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Is there a need for a paid cemetery commission?

Councilor John Hanlon says no “Respectfully”

By Josh Resnek

In many surrounding communities and throughout Massachusetts, there are cemetery commissions for the city represented.

Commission work, whether it be cemetery, parks, library or whatever, requires resident participation to make cites work effectively.

In some cities like Everett, there are paid commissions.

In other cities like Lynn, none of the commissions are paid. People are supposed to serve out of devotion of duty, and to do so without complaint.

Neighboring Chelsea is the same.

Paid commissions, however, tend to attract those who feel they should be compensated for their good work for the city they live in.

What’s wrong with this?

Nothing.

It makes sense that small payments to city commissioners is a nice way to say thank you for a job well done.

Back to the idea of a cemetery commission here in Everett.

The commission is ostensibly being created to service approximately 300 new cemetery plots recently brought on line by the city.

Presently, all city burial requests are handled by a single city employee in a city office.

City Councilor John Hanlon recently asked about the need for a cemetery commission when the city already handling burial needs for city plots.

He said at a public meeting last week that what is presently working should be fine enough.

He asked: ”What do we need a cemetery commission for?”

A city official replied that Everett can do it because other cities and towns do it.

Not a bad answer.

But it led to Hanlon saying: “I am not for this. We don’t need a cemetery commission.”

For now the measure about the cemetery commission is in question.

Halon’s reasoning, however, isn’t.

He made good common sense.

But it is a world where common sense doesn’t matter any more. As to commissions, many people ask us about conflicts of interest for family members placed on paid commission or for friends and political supporters.

If there was a conflict of interest, the Ethics Commission would have already ruled that way but it hasn’t.

As long as it doesn’t, anything goes with the city’s commissions and who serves on them.

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