Reality TV, step aside, Hizzoner and our new(est) City Solicitor showed you a tap dance that would rival Fred and Ginger's best performance. The show opened at 7:00 p.m. sharp, featuring the Board of Alderman, Monday evening April 28, 2008. And what a shewww we had for you! Welcome to Pin the Tail on the City Solicitor.
Hizzoner has more lawyers working at city hall than John Gotti had to keep him out of jail. It seems every week there is a new choice for "city solicitor." There are no shortages of lawyers up City Hall but one was too small........ one was too big..... but this one is jussssttt right???
Let's review: We started with Hanlon's hold overs of Kryzovick, Dragone, and Mark Miller added to our existing legal talent at City Hall that function in other capacities to include James Henderson and the Alderman Robert Van Campen. Then we added Deveney, Mejia, Ms. Murphy (who is reportedly "..a paralegal ready to pass the bar any day now"), and Ms. Berringer who worked for the law office representing New Ventures aka Thibeault.
Then we dump Kryzovick and Dragone; keep Miller; promote Mejia to Acting City Solicitor; all the while launching a statewide search for a suitable candidate for City Solicitor. Apparently at the time, none of the half dozen or so legal talents already milling about City Hall were suitable candidates. Go figger.
In the meantime, we have Mista Mayah doing his Keith Lochart impression by rearranging the orchestra, editing the music, and changing the residency rule on City Solicitor so we could search beyond the City's borders, as he orignally requested. But, lo and behold, hiding right under the Mayor's nose is this huge immense talent that functions in the position as his overpaid Chief of Staff - and it turns out she is just the right ticket. But, ah drats... doesn't she live outside the City of Everett..... oh... that's right... we changed that ordinance.
Regardless, we're supposed to swallow the belief that first off, we had the perfect candidate (Ms. Deveney) right in our stable to begin with but no one knew it? 100% pure unadulterated horse hockey. Then the next question becomes: Why all this orchestration with searches, hirings, and terminations in that department??? Could it have something to do with that little change in ordinance regarding the residency for our City Solicitor?? Ya Think?
Let's show the Mayor's word game for what it is: This "move" is to justify a $90,000 plus per year salary (for an Executive Assistant position elevated to the title of Chief of Staff) so the Mayor can have his own personal lawyer by his side, in the Mayor's office, but without having to get critized for adding a high end salary to the Mayor's office staff. In other words, he is just deferring the expense salary by making it appear that she is doing the City Solicitor's job, a department that will be paying her salary. We don't believe you will see a much real "City Solicitor" work being performed by her, but her signature will sure enough appear on the documents.
We believe the Mayor knew where he wanted to go with Ms. Deveney's position and planned this from the beginning. He wanted Ms. Deveney on board from day one as his personal lawyer, needed to be able to justify the salary, and had to get the Solicitor's residency requirement portion of the ordinance changed before he could do so.
If what we speculate here is factually correct or becomes so in the near future, then SOMONE in the City Solicitor's office will be doing all the work and getting little of the credit and that "someone" will not be Ms. Deveney. She will be conveniently sided by the Mayor, staving off the huge number of lawsuits he is going to bring about himself and the city.
If this is the case, and we believe we are correct in our hypothesis here, then the Mayor never gave a second thought to the immense amount of time and money wasted going through his phony search so he could pull off this thinly veiled ruse. It appears if the ends justify the means, and he can bring the deal to the table, the collateral damage is fine with our Mayor. It is our opinion, but we believe it is a fast growing one, that Mayor DeMaria holds little to no regard or respect for the very people who voted for him and will continue to operate in a secretive manner so long as he can ahieve his goals.
But lest we forget, he is not doing it alone. Our elected officials of the City Council are letting him trample upon every moral, legal, and ethical boundary he meets, and they let him do so once again at the 4/28/08 BOA meeting. We'd really like to know what the prize in the Cracker Jack box is for the Mayor, but most likely only he and his chief supporters know that answer for sure. The rest of the folks will just have to see it for yourselves in two or three years. You think the Incredible Hulk had a radical transformation? Just sit back and watch this rags to riches story of Cindafella unfold; you haven't seen anything yet.
We've had so much fun playing Pin the Tail on the City Solicitor that we hate to see the episodes come to a conclusion!!!! Is there a home version available for purchase? We can't wait for the next reality show from Everett City Hall: Dancing With Stars on the Reserve Firefighter's list. I think we'll Thibeault this one....... er.. um.. we mean TiVo ..... we get so confused... Stay Tuned
The Rolling Pin