One week after Superintendent Fred Foresteire said he would not be coming back to the Council to discuss the additional $2 million deficit, the City Council voted not to invite him anyhow.
The City Council voted on Monday night by a vote of 5-6 to reject an order put in by Councilor Michael McLaughlin to invite the School Department back to the Chambers to discuss the plan for what is purported to be an additional $2 million in shortfalls for this year’s School Budget.
Last week, Foresteire said he would be able to cover the remaining shortfalls in house without going back to City Hall.
“Most of us felt our job at this point was done,” said Councilor Anthony DiPierro, who voted against the measure. “We gave them $5 million and it’s on the School Department now to shore it up and do the best with what they have.”
Five of his colleagues agreed with him.
But McLaughlin and those supporting his measure were disappointed in the rejection.
“Some of my colleagues chose, whether political, personal or indifferent, to not discuss the additional $2 million deficit and how the School Department has come to a resolution of the matter,” said McLaughlin. “I respect their opinion, although I disagree strongly. It is our responsibility at the end of the day to continue to ask questions and get answers and I will continue to put items before the City Council that ask the tough questions that the taxpayers want us to ask. I am a voice for the people of Everett not the establishment of Everett.”
McLaughlin said he thought it was important to understand all aspects of the school finances moving forward, especially how it is that they have suddenly come up with the final $2 million in house.
“I feel it is our responsibility to the taxpayers, teachers, and the most important the students, that we fully and knowledgeably understand and research every aspect until we can ensure that we have financing in place to effectively run our school system for the long term,” he said.
Technically, the vote sends the order back to the sponsor, but in essence it’s a rejection of the matter.
- If one finds themselves in the back of a Cataldo Ambulance, Councilor Wayne Matewsky said on Monday he wants to know why it’s a one-way ride to CHA Everett.
Matewsky said he has learned that many taking a Cataldo Ambulance have been told they only go to CHA Everett and no other hospitals. Now, he would like to know why.
“That’s not cool,” he said. “I was born at the Whidden. I’m not disparaging them…However, I’ve had people tell me they were in a Cataldo Ambulance and asked to be taken to Mass General, but were told they would only go to Whidden. I want that explained up here at the Council and what the policy is. That’s an expensive ride to take to somewhere you don’t want to go.”
- Councilor Michael McLaughlin was happy to see that one part of his motion to delve back into the school financing situation was approved on Monday night. The Council voted to hold a committee meeting that would include the administration
“I am pleased that my colleagues supported my resolution to send to Ways and Means Committee to have a further discussion with the mayor and Eric Demas…that will be placed forward to handle all aspects of school financing and to discuss the operational audit outline and how the independent committee will play a role going forward,” he said. “As I stated this is not a Mayor, City Council or School Department issue it is an Everett issue. If we do not all come together and work collaboratively, we will fail our children miserably.”
- The City Council clerk is retiring soon after about 33 years in the position. Now, with the vacancy coming soon, there’s a scramble for who might be applying for and receiving the lifetime job.
Applications are coming in, but some have said that former Councilor Mike Mangan could have the edge on the position.
- Councilor Rosa DiFlorio announced on Tuesday that she plans to put the new Meet the Councilors and immigrant working group effort on hold until after the fall election.
“I was going to bring in State Rep. Joe McGonagle to talk to the group soon about state government, but now I see he has an opponent, Gerly Adrien, who has been very helpful to me in getting this group going,” DiFlorio said. “I can see that we might end up having candidates want to come to the group to talk about their campaigns. I don’t want this to be political at all. So, I’ve decided to suspend the effort until after the fall election. Then we’ll resume.”
The effort had gathered some steam after two initial meetings, including a Meet the Councilor meeting on Feb. 16 in City Hall that drew a healthy group. The effort began after several immigrant groups appeared at the Council for many weeks in a row to ask for support on various issues. DiFlorio said the effort was a way for the Council to get to know the issues immigrants need to have address, but also a way for immigrants to understand the way things work in the city.
- Councilor Wayne Matewsky would like to get more information from the owners of the old Boston Edison plant on Lower Broadway at the line.
Matewsky said he has heard reports that the owners of the plant hope to build a wall from the Alford Street Bridge to the traffic light on Lower Broadway – something that would hide their gigantic electrical infrastructure yard.
“I’ve even heard those old smokestacks have things coming out of them,” he said. “The big companies like them don’t give us any information ever. We often don’t get the same courtesy as many of our neighbors do when it comes to companies like this. I just have some concerns there.”
He said if there’s a wall, he would like to know what kind of mural will be on it and what it will depict. He also said the landscaping plan for the plant has lagged tremendously in the last 10 years of so. That, he said, has to change.
“That’s a gateway to and from our city, so it’s important it look good,” he said.