Guest Op-Ed: The Great Pretender

By Joe McGonagle

My opponent pretends he is leading the way to provide housing for our most vulnerable residents, yet he wants to take away much-needed affordable senior and veteran housing.

The city purchased Pope John High School with the support of the City Council for senior and veteran housing for Everett residents. I spent six years on the Housing Committee in the Massachusetts House with four years as the Vice Chairman, working to understand and address housing problems statewide. I have witnessed hundreds of residents around the Commonwealth testify on all aspects of housing. One of the biggest issues we faced during my tenure on the committee was affordable senior housing for the “Baby Boomer” Generation, the largest and fastest-growing population in our country.

Similarly, our brave veterans are facing a serious lack of affordable housing. Nationwide, 22 veterans a day are committing suicide, many of them due to homelessness.

We must do what we can. The St. Therese project is the perfect example of the senior and veteran housing shortage in Everett. There were 540 applicants for 77 units and the demand for more housing like this is clear.

My opponent wants to stop the Pope John Housing Development and waste $140 million dollars of taxpayers’ money to rehab an old school that will do nothing to solve the overcrowding issue at Everett High School.

While overcrowding is a district-wide concern, the Mayor and his administration have an alternative plan to build a new High School and after state reimbursement would be a comparable cost. My opponent has no plan for our seniors or veterans. My opponent spews vitriol and his vindictiveness clouds his judgment for any of the administration’s plans, regardless of the cost.

He does not understand that being a public servant is about compromise and collaboration. Now, after two failed attempts to become State Representative as a democrat, my opponent is running on an anti-leadership platform to be one of two independents in the MA House of Representatives.

This would be disastrous for the people of Everett. He is a voice of obstruction that will deliver nothing for Everett. His slogan is “It’s time for a change”. I agree, my opponent’s behavior has no place in City Hall, Beacon Hill, or anywhere in our community. My opponent’s career as a State Legislator would be much like his as a City Councilor – unaccomplished.

Joe McGonagle is the State Representative for the 28th Middlesex.

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