Public speakers dominate debate at council meeting, again and again

By Josh Resnek

John Puopolo, Paula Sterite, Peggy Serino and John McDonald, articulate voices rising among many others, are not afraid to express themselves at the public speaking portion of the weekly city council hearings.

Monday night at the city council meeting, their collective voices were heard but more importantly, were paid attention to.

Their strong words and powerful thoughts led to the suggestion of a new paid cemetery commission being rejected by a 9-0 vote by the city council.

One year ago, this would not have occurred.

The city council, it appears, is beginning to listen.

Monday night the city council listened and was motivated by the speakers.

The public speakers also lamented and complained about other issues, including taxes and zoning reform, about the criminal lawyers the city has hired to represent the city in the US Attorney’s probe and on a variety of issues all related to taxes going up.

Their collective comments decried excessive spending of taxpayer dollars.

Bob Cogliano and McDonald praised Councilor Darren Costa for his efforts with regard to zoning and parking.

Costa has been working to save the neighborhoods and the city at large from being submerged by overdevelopment.

To the council’s great credit, its cemetery commission rejection was unanimous and signaled an unusual moment of common sense and independence.

Vincent Dixon of the NAACP also spoke Monday night.

He detailed undisputed facts about educational equity and overcrowding in the public schools.

“Class size is everything,” he told the councilors.

“Improving provision of adequate classroom space is demanded,” he said.

He offered that the Pope John School facility should be used as opposed to modular units, which, he said, are inadequate.

David Fortin of Ward 4 asked why Councilor Jimmy Lee has not resigned.

“It has been many months since Lee was ordered to stay away from the council chamber. We all know why,” Fortin said.

School Committeewoman Samantha Lambert spoke about the residential parking program and its impact on the neighborhoods.

“Everett is not a destination. It is home,” she said.

She demanded that developers take responsibility for themselves.

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