election. No one really knows, except maybe his wife, as she is a very strong influence on Capone.
The high road is always exemplary but sometimes it can’t have the effect the candidate wants when facing a bully who spent almost $420,000 to get re-elected.
Timidity breeds conflict. Courage prevents it.
Capone’s many public appearances and statements made in the public forum at city hall have been vehement and were delivered with intensity.
For example, Capone’s recent public comments that the mayor accepting more than $180,000 in longevity payments was a “fraud” and a “theft,” were not uttered lightly.
Capone brings an attorney’s ethics into play whenever he comments and this was no exception.
Capone has also backed the citizen effort to save the former Pope John High School site from demolition.
Capone is adamant about keeping Pope John as a school to mitigate the overcrowding nightmare in all the Everett Public schools. DeMaria is on an opposite tack making the claim that affordable housing is more important than fixing the problem of overcrowding in the public schools.
Capone believes in affordable housing, however, he has voiced the opinion that fixing the overcrowding problem in the public schools takes precedence over affordable housing.
This is where Capone and who he is and what he is about clashes with who the mayor is and what he is about.
It is Capone – education v. Demaria – development.
The Pope John controversy is an indication of other municipal quandaries quite likely to pop up as there is now a vocal and growing group of anti-DeMaria voices making themselves heard in a very public way.
Capone is the de facto leader of this large and growing network of voters, residents, taxpayers and business- people no longer feeling worried they will be retaliated against if they speak out.
Capone is running right now. He is set to run again, would be my guess.
He has learned valuable lessons since the last time around.
So too has the mayor.
Who makes better use of their missed opportunities will decide the fate of the next election.