— Eye on Everett —


Private conversations between the mayor’s Blue Suit and Josh Resnek.


I read the following to the Blue Suit Tuesday afternoon as we sat in my car on the Encore property looking out at the Mystic River and the people coming and going before heading over to Mike’s Roast Beef for a banquet.

“Keep your mouth shut and listen, please,” I asked the Blue Suit.

He agreed to listen.

“Is Everett heading in the right direction? Is the city moving into a place that cements its future? In fact, what is Everett’s future?

Is it to become a continuous, un broken, sprawling apartment house complex from Santilli Circle to the river and to the Malden line and back across the north of the city and including every piece of land east of the Parkway?

Will it one day be one, giant, undifferentiated sweep of apartment complexes clustered across the tarmac with thousands upon thousands of renters who don’t register, who don’t vote, who don’t know where city hall is, who wouldn’t step foot in Everett Square because it isn’t the Chestnut Hill Mall or the Lynnfield Market Place?

Will Everett retain its Blue Collar charm and industriousness, it’s immigrant touch and feel?

Which is better, either or, or both existing comfortably with one another?

Does it matter where Everett is heading?

Does anyone care? Does anyone care enough about anything but making money in this city anymore?

Hard to say.

Will Everett be a better place if all the old-timers are driven out of town by developers building massive apartment complexes?

Will a totally gentrified Everett be any different from an ungentrified Everett?

Will the dream and ambition of one individual determine the outcome of this ongoing drama?

Or will the people prevail – whatever that means.

Does it matter that Everett has no space for about 1500 public school children? Is this situation made justifiable because other Gateway Communities have space shortages and overcrowding in their public schools?

In other words, if injustice prevails in neighboring Chelsea does that make injustice OK in Everett?

Does overcrowding really matter when most of those kids, in fact, the vast majority being crowded out of their rightful public school education are Black, Brown and Hispanic?

Is there a collective conscience here?

Is there an echo from the past blowing in the coming winter wind that can set the place straight?

Does anything really matter here?”

I folded my notes.

“Are you done reading?” the Blue Suit asked me.

“Yes. For now,” I answered.

“Am I allowed to comment?” asked the Blue Suit.

“Yes, of course,” I said.

“Here’s the deal, Josh. People generally want to be left alone. People don’t like getting involved in difficult political, social, moral and economic battles. I repeat, people mostly like to be left alone. It is easier to go along without lives that way,” the Blue Suit said.

“Everett people don’t want to be told what to do with their lives, or with their politics. In the present environment, there is enough inertia and inconsistency in government to bore an elephant. Everett people want to be left alone, Josh. I think there is so much noise right now that most people want to shut their ears to it in order to survive. When you get right down to it, I’m not sure even I understand what’s going on here and what might come of it and whether or not anything or everything is going to change about how this city governs itself,” the Blue Suit added.

The Blue Suit went silent.

“I’m hungry,” he said.

I drove out of the Encore property. We headed to Mike’s.

Inside Mike’s, the Blue Suit was besieged by men and women all asking him for his autograph. They crowded around him. He was treated like a Hollywood celebrity. Yet he lives on Abbott Avenue!

It was an incredible scene – working class folks in their working class gear out to lunch running into a real time Everett celebrity…and getting a real kick out of it and seeming to want a piece of him.

We ordered up.

“I want a two large rare roast beefs with horse radish, onions, cheese and sauce. I want two large French fries. I’d like two hot dogs with mustard and I’d like a small order of clams and a chowder, please and two large Fanta’s,” said the Blue Suit.

“Now that’s an order for a king,” said Chrissy behind the counter.

“What do you want, Josh?” she asked me.

“A rare junior with cheese, sauce and onion and a small coke.

Lunch came to about $105. I threw a five dollar tip into the money jar near to the register.

The food arrived quickly. We sat inside Mike’s and ate.

Dozens of lunch customers approached the Blue Suit to shake his hand.

A younger guy wearing soiled clothes working for a sewer cleaning company came right up to the Blue Suit.

“You are unbelievable. You have real guts. You should be proud of yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you you don’t know what you’re talking about!”


Back to yesterday.

I was all set for the city council meeting Monday evening.

It got cancelled.

Can you imagine, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to fix the electronics and the meeting had to be cancelled because the electronics didn’t work?

Is that possible?

Yes it is.

This wasn’t about videos of meetings being misplaced, getting lost or simply erased, it was about another city council meeting cancelled be- cause it couldn’t be broadcast.

Can you imagine a Red Sox game being cancelled? Or a Pats game being cancelled because the microphones weren’t working or the audio wasn’t in sync with the video?

In a lifetime that has never happened.

Why not?

Because some people and technicians know what they are doing.

City council meetings have been regularly cancelled for the past year and longer.

Is it funny? Is it sad? Is it pathetic? Does it take the ridiculous to new levels? Does it matter? Was I better off the meeting was cancelled because I didn’t have to watch Stephanie Martins waving her hands like an air craft carrier on deck flight technician?

I went straight to my flat screen after the meet- ing was called off. I watched the Patriots.

What a mistake that was.

Maybe the meeting would have been better than the Patriots?

How’s that for irony?

Leave a Reply