By Josh Resnek
Stephanie Smith topped the ticket city-wide last week in the primary.
This is a statement about her growing popularity among a wide variety of voters throughout the city.
Monday night, Smith patiently listened to her city council colleagues discuss with the mayor for longer than a half hour the prospect for a new high school before expressing her exasperation in a powerful venting with remarks she made briefly to the city council.
“I will not vote for the modular classrooms or for this appropriation,” she said emphatically.
“I am not against a new high school and I support the mayor’s effort for a new high school,” she told her colleagues in no uncertain terms.
“But the matter before us the appropriation, not a new high school.”
And with those words and expressions of frustration, Smith exhibited her anger over the Pope John situation as well as aiming her remarks, whether she meant to or not, at the mayor, directly about modular classrooms and how she will stand against them.
In doing so, she has drawn a line in the sand, sort of.
Smith staked out her own territory in no uncertain terms and with a style and expression of controlled anger and passion that surprised her colleagues.
Smith was not afraid of jousting with the mayor and with her colleagues on a matter of some importance to her.
This separates her from the pack, so to speak.
Her colleagues have not shown an ability to stand for themselves and to vote against the administration even when most of them admit that residents would prefer, almost across the board, that Pope John be used to mitigate overcrowding instead of building modular classrooms at a cost of $14 million or more.
With the council, what the mayor wants is what he most often gets.
Smith’s outburst, for a lack of calling it anything else, left her Monday night with a new standing all of her own, spoken in strong words and phrases she believed in.
If we didn’t know any better, we’d say that this was the opening volley of Smith’s ascension in the Everett political world.
She is a younger woman, mother, wife, and daughter, a successful business lady in her own right who has travelled the world and who has chosen to bring up her children in Everett.
She is articulate with a penchant for number crunching, and we believe, she is not afraid to express herself.
Whomever tops the ticket as a councilor at large and feels they are on the rise, have not many places to go but to the corner office.
Smith may decline to agree with such a statement but her performance, or in this case, her outburst at the city council meeting where the mayor appeared Monday night, was a sign of much bigger things to come for Ms. Smith.
Everett is in her DNA.
She is not a woman who will be satisfied to remain in the same place for a long time, or who enjoys the endless banter connected with a government status quo.
For Smith, there will be only one place to go in the near future.
Can you guess what place that is?