Thank the Lord we live in Massachusetts

Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito have carefully maneuvered Massachusetts away from the collapse of our state health hospital and health system by giving exceptional gravitas to the fight against the Corona- virus.

As of this week, only four states in the nation, are as well off as Massachusetts is in statistical Coronavirus categories – new cases are dropping, new hospitalizations are dropping, deaths are dropping while testing has increased dramatically.

The meticulous and very carefully and planned reopening of the economy is being accomplished. The cost for this has been excessive. Many smaller businesses have been hurt. About 900,000 Massachusetts residents are out of work.

But the virus has been dramatically shut down.

Many economists believe the virus cannot exist with a healthy economy.

Get rid of the virus, have a healthy economy.

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City finances in turmoil

he city is right now technically broke.

Whatever the city has on hand for cash in the treasury could be gone in an instant to plug any number of growing deficiencies in department budgets given the short flows of state and federal funding, in lieu of taxes from the casino, home owner taxes which were put off and a serious deficiency in money needed for the public schools.

Much of this is about the Coronavirus and its effect on the nation, the state and all the cities and towns across the nation.

This is not the mayor’s fault.

However, the mayor’s failure to be up front and transparent about creating a new budget with his money manager Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas, leaves many Everett residents and taxpayers to wonder – what is going on?

Where will the city be in another three months?

What is the outlook?

The mayor has already announced about 80 layoffs of city employees.

While the school department side of the budget isn’t his, dozens and dozens of layoffs of school department employees is another factor that will impact the city negatively.

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Stealing from Everett’s kids is like stealing from the church

The mayor is refusing to shed light on his involvement in an apparent scheme to divert a donation made to the city by Catholic Memorial High School of three professional grade basketball nets and stanchions worth tens of thousands of dollars to himself and a friend.

The mayor received one of the nets. It was delivered to his front driveway. A friend living in another town received two. They were placed in front of his home.

As usual, the mayor is telling friends and anyone who will listen “not to believe what you read in the newspaper.”

In this instance, we believe that is bad advice, short of the mayor explaining how the basketball net ended up in his driveway when the net was donated by a Catholic Memorial High school official to the city of Everett.

The mayor may believe he owns the city and the city treasury.

He does not, however, cannot take for himself and for his own use expensive gifts given to the city. For that matter, ethics regulations would not allow him to receive gifts of any kind over the price of $50 in value.

The appearance of the basketball net in the mayor’s driveway is made worse by the Electrical Department two Fridays ago installing lighting on a city pole to shine upon the basket for nighttime use.

As we understand it from the source of the donation at Catholic Memorial High School, the three baskets were handed over to city employee Jerry Navarro. Navarro allegedly knew exactly what to do with the donation, which was to have them delivered to the mayor’s driveway and the driveway of the mayor’s friend.

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Priya Tahiliani takes center stage

Everett is not an easy city to win over by acclimation – but the new Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani is doing just that, according to a variety of school department officials and employees interviewed for this piece.

“If you have a kid in the Everett public schools at this time it is a good thing, she’s in charge,” said a longtime school official. “She is not using plays from the old time playbook. She is making decisions. She is owning them. Most important to note, she isn’t complaining,” said the source.

Tahiliani announced last week she is cutting the budget by 5% just to be safe to start, and that it might, in a worst case scenario, have to be cut another 5% – 10%.

In years past during the past two decades, the school department almost annually would announce deep cuts being made- as if crying fire in a crowded theater, only to rescind the cuts and rehire back nearly everyone that was set to be let go before the new school year began.

No such tactic is being used by Tahiliani, who understands better than most the exigencies of the new normal brought on by the profound effects of the Coronavirus.

“She is trying to do layoffs strategically. It isn’t about who you are with her. It is about what you are doing,” said a source.

“She is sane and fair in negotiations. She is trying to make arrangements for the coming school year without knowing for certain what bumps there will be along the road,” said a member of the School Committee. “She is very smart. She understands how things work. She has a ton of integrity,” added the School Committee member.

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Chief Mazzie proves knowledge is power

Police Chief Steven Mazzie’s appearance at the virtual city council meeting Monday night proved once again that having a humble, smart, savvy longtime police chief who knows what he is doing with the Everett police force is worth its weight in gold.

He answered Councilor at Large Gerly Adrien’s questions about the police department’s various policies regarding report- ing police violence against residents, the use of choke holds (which have been banned since the 1990’s here) and annual training parameters to meet the demands of the new age that appears to be upon us.

Without raising his voice or batting an eyelash, Mazzie answered the councilor’s questions like the consummate professional he has always shown himself to be.

He is a very hip guy, who firmly is in command of a first-rate police force that knows the laws and follows them.

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