Decisions need to made on illegal apartments

The Planning Board last week again took the position that if homeowners with longstanding illegal apartments don’t have the parking that is necessary for them, they must remain illegal properties and be brought back to the original status when they were built in order to become legal again.

This view was dominant despite the view of the administration that it is a better idea to make all the illegal apartments legal to bring them up to code and make for better housing stock despite them not having the right number of parking spaces under present zoning ordinances.

The zoning board becomes an echo of the national Republican government that wants illegal immigrants sent packing from the US because they are not citizens – even if they have lived here all their lives and their children have been born here.

Just as we cannot deport all illegal immigrants working and living here for several generations, we cannot return multi-family homes by the hundreds and even the thousands back to single family homes because they don’t have the right number of parking spaces.

Debating whether or not enough parking spaces exist to right the wrong of illegal apartments is to stand against the future safety of the housing stock here.

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Smooth opening for schools, remote learning underway

Teacher Rebecca Milley teaching her students about the seasons online from the Whittier School. (Photo courtesy of the EPS Facebook page)

EPS studying impact, results

By JOSH RESNEK

In one of the most understated openings of the public schools in the past century just completed, administrators, teachers, students and parents are all weighing the initial results.

As the second week of remote instruction by computer and chrome books got underway, the verdict is still out as to the efficacy of remote learning and exactly what effects, negative or positive, such a learning cycle and experience will have on Everett’s more than 7,000 public school students.

Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani has presided over the opening during this, her first six months of service, during one of the most difficult, trying, and unlikely of school openings.

Tahiliani apparently expressed relief and satisfaction that the new school year was underway, and that learning had started up again.

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Everett yet to escape Covid-19’s tight grip

A sign at Glendale Park notifies residents all city parks are closed due to Covid-19. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

By JOSH RESNEK

Despite the widely held illusion that we are drifting pleasantly out of the clutches of the pandemic, the harsh reality is that infections are rising in several dozen states.

Here in Massachusetts, the numbers have been steady but falling gradually.

The infection rate is at 0.8% this week – the fourth week of statistics that reveal the state has managed to bring – for now – the virus under control.

However, many communities, 15 to be exact, and this includes Everett, have persistent higher rates of infection that point to a lack of proper response by the population to the epidemic.

The city reported no new cases of the virus Monday, a tremendous bit of positive news.

As of Tuesday morning, there were 2,217 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the City of Everett with 1893 being recovered.

This is up 0 cases from Monday.

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Capone not backed on city budget cuts

Councilor’s calls for fiscal amendments, restraint on line items met with silence

By JOSH RESNEK

The expression “like lemmings to the sea” originated in the 1950s and remained popular for decades afterward.

The phrase was used as a way of symbolizing people who unthinkingly follow what the crowd is doing, often with dangerous, if not downright fatal, consequences.

Last week, during the city council’s budget overview discussion, only Councilor Fred Capone refused to be a lemming among his council colleagues.

Despite showing common sense about paring down the budget during a time of fiscal need, Capone seemed to be talking to the wind.

For some inexplicable reason, technical difficulties prevented the budget hearing being broadcast so the people of Everett could see and listen to their elected leaders at work in real time.

Regrettably, the hearing took on the look and feel of a closed door executive session – a moment when many councilors appeared to act like lemmings to the sea.

Councilor Capone was the only meaningful voice questioning the budget, as near as we can tell.

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Mayor ducks comment on number of convicted felons employed by city

Everett City Hall. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

By JOSH RESNEK

It is well known in city hall circles that the city employs or has employed a number of convicted felons.

It is clearly against the law in Everett for a convicted felon to be employed as a municipal employee or to serve in public office in any capacity according to the Everett City Charter.

The City Charter states exactly “any person who has been finally convicted of a state or federal felony shall not be eligible to petition or to serve in any elective or appointive office or position.”

The City Charter also specifies without equivocation that its anti-felon employment policy would apply to “any mayor who has been finally convicted of a state or federal felony shall be deemed to have vacated said office and shall be disqualified from serving in any other elective or appointive or position under the city.”

While the mayor has not been convicted of any felonies to date, he has had a number of run-ins over the years that led to court and apparent cash settlements with allegedly aggrieved parties to stay out of trouble.

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