It's been a while since DBC opined to the ongoings at City Hall, but quite frankly, with one senseless action following another in such rapid fire, capturing any purpose behind the dealings has all the challenge of nailing Jell-O to a tree. We posited here earlier in the year that the Mayah's undoing would generally boil down to the debacle regarding Wood Waste and the budget hearings of 2008. The latter claim of course was quite general in description as it would hold all things, dollars and cents, and even lack of sense in some of the finer detail for scrutiny. Let's see if we can get somewhat of a capsuled update together here with maybe even a new revelation or two.
What the budget meetings revealed for us here at DBC is the one proven fact that AG Martha Coakley will need to add another department within its' Ethic Division to deal with all the questionable practices taking place under Hizzoner. He tried to make his Chief of Staff also the City Solicitor. It seems that move didn't fly. He has allowed the merger of the Budget Director and Purchasing Director again, without a clear green light on the ethics legality. We also have elected officials resigning or planning to resign office to take visible paid position(s) in the City's government despite clear language to the contrary prohibiting such practices under state ethics law. We wait with baited breath to see the names for the new firefighter's list.
Yet has the Mayor or one of the appointments in question ever produced any written proof that they have responsibly undertaken the moral and legal obligation to seek out such opinion from the State Ethics Commission? Of course not. The general public has relied on "the word"of the very people who benefitted on these moves hearing "The state said it was ok" or some such patronizing comeback rather than demanding to see a written opinion from the Attorney General's office and have it be publicly offered for viewing. Let's face it, the DeMaria administration has not made one high profile personnel decision that does not have an ethics cloud hanging over it. Of course, although it be only our opinion, we steadfastly maintain that we believe Hizzoner consistently acts first to satisfy his self serving needs and then, only then, in the best interest of others.
Simply put, Carlo DeMaria is doing what has been done for years in Everett's political patronage system only he has taken it to a whole new level. He has elevated political patronage to an art form. We hear tell through City Hall sources who shall remain anonymous that there is a much larger goal to all this orchestration and it is not solely confined to moving Wood Waste into a beneficial situation as we first suspected nor simply repaying the campaign assistance to one of the Mayor's chief supporters, William Thibeault, the owner of entities such as Wood Waste of Boston and New Ventures LLC. There is a much greater purpose at hand. As a reminder, the latest on New Ventures (and its' possible impact on Woodwaste and Everett) is set to take stage in court on July 14, 2008.
Hizzoner has adopted a rough idea left over from the Hanlon administration. He envisions one central government facility in Everett's future. He is considering a facility that will house all fire, police, school dept, city administrative functions, 911, and all other governmental operations in one area/building. You see dear Everett resident, that is why you don't hear much about the old Everett High School nor plans for its' sale. Our Mayor now holds plans of doing a few real estate sales on the side or so it would seem. Centralizing all the services would free up a great deal of city property (fire stations, police station, 911, etc) to be sold on the open market to private developers. One can only imagine the collusion that could take place in transfer of those several properties and the potential for corruption. We don't back away from the claim that Woodwaste and the connection with Thibeault is a disastrous one for Everett and that the situation certainly remains a major focus for the administration and a looming potential nightmare for the Everett resident. That certainly is a concern, but there appears to be a larger picture emerging as to just how far Mr. Mayah will go to achieve his own goals.
It just didn't make sense to us here at DBC that Hizzoner would be willing to take such heat on the Carlisle appointment merely to facilitate only the Wood Waste deal. We suspected there had to be more to the story and now it appears we were correct in our doubts. With Mr.Carlisle leaving his last employment with the town of Southbridge under not so good circumstances, we had to ask ourselves why the Mayah would go out on such a limb and take yet another beating on favorability points on this one controversial decision. We asked ourselves "Was all that needed just to get Wood Waste in play and did he really want us to believe that Clayton Carlisle was the best we could get from a statewide search to perform these "consolidated functions?" I guess the Mayah is justified in thinking we really are that gullible. After all, we put him in office once despite his lies and mediocre Aldermanic performance, so why shouldn't he believe we swallow yet another non answer of a whale story from him?
Now that we learn of this pipe dream the Mayah has for centralizing all government services in one building/location, we can see exactly why he needed such a person as Carlisle to take the lead and why it was important to merge the purchasing and budget director's position. The Mayah does not want merely to consolidate services, he also wants to consolidate power; his power; and the goodwill that can be bought by making certain city properties available to the right developers would be nothing short of a grand windfall for the Mayah's reelection campaign. And in our opinion his only shot, albeit a long shot at this stage, of even coming close in reelection. Goodwill (translation: political favors that translate to votes and campaign support) is a great thing to politicians, especially when the favor is owed to the elected official and it is during campaign season. And it is always campaign season in Everett.
The Mayah will need these commercial supporters added on because he is quickly alienating most all other sectors that helped get him elected or could possibly help in the next election, save the businesses he is courting. We suspect that the forthcoming tax rate will contain a nice increase for the property owners in Everett. At this point and without a large cash infusion from elsewhere, it seems inevitable that the Everett homeowner will get hit yet once again come time to get the bill. He can kiss the homeowner vote Ga'bye if that happens. Just ask John Hanlon. Add in the rank and file of the city worker being hit in the pocketbook over promised raises being taken back; the ongoing ethical questions surrounding city jobs and appointments; changing ordinances to achieve some greater mystery; mix in a little noxious odor from Woodwaste and you have quite a package on your hands Mr. Mayah. Good luck.
Hizzoner put all these high price decisions into play and doesn't have the means to pay for them until he can attract more business to the tax base. Does the term "cart before the horse" mean anything? He thought he could just slide all this right through without a whisper of objection. And he was almost right. Ask yourself this Mr. and Mrs. voter? "What concrete and detailed plans have I heard from the Mayor about moving this city forward?" When you examine the question closely you'll see he has detailed very little for you and there is a reason for such vagueness. In our best opinion the Mayah and company realizes that enemy number one is the informed voter and their (the DeMaria administration) actions are testimony to that very fact.
Hint: Pay close attention to the Board of Alderman composition in the event Mr. Nuzzo takes a city paid position as is the rumored plan and needs to be replaced. If Mr. Mayah does not get the right player seated on the board his grand design becomes an even greater longshot in our opinion. The reasons for all of the above mentioned orchestrations will then become increasingly clear to most voters in the next several months. Don't rely on the rags for your true insight. They are bought and paid for through advertising dollars provided by City Hall and would never bite the hand the feeds them by telling you the whole truth. All you'll find there is outright lies and half truths at best.
The handwriting has been on the wall and getting larger by the day. Be suspect of every innocuous request these days because nothing emanating from the corner office can ever again be taken at face value. Keep your eye on the man behind the curtain.
But on the bright side............ we love the flowers!
The Rolling Pin