By Josh Resnek
Mike Marchese says he has no illusions about becoming council president during a moment in the city’s history when the mayor calls all the shots.
“As a body, the council has not challenged the mayor in years. With the exception of taking away the mayor’s outrageous longevity payment, the mayor has total control of government,” he added.
“What I will attempt to do is to make the council more responsive to the needs of the people we represent. The mayor isn’t the only show in town. If the council wishes to act on an issue, we should all work together to have our say, and to make our presence in the city hall chamber relevant. Right now, we are largely and mostly irrelevant,” Marches said.
Marchese won the presidency with a 9-3 vote during an organizational meeting last week.
His emergence as council president is mostly ceremonial but partly about the acknowledgement of his colleagues that a Marchese presidency is welcome – or at least it is not opposed.
Marchese and Councilor Stephanie Smith have been among the most outspoken councilors.
Councilor Darren Costa also falls into the noteworthy category of councilor who poses his own thoughts and appears to speak his own mind. Costa has been deferential since coming onto the council after the last election.
His public statements are usually expressed by him as those of a novice who doesn’t really have a full enough understanding – yet- of how the city council world turns.
However, Costa is learning how ineffective the council can be. It is likely his performance will be tempered by that thought.
As for Marchese, well, he is a survivor who topped the ticket the last time out.
He’s been up. He’s been down. He’s been all around.He remains a solitary voice on the council that runs against the mayor’s control over nearly every aspect of city government in Everett
Marchese says he understands he is one vote. There is only so much a council president can
expect to do if he is not joined by his colleagues in efforts to temper or at least to guide the mayor’s actions, he told the Leader Herald.
Marchese said the futility of leading the council is apparent with the outcome of the council’s unanimous effort asking the mayor to use the former Pope John High School as a public school to mitigate overcrowding.
“The mayor said he’d do this if it was the will of the council. Well, it was the will of the council and he didn’t keep his word. What has the council done to engage him on this: nothing,” he said.
Marchese said he will carry the torch for independence, that he will attempt to engage his colleagues in matters of mutual concern, and that he will not be a rubber stamp for the mayor.