Council meets in person at city hall for first time since pandemic struck

By JOSH RESNEK

Not all city councilors wore face masks at Monday night’s city council meeting, the first inside city hall in almost six months.

Not all the councilors were present.

Those who participated there sat far apart from one another, social distancing with vigor.

The chamber was disinfected with a spray before the meeting.

The large and airy city council chamber caused more than several members to ditch their masks for the relative safety they felt social distancing. Councilors sat at least eight feet apart.

Councilor at Large John Hanlon wore a face mask, as did Councilors Fred Capone, Peter Napolitano and Stephanie Martins.

Council President Rosa DeFlorio, Councilors Wayne Matewsky, Mike Marchese, Jimmy Tri Le and Mike McLaughlin arrived with face masks on but took them off for the meeting.

Continue reading Council meets in person at city hall for first time since pandemic struck

Tempers flare as Councilors clash over procedures

Adrien complains about being mistreated by President DiFlorio

BY JOSH RESNEK

Councilor at Large Gerly Adrien and Council President Rosa DiFlorio traded barbs with one another Monday night in a rare example of a newcomer challenging the rule of the old order at city hall.

At times, the exchanges between Adrien and DiFlorio got heated, and by some accounts, ugly, between the two who are essentially rivals.

Adrien is the newcomer on the block.

DiFlorio represents the old line.

Most of the city councilors sat quietly with little to nothing to say as the two councilors went at it. It was one of those ironic moments when the future clashed with the vestiges of the past, when Adrien’s voice could not be silenced by DiFlorio – with none of their colleagues standing up for either of them.

The fireworks began when Adrien sensed that DiFlorio was growing short tempered with her many council motions questioning police standards and skirting the many issues arising from the protests about racism and police brutality and violence all over the nation and of their relationship to Everett for the largely minority population residing in the city.

DiFlorio, several times, tried to cut short Adrien’s comments.

She appeared visibly bothered by Adrien’s effrontery at asking so many questions with so many motions, many of which DiFlorio seemed disturbed about.

It all didn’t seem to matter very much until Adrien explained her position once again about questioning about what is happening in the public schools – only to be told by DiFlorio that she should basically be minding her own business and pay attention to council business.

Adrien went ballistic on DiFlorio.

Continue reading Tempers flare as Councilors clash over procedures

Mayor not doing enough to help

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Karina Sousa, of Helenquan Florist on Ferry Street, shows off handmade face
masks she exchanged for food donations during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

“The city is not offering anything,” Adrien says

By Josh Resnek

Shutting down the city. Calling an early emergency.

“These were a must. As this crisis continues, we need to act for our residents and our businesspeople,” Councilor at Large Gerly Adrien told the Leader Herald.

“The city needs to be doing more to protect those cannot pay their mortgages. The city should protect rent payers who cannot pay for their apartments because they’ve become unemployed,” she added.

“Without mortgage and rent relief like Mayor Curtatone has instituted in Somerville, without small business relief, Everett faces a Coronavirus catastrophe,” she said.

Everett has not yet announced such moratoriums on paying rent and mortgages.

This has been done by Mayor Marty Walsh in Boston.

Everett is not offering aid in applying for unemployment and SBA loans as is being done in Somerville and other cities.

“When you compare the resources being offered by the mayor in Everett, they pale in comparison to other cities like ours,” she added.

“People need help here very badly.The mayor isn’t offering any help beyond enforcing social distancing. Everett can and must do better,” she said.

City Council President Rosa DiFlorio told the Leader she is growing concerned about the next budget.

Continue reading Mayor not doing enough to help

Mayor’s mouthpiece drubs Council; Capone: “Why are you his lawyer?”

[Leader Editorial Feature]

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Speaking to the city council are, from right to left, the mayor’s Attorney A. John Pappalardo, and Attorney Emily Bryan. Seated near to them is Mayor Carlo DeMaria, and Assistant City Solicitors Matthew Lattanzi and Keith Slattery. (Photo by Josh Resnek)

By Josh Resnek

The mayor sought to head off the council’s desire to question him about why and exactly how much he is spending for a noted criminal lawyer’s representation at a contentious and sometimes chaotic meeting of the city council Monday night.

Using a ruse to have the council addressed by his lawyer, A. John Pappalardo, the mayor avoided speaking to the council about the issue nor did he allow himself to be questioned by the council about the disbursements from his campaign account to Pappalardo’s law firm, Greenberg and Traurig.

Instead, the mayor imposed on the council and demanded it to hear from his attorney, and the council did just that – despite a meeting scheduled on March 9 for the mayor to answer questions about the legal representation and its reasons.

Pappalardo shed little light as to why the mayor has been paying his law firm $6,000 – $10,000 a month for the past two years, and large amounts to other lawyers before that, except to say, “the mayor has done nothing wrong.”

Pappalardo said the mayor hasn’t been arrested, indicted or convicted of a crime. He isn’t under criminal investigation according to his reasoned judgment.

“He’s done nothing wrong,” he said again and again. “That is absolutely unequivocal,” he added.

He spoke with a strong, stern voice. He has the persona of a seasoned prison warden when pontificating to the city councilors about his client’s purity which was akin to a lecture given to prison guards by the prison warden while at the same time ridiculing questions about the mayor’s honesty.

He described the government proffer the mayor signed with the US Attorney’s office in 2013 the cause for a medal rather than for concern. He said the mayor was one of 55 local people investigated by the FBI who agreed to sign agreements to give information to the government. “ Innocent people talk with the FBI. Those who have something to hide don’t,” Pappalardo said several times.

Continue reading Mayor’s mouthpiece drubs Council; Capone: “Why are you his lawyer?”

Council asks mayor to appear at hearing to explain legal expenses

By Josh Resnek

It is the big question hovering about the mayor’s daily activities that won’t go away.

Why is he continuing to pay criminal attorneys to represent him?

This question was raised at Monday evening’s council meeting, again.

The mayor had been asked to appear by Councilors Mike Marchese and Mike McLaughlin to answer about the need for criminal attorneys.

However, the mayor did not appear to explain himself.

“My colleagues, all of us need to know. What are the payments to attorneys for being paid from the mayor’s campaign account,” Councilor Marchese asked his colleagues.

“Are they for personal issues not allowed by the law? If this is the case, then he needs to tell us what it is, please,” he added.

Marchese suggested ordering the mayor to appear at a full committee hearing on the first Monday in March.

The motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.

Continue reading Council asks mayor to appear at hearing to explain legal expenses