Budget discussions should have meaning: But they don’t

By STEVE PINTO

As the city council pretends to scrutinize the budget, it’s simply the usual exercise of going through the motions.

Let’s face it, city spending is out of control.

The mayor has no boundaries when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars.

There will be no meaningful cuts regardless of what Councilor Fred Capone motions for.

All raises will go through. All revolving accounts will be fully funded. All unnecessary spending will be approved.

It’s an election year.

The puppets don’t want to upset the puppet master, our mayor.

They want his support. They need his support.

And he needs theirs.

The city council doesn’t understand budgets and taxes. Either that or they just don’t care.

This I know, the city council can’t have two masters. It must have its own mind and make its own decisions.

The mayor must try to do the same.

Continue reading Budget discussions should have meaning: But they don’t

Everett is not using CARES Act money wisely

By GERLY ADRIEN

As a City Councilor with a passion for helping people directly, I have noticed the lack of direct relief to people and small businesses in Everett.

Many families and individuals all across the country have been struggling to pay their utilities, rent, mortgages, need more food, and small businesses have needed a little more help.

Many thousands of Everett’s families are in the same exact position.

The CARES Act, the American Rescue Plan, and the money allocated by the state should be used wisely to correct systemic inequities and help people directly to get back on their feet across the nation and in Everett, especially.

We have crises in areas including, but not limited to, housing, employment, homelessness, a pandemic, food insecurity, physical health/ mental health/addiction, and systemic racism and colorism in our community. The big picture is we need to eradicate all of these.

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Stop assuming women, especially women of color, aren’t qualified to lead

By The Reverend Renee Solano

Sexism is not new. I and every other woman in the world have been dealing with it all of our lives. It seems that men are assumed to be qualified for jobs without any facts, but women are assumed to be not qualified, again without any facts.

I am going to give two real-life examples.

1. Most of my life I have worked in male-dominated professions. I started as a seasonal firefighter at age 20, then made my way up to seasonal inspector/investigator, then permanent full- time inspector/investigator. During these years, I was told over and over that I only got my job because I am a woman. Here’s the problem with that: when I started, I was already in school getting my degrees in fire science and criminal justice. I graduated both with honors. When I applied for the seasonal inspector position, I had the two degrees, had put myself through the Firefighter 1 academy, and two of three levels each of inspector and investigator certifications from Asilomar. I was told by my bosses that I was miles ahead of any other candidate that applied. Every other candidate was male and had seasonal experience like me, but no education at all or very little. But I still had to hear every day how I only got my job “because I am a woman.” Yes, if it wasn’t for affirmative action, women and POC would never have jobs as police officers or firefighters, so it gave us opportunity where we were previously shut out. BUT, and this is a big but, we always have to work twice to three times as hard to even be seen as somewhat equal to any of our male counterparts. To be honest, most of the sexism I experienced came from outside the department, from the public and men who didn’t get jobs because they didn’t do any of the work to get experience and education and wanted to blame it on something other than that they just had not done the work.

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Thinking out loud

By STEPHEN PINTO

What does transitioning the Everett Fire Department mean? What is the mayor trying to do with the Fire Department? Why isn’t the Fire Chief resisting the change?
Reduction in staffing instead of hiring as promised? Closing stations?

Not purchasing or upgrading equipment or stations? Slower response time?
What effect if any would it have on mutual aid? Reduction or longer wait times for inspections? Putting lives at risk?

One slow year in fatal fires is great news but it should not automatically result in cutbacks or changes in operation.

If we turn our back on the fire department, there will be fatalities and injuries.

A city with a growing population and housing is not the time to take chances.

Too many Everett homes are built close together, easily allowing a fire to spread.

If we have firehouses responding to multiple injury or illness calls. what happens if a major fire were to then break out in the city? What if a second broke out at the same time? Ambulance calls can easily take up to twenty-thirty minutes while the patient is being assessed.

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Op-Ed

By GERLY ADRIEN

Dear Everett Residents,

My name is Gerly Adrien. I am proud to be your City Councilor At-Large during these challenging times for our city and across the world.

There are a few very important matters I’d like to reflect upon during this past year.

Last week marked one year since a state of emergency was declared in Massachusetts due to COVID-19. Over the past year, more than 500,000 residents in the state have contracted the virus, and, sadly, more than 16,000 lives have been lost.

During these extremely difficult moments, we have unfortunately seen a lack of leadership in Everett. In the face of every challenge, we have seen other cities step up where we lacked. Everett residents would ask me, “Gerly, what are city officials doing to help us get through this?”

I remember when I first learned about the pandemic. I created an action plan with recommendations and sent them to our Mayor. I had a phone call with him to ensure that this would be a priority for our city leaders. It was important to me that we stepped up to provide extra support to our residents.

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