We knew we passed into a "new dimension" after watching the joint convention, the special Common Council meeting that followed, and the regularly scheduled Board of Alderman meeting on Monday, September 8, 2008. We musta got in a hedge late, because we seemed to have missed that Rod Serling guy, but we caught the rest of the show. Too bad, the missus really likes that guy's voice.
First off, we feel that city government is heading in the right direction with the discontinuance of Fourth Street, but not for the reasons one might think. The only reason that move was practical was to increase the value of the property, but for a buyer that would have less selfish motives and greater environmental/health sensibility than Woodwaste.
After the track record that Mr. Thibeault has established in his broad business dealings, along with his propensity for violations of contractual agreements, sections of law and entire EPA regulatory orders, should the Mayor and Everett City officials honestly consider letting this move to Lower Broadway go forward, in spite of knowing about Thibeault's history of reckless (environmental/health risk) behavior? As Chuck DiPerri stated "these are two separate issues" but one is a precursor to the other, Chuck. They may be separate LEGAL issues, but don't fool yourself. A is connected to B and one without the other is no good to Thiebeault.
If the City let's Thibeault move forward and in the event some environmental or hazardous situation occurs and damages and/or loss of life sustained, then in our eyes, the City could (and should) be held liable (through contributory negligence) for any illness...(or death)...and/or any damages (losses$$) that may go along with it. Our elected officials have a duty to act through taking an oath of office. And that duty to act means to do so in the best interest for the well being and safety of the residents. They are failing to do so in this instance.
Let us frame this another way. William Thibeault has proven at Boston Street and elsewhere, to be a health and safety risk under his current licenses and has displayed no shame in showing his utter contempt for both the force of law and well being of the individuals being harmed or at risk of harm. That type of business ethic should have sealed the deal right there. We are not looking for a "show of good faith" from the guy to let him move to lower Broadway; we're looking for him to pack his bags and hit the road, Wood Waste and all.
Is it not correct that if a homeowner delinquent in property taxes in this city that she/he/they would be prevented from buying a second house until making good on the taxes owed for the first? Would the city then say "oh well, we know they'll be good neighbors and eventually pay the tax lien so we'll let them buy the second property?" Not likely, unless your Thibeault of course. Try not paying an overdue excise tax sometime then try to register a second vehicle. Give'em ten bucks, tell'em you'll send the rest in two years, then ask them to go ahead and register your new vehicle. Let's see how that works out for you, huh? Fahgettaboutit.
But, Thibeault can thumb his nose from Boston Street at the city, state, abutters, and the courts, while the Mayor claims his performance reputation could not and would not be called into question in this so called "lawsuit" Thibeault has going? Sheep-dip. The city not only has every right to deny him, but at this late stage should be moving to permanently dislocate the business from this city - period.
Back to the real meat on the bone here. Thibeault is a liability to the city. Any reasonable person on a jury would be able to see that. If the Mayor and the City Council allow him to go forward without fighting it on all fronts, then in our eyes the City shares any liability borne out of letting Thibeault further advance in this city. The fact is that our city government has an obligation to protect us from such corporate predators but they seem resigned to the mistaken belief that they, as a government body, are forced to go along with this choice. That flimsy excuse doesn't fly here. The real reasons certain Councilors and Aldermen are playing ball resides in the fact because deals are being made behind closed doors. If you're an elected official in this city and want to get your no good bum of a brother in law a job, well then it seems all you have to do is line up with the Mayah on Woodwaste. A blind man could see it for goodness sake.
The other question we have is to wonder how Homeland Security might feel about the current owner playing with the railroad spurs down there near the LNG property. The proposed site and rails are close enough to Distrigas to raise numerous safety concerns for us. I'm surprised the state fire Marshall's office or at least MEMA has not been queried about this option. Is it wise having a highly combustible facility (Wood Transfer station) anywhere near an LNG port facility? Can you spell K-A-B-O-O-M?
And what about the first "pile" that gets left down there exposed? Does windblown debris find its' way into the river or elsewhere? As someone noted at the 09/08/08 Joint Convention, if those "piles" on Boston Street ever catch fire, it is going to be ugly. It would be even uglier if it happened anywhere near lower Broadway. Just think about the traffic catastrophe alone that a large scale fire could cause in that area. It is amazing that those charged with the public trust not only don't see the potential for problems, but remain steadfast in trying to convince the (Everett) world it is wrong. There is zero support for this move coming from the residents, but the Mayah and Council would have you believe otherwise.
In fairly short order this shortsightedness could cost the city a great deal of money in lost property tax revenue as well. The inevitable will happen if Woodwaste is allowed to relocate. There will be no "development" taking place. The only businesses that will be attracted will be those similar to Woodwaste. We just don't know of many retailers that are chomping at the bit to move in beside a sludge plant and the proposed wood transfer facility, enclosed or not. The collateral effect will have the few homeowners left in the area give up and the entire area will be of no retail or residential value. In the end the area will consist solely of commercial/industrial dwellers with the same caustic potential we rid the area of in the 1980's.
Yet, there could hope for the area should a developer with a green conscience be found. Environmental green that is, not money green. In the end, the meeting only proved one thing to us: The Mayor has dug his heels in and is going to ride this suicide train right to the end of this brief reign. Unfortunately, long after the children of Everett residents will be getting on board in a few years while Thibeault drives the train the Mayah rings the bell. All aboard...Choo Choo...chug..a chug chug goes Thibeaut Kaching... Kaching... goes the Mayah, ringing the bell.
We leave you with this link to save lower Broadway. Here you will get a detailed picture of what has happened to date on the issue.
The Rolling Pin