Despite opposition from some abutting businesses and the objections of the building department, Atty. Joseph Marchese was able to win renewal of two of his junk dealer’s licenses at Monday night’s board of aldermen meeting.
On similar 6-0 votes, the aldermen renewed the annual licenses of Wentworth Precious Metals at Zero Terminal Street and 413 Second Street, and Carlyle Precious Metals on Dexter Street.
Ald. Michael Marchese did not vote on either license to avoid a conflict of interest – he is a brother of the petitioner.
The license renewals came in the face of some heavy criticism of Attorney Marchese’s operations from some of his abutting business neighbors.
The main concern was raised over the fact that the local attorney’s Wentworth operation stores much of its scrap metal out in the open, though behind high fencing.
The most vocal abutter was Ed Owens, who charged that Marchese is running an illegal business in violation of the zoning in the area which requires all scrap metal material to be enclosed.
An agitated Owens charged that if the aldermen renew Marchese’s Wentworth license, “the city would be going backwards”.
Marchese pointed out that he is challenging a board of appeal decision on the issue and has pending lawsuits at both the state and federal court levels.
He also took a verbal swipe at his critics, alleging that one of them lacks required occupancy certification for his tenants and another has no permit at all from the city to operate.
Marchese added that the abutters apparently believe that despite their “disregard” for the city ordinances, it’s somehow okay for them to “cast asper-sions” against his business.
In a license committee session held just prior to Monday night’s regular board meeting, building inspector Mike Desmond spoke out in opposition to both of Marchese’s operations.
In addition to storing scrap metal outside – not unlike others in the areas who have “grandfathering” protection – Desmond also claimed that Marchese torn down an ancillary building on the back part of the Carlyle property without a city permit.
Marchese contended that it was the previous owner who took that structure down.
It was also pointed out by Marchese that the city has renewed his licenses each and every year without question since 2006.
He said he wonders why – all of a sudden – the building department has chosen to go after him, broadly hinting that politics may be at play.