As a lead up to the upcoming Mayoral election, the first in Everett’s history that will give the Mayor a four-year term, The Everett Independent has engaged the two candidates for Mayor – Incumbent Mayor Carlo DeMaria and Alderman Robert Van Campen – with a series of questions about their ideas for leading the city over the next four years. This is a weekly mini-debate unfolding in the pages of our paper. The fifth question in our series is about setting priorities and what each candidate will focus on when they take office in January, if elected.
Following the question are the written answers provided to us by the candidates. The Independent has made no material changes to the content of these answers and we have asked the candidates to keep their answers to 300 words, though both candidates went over that threshold this week.
We hope this brief series of questions has helped you make your decision, if you have not already done so
If you are elected Mayor, what is your number one top priority for the upcoming mayoral term? And, how do you plan to achieve that objective?
Carlo DeMaria Jr. Response
My number one priority for the upcoming Mayoral term, as well as my past terms, is to bring value to the City of Everett. My administration has worked diligently every day to bring value to Everett, through capital improvements, attracting new businesses and developments, aiding homeowners through the HOME program, enforcing code enforcement ordinances and sanitary code regulations, keeping costs to a minimum while preserving services, maintaining safety on our streets, and giving our children the best education possible.
By bringing value to Everett through improvements, programming and strong leadership, we all benefit. Our neighborhoods are clean and safe, our parks, streets and municipal buildings are in the best possible condition, and the costs to our residents are kept to a minimum. Together, through hard work—we are bringing the value of our properties up, and people and businesses are noticing Everett and want to make their homes here.
Over the past six years, we have been planning and working toward making the Everett the best city it can be. Together, we can continue to bring value to Everett, to bring value to our homes, to our schools, to our parks and to our streets. Together, we can continue to make our neighborhoods, our city and our home the best place to live, work and play.
Robert Van Campen Response
My first priority as Mayor will be to end the wasteful spending by the current administration. Everett property owners, residential and commercial alike, struggle under a tax burden created by an administration which has increased spending by approximately $20,000 per day since it took office.
In fact, since the beginning of this administration, Everett taxpayers have had to pay more and more while the Mayor’s friends have gotten city jobs and those friends already employed by the city have been handed exorbitant pay raises.
This taxpayer bleeding has to stop and I will stop it.
I will begin by reviewing the entire city budget department by department and line by line. I will pay particular attention to jobs. People will be retained based upon the necessity of the job and the skills and qualifications of the employee for that job.
I will start the review with the Mayor’s office. Unnecessary political jobs will be eliminated; and family connections and campaign contributions will no longer be a factor in hiring decisions. Jobs such as multiple constituent services positions will be eliminated. A Mayor who works full time can handle a lot of constituent services all by himself.
The reductions will not, however, include all city departments. Public safety jobs will not be touched. I will also work closely with Superintendent Foresteire to better understand the goals and needs of our School Department.
I will also take a hard look at all public works projects and “capital improvement” programs. Purely cosmetic projects will be eliminated. The focus will be on improvements that enhance our aging infrastructure and grow our local economy. We will no longer spend what we cannot afford.
Tax money is your money and you elect a Mayor to spend your money wisely and operate a city that works for and serves you.
When I take office in January of 2014 that is exactly what you will get.