The public speaking portions of public meetings have become some of the most important moments in the ongoing public debate about how Everett is run or should be run and by whom.
The public speakers have become almost as important as the public meetings themselves.
Complained about the Devens School being sold for $950,000 many years back and then the owner got a $500,000 a year triple net lease.
Now, she said, the city wants to take back the Devens for $10 million.
The purchase of the Devens School won’t help with overcrowding, she said.
She said the Devens School deal is inexplicable.
Complained that the former high school and Pope John gives free space to organizations and the city must pay the utilities which cost about $500,000 a year for both facilities.
She detailed how the Devens School sold in 2009 for $950,000. She insisted the only sensible thing to do would be to renovate Pope John and move 1,000 kids there and reduce overcrowding.
“This council started out strong. After that, priorities and decisions have been misplaced.
“Then came the meetings on Pope John. When push came to shove you folded. You have the power but you don’t want to use it,” she told the city council.
She said residents want protection from developers. Shew said residents want a place to park.
Discussed again, rather questioned again, the city’s use (or failure to use) Corey reports for current employees.
She urged the city to pay attention to an ordinance requiring city employees to be investigated as to their integrity.
“The city must demand the highest conduct from its municipal employees.” she said.
“How is allowing a sex offender firefighter possible?” she asked.
He spoke against sale of the Deven’s School with the use of ARPA money.
“Very little if anything has been done with ARPA money that benefits Everett residents,” he said.
“Buying the school back is a scam,” he said.
The 2024 budget was approved with no significant cuts. I’m sick and tired of what’s going on with our city.”
The vocal Everett realtor said spending $10 million for the Devens School makes no sense. The school is assessed at slightly over $3 million. Pope John is assessed at $15 million, she argued.
“There is no justification for buying the Deven’s School.”
“No wonder you discussed this in executive session. The taxpayers would be up in arms if they heard the discussion,” she told the council.
She said the Deven’s property should be affordable senior housing.
“This item should not be a slam dunk tonight. I don’t know how much longer the city can afford to have you in office. Thank god it’s an election year,” she warned the council.
Spoke in behalf of Jon Puopolo.
He read Puopolo’s letter to the editor which was sent to all the members of the city council and printed as well in the Leader Herald in this week’s edition.
Puopolo called buying the Deven’s School a bad decision.
Asked for a zoning ordinance to be passed.
She said Licensing Commission must reach out more before making decisions.
She supports a comprehensive zoning plan, and a business district and she asked for a ban on plastic bags.
Decried the tumble that testing scores have taken among students in the public schools and that student behavior worsened after COVID 19 shutdown. She complained about large classes and overcrowding and that it’s out of control. Modulars are a temporary fix, she said. “It’s obviously clear that Pope John High School is the way to reduce overcrowding. Do what’s right. Re- visit this situation. The children deserve better,” she said.
She reiterated everything the previous speakers had to say about Pope John.
“People are very upset and disappointed. They want Pope John rather than modular classrooms,” she told the council.
She said she didn’t know why everything changed. She said the mayor said he was for it (Pope John) and then went against it. “This is just going on and on. I urge you to revisit this,” she told the city council.